SAUGERTIES, NY – The Empire State Winter Games Olympic Torch is making its way to its final destination at Lake Placid for the 2018 Empire State Winter Games. The Winter Games is a multi-day sports event hosted in Lake Placid, New York, from February 1 – February 4.
Tuesday the torch made its way through the Hudson Valley as Walkway Ambassador Johnny Vacca proudly carried the torch across the Walkway Over The Hudson.
A lifelong Poughkeepsie resident and a volunteer Ambassador at the Walkway, Vacca will be competing in the biathlon at this year’s Empire State Games, which is being held Feb. 1-4 in Lake Placid. Vacca was joined on his run by Clayton DeClemente, an 18-year-old LaGrange resident who will be competing in the speedskating event at the Games. After a brief ceremony at the Park’s Center Observation Area, the torch was passed to Ulster County’s Nicholas Metz and Kev Marlow, who carried it along the Hudson Valley Rail Trail.
From there, the torch made its way into Saugerties where a parade of police and fire vehicles were waiting. Along with hundreds of excited residents and local hockey players, the torch was ceremoniously handed off to youth hockey players and other winter games athletes before continuing its journey to its final destination.
In its 38th year, the Games will bring together athletes from across New York State and beyond to compete in over 30 winter sports events.
The 2017 Games included more than 2,100 athletes of all ages, including master divisions, and the 2018 Games are expected to exceed that number.