Empire State Winter Games torch relay kicks off in Gowanda

And they’re off!

Escorted by the Gowanda Police Department, student representatives ran the torch to Community Bank in Gowanda before sending it off to its next stop, the Orchard Park Community Bank. OBSERVER Photo by Natasha Matteliano.
Student representatives from Gowanda Central School District hold the torch before they kick-off the 2020 Torch Relay for the Empire State Winter Games. OBSERVER Photo by Natasha Matteliano.

GOWANDA — On Monday, one of the torches for the Empire State Winter Games started its path in Gowanda.

The 2020 Empire State Winter Games is a multi-day sports event hosted in New York’s Adirondacks from Jan. 30 to Feb. 2. In its 40th year, the games will bring together athletes from across New York state and beyond — including 15 states and three countries — to compete in over 30 winter sports events.

To kick off the event, the ESWG sends out torches to travel through the state. There are two torches that pass through various locations in New York State, ultimately meeting in the Adirondacks, where the games will take place. One torch was sent out from each side of the state. The east side torch was sent out from New York City, starting from the New York Times Travel Show on Saturday. The west side torch kicked off its path right in Western New York, at the Gowanda Central School District.

This is the second year that Gowanda has participated in this event, thanks to David Bolen, physical education teacher, for facilitating the district’s participation. Student representatives from Gowanda ran from the middle school all the way to Community Bank. Even on a bitter 32 degree winter day with slushy roads, the kids still did their part and delivered the torch to the bank. The next destination for the torch is the Community Bank in Orchard Park.


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