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Long shot for small town

Delmar author pens account of 1980 Lake Placid games

Bethlehem resident Mike Burgess examines the intricacies of the 1980 Winter Olympics held in Lake Placid in his first book, "A Long Shot to Glory."

Bethlehem resident Mike Burgess examines the intricacies of the 1980 Winter Olympics held in Lake Placid in his first book, "A Long Shot to Glory."

— To receive state funding, Lake Placid agreed to turn the Olympic Village into a prison after the games left.

“This was a matter of contention for a while because some felt it should be turned into an Olympic training facility,” he said.

Burgess interviewed more than 25 people to complete his 141-page book, including a member of the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team and various residents of the Capital District who attended the games.

Jim Plummer, of Delmar, was pictured sitting behind the Soviet goalie with friend John Furey in the Knickerbocker News. He told Burgess, “There was nothing compared to the intensity of that game.”

Burgess said with 50,000 people visiting events daily and the Olympic torch making its way through Albany to stop at the Empire State Plaza that year, lots of people have memories of the historic games.

“It’s interesting to see some of the same kinds of problems happening today as back then,” he said of the ongoing games in London, mentioning security issues and needing a professional to handle organization.

Burgess said the 1980 Winter Olympics is something that can never be replicated again.

“It’s often called, ‘the largest event ever held in the smallest place.’ My kids today can’t believe the games happened there,” he said.

“A Long Shot to Glory” can be found on Amazon.com, at Barnes and Noble and other locally owned bookstores throughout the Capital District. Its listing price is $14.95.

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