Yorktown, Virginia January 30, 1980


1980 Olympic Torch Relay
(some information copied from 1980 Lake Placid Torch Brochures)

2014 Relighting of the 1980 Olympic Cauldron

30th Anniversary - 2010

The Olympic Flame

Olympic Torch Relay Route

(26 men and 26 women - one from each
State, DC and Lake Placid)


Articles and Memorabilia

The Torch

Lake Placid

2001 Reunion

 Torch: Fired up for Posterity - PressRepulican.com article

  THE FLAME STILL BURNS - (by Lee Manchester for the Lake Placid News, Friday, December 28, 2001)

This weekend, the Olympic Village rededicates its own 1980 flame and salutes the 2002 Olympic Torch on its way to Salt Lake City

LAKE PLACID - This will be a unique, unforgettable weekend in the Olympic Village.

The 2002 Olympic Torch will pass through Lake Placid on Saturday accompanied by festivities and ceremonies to celebrate and honor the Olympic ideal.

And a cohort of the 52 men and women who carried the Flame in the 1980 Olympic Torch Relay from Langley AFB to Lake Placid will reunite for the first time in over a decade as Lake Placid's own Olympic Flame Tower is rededicated Friday night.

Between 18 and 20 of the 52 runners chosen to relay the Olympic Flame from a U.S. Air Force Base in Virginia to Lake Placid in 1980 will be present for Friday night's rededication ceremonies. Those amateur runners; (26 men, 26 women); were chosen to represent the 50 American states, the District of Columbia and Lake Placid as they carried the Flame that symbolized the Olympic ideal.

That Flame opened a Winter Games no one would forget -- Games that saw Eric Heiden take five gold medals for speed skating, and Games that witnessed the spectacular "Miracle on Ice" victory of the U.S. Olympic Hockey Team over the imposing, almost-unbeatable Soviet squad.

As unforgettable as were the 1980 Winter Games, neither will the 1980 Torchbearers ever forget their experience carrying the Flame that opened those Games.

Chris Ortloff, now a New York assemblyman representing the Plattsburgh district, was the director of ceremonies for the 1980 Olympics. In that role he worked closely with the Torchbearers, and he has kept in touch with them ever since.

The 49 surviving 1980 Torchbearers are still a very, very close-knit group, said Ortloff in an April interview. They publish a yearly newsletter to update one another on the progress of their lives, gather periodically for reunions, even help bury those of their members who pass on.

"They're still some of the Olympic movement's biggest supporters, too," Ortloff said. "If we were to ask them to help in mounting a campaign for another Winter Game in Lake Placid, they'd all sign on in a second."


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