Photo: When the Olympic torch came to Albany

Landmarks around the state will be lit tonight in red, white and blue in honor of the start of the 1980 Winter Olympics… but those Games couldn’t start until the Olympic torch arrived in Lake Placid. Here is 17-year-old Diane Litynski, a junior at Scotia-Glenville High School, holding the torch with Michael “Mickey” Luce, member of the 1968 US Bobsled Team in front of the Americana Inn (now The Desmond), as it made its way north.

Albany played a pivotal role in the 1980 Olympic torch relay. After a storm-battered flight from Greece, the flame first touched down on American soil at Langley military base in Virginia on January 31, 1980, in front of several thousand people. It then followed a winding path north, reaching Albany on February 6. It was at Albany that the relay split in two: one route headed northwest through the Adirondacks, the other northeast up the Champlain valley. On February 8, the two flames were reunited at Lake Placid, with a welcome ceremony held at the speed skating stadium.