Empire State Winter Games under way and thriving

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. (AP) – The 34th annual Empire State Winter Games are under way, and organizers in Lake Placid are beaming.

A total of 1,436 competitors have registered for
the competition. That's an increase of just over 20 percent from last
year, and participation has grown by more than 55 percent in the four
years it's been hosted by a regional coalition.

There have been notable yearly increases in
athletes competing in figure skating, luge, synchronized skating,
skeleton, bobsled, cross-country skiing and speed skating. Luge alone
has grown from 21 competitors in 2013 to 68 this year, while
registration for synchronized skating has spiked nearly 30 percent.

The opening ceremony was Thursday evening and competition begins Friday.

The games' primary sponsor is Maine-based Hannaford Supermarkets.

Copyright 2014 The
Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be
published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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