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Empire State Winter Games Torch Relay kicks off from Buffalo, NYC on Saturday

The six-day, 700-mile trek will culminate in Lake Placid for Opening Ceremonies of the Winter Games February 3-6.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — With the Winter Olympics less than a week away, Western New York will get a taste of the experience on a smaller scale this weekend.

The 42nd Empire State Winter Games (ESWG) Torch Relay kicks off from two starting points, Buffalo and New York City. The six-day, 700-mile trek will culminate in Lake Placid for the opening ceremony of the games which runs from Feb. 3 to Feb. 6.

The relay will be welcomed by dozens of communities along the two routes before merging in Lake Placid. It's expected to involve up to 50 communities, schools, sports clubs, mascots, arenas and other venues. Connecting three corners of the state symbolizes a unifying spirit and resilience as the ESWG returns after taking a year off due to the pandemic.

Here is where you can catch the Torch Relay in Western New York on Sunday, Jan. 30:

  • Leisure Rinks, Seneca, NY, 9 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.
  • Buffalo Ski Club/Kissing Bridge Snow sports, Buffalo Ski Center, Colden, NY 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. (Torch will be skied down the mountain)
  • Mayor of Lockport & Norway National Ice Dance team (run to rink), Steamworks Coffee Shop, Lockport, NY, 12:30 p.m.
  • Buffalo Skating Club, Cornerstone Arena, Lockport, N.Y. 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.

Amanda Demmerle, 18, a figure skater from Camillus will light the cauldron Thursday night, the same day the Olympics open in Beijing. Competition gets underway Friday. 

The ESWG is the largest multi-sport amateur athletic winter sporting event in North America. It's expected to draw some 2,000 athletes competing in more than 30 events in Lake Placid, Saranac Lake, Tupper Lake and surrounding areas.