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Summit Lacrosse Ventures to lend its' voice to bring the sport back to the Summer Games

By Sandy Caligiore, askc@roadrunner.com, 518-637-3597, 06/04/19, 11:45AM EDT

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August seminar to create groundswell of support for return at LA 2028

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. – Summit Lacrosse Ventures, which owns and manages three significant tournaments annually in Lake Placid as well as the Northstar Invitational girl’s development camp, is throwing its support firmly behind the bid to return lacrosse to the Olympic program.

The sport has not been contested at the Summer Games in over 100 years, but its continued international growth is making the International Olympic Committee and Games organizers take a serious look at reinstatement. Lacrosse was given provisional recognition by the IOC in late 2018, a hopeful first step to returning to the Games.

“The primary strategic goal of World Lacrosse is to return lacrosse to the Olympic program,” said US Lacrosse CEO and World Lacrosse Vice President Steve Stenersen. “The 30th anniversary of the Summit Lacrosse Classic provides an outstanding opportunity to assemble many of the sport’s stakeholders for such important conversation on our efforts to achieve that goal, and we’re thankful to the innovative leaders of Summit Lacrosse Ventures for staging this forum.”

The annual Summit Lacrosse Classic returns to this two-time Olympic village August 5-11 at the North Elba fields off Route 73. The festival has run continuously since 1990.

Lacrosse was a full medal sport at the 1904 and 1908 Olympics, but relegated to a demonstration sport in 1928, 1932 and 1948.

“Given the global appeal of lacrosse and the potential for our sport to be represented in the Olympics, the time is now to have this discussion,” said Ashley Gersuk Murphy, CEO of Summit Lacrosse Ventures. “We intend to partner with World Lacrosse and US Lacrosse to leverage our community in alignment with their efforts and in support of our great game.”

The date and time of the seminar is to be announced. World Lacrosse will be represented. 

“Lake Placid, host of the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympic Games and the United States Olympic Training Center since 1982, and the New York State Olympic Regional Development Authority, have been wonderful supporters of the Olympic movement and its athletes in the U.S.,” remarked Jim Scherr, World Lacrosse CEO. “Summit Lacrosse Ventures over the past 30 years has been a catalyst to grow lacrosse in Lake Placid and in the nation. World Lacrosse is pleased to partner with Summit Lacrosse Ventures in Lake Placid to add another voice and source of support for the vision to return lacrosse to the Olympic Games.”    

Lake Placid offers the perfect backdrop for such a seminar, given its Olympic legacy and the 250 teams that will converge on the village in early August. Over the past 25 years in this and other nearby communities, lacrosse has grown exponentially as the result of a successful grass roots program. 

“It seems fitting to host this seminar in Lake Placid, with so much Olympic history, and with our long-standing community of participants,” said Kevin Leveille, SLV Brand Director and 2014 Team USA Captain. “We see that our participants have an extreme care for and loyalty to the sport and have a wealth of experience to offer, across many facets of the game. Many have been first-hand catalysts of the growth of the game over the last 30 years.” 

Furthermore, Ned Harkness, a former CEO of the Olympic Regional Development Authority in Lake Placid, in addition to his hockey resume, was a successful lacrosse coach at Cornell University, leading the Big Red to a pair of Ivy League titles. Harkness was also instrumental in the creation of the Summit Lacrosse Classic and coached the1948 United States team in London.

Should the efforts of the World Lacrosse international federation bear fruit for Olympic inclusion, the sport could return at the 2028 Summer Games in Los Angeles.

-SLV-