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Lake Placid is a village in the Adirondack Mountains in Essex County, New York, United States. As of the 2000 census, the village had a population of 2,638. The Village of Lake Placid is near the center of the Town of North Elba, 52 miles (84 km) southwest of Plattsburgh. Lake Placid, along with nearby Saranac Lake and Tupper Lake, comprise what is known as the Tri-Lakes region.
Lake Placid was founded in the early 19th century to develop a mining operation based on iron ore discovered nearby. By 1840, the population of "North Elba" (four miles southeast of the present village near where the road to the Adirondack Loj crosses the Ausable River) consisted of six families. In 1845, Gerrit Smith arrived in North Elba and not only bought a great deal of land around the village, but granted large tracts to former slaves, reforming the land law and reflecting his support of Abolitionism.
Lake Placid is best known as the two-time site of the Winter Olympics, in 1932 and 1980. In the United States, the village is especially remembered as the site of the 1980 USA–USSR hockey game the Miracle on Ice, when a group of American college students and amateurs upset the heavily favored Soviet national ice hockey team 4–3 and two days later won the gold medal. The victory is often ranked as the greatest in American sports history. It is also the site of the Olympic Oval, where Eric Heiden won his five Olympic gold medals.