It is a video like today’s featured clip of Lake Placid Olympian Lowell Bailey that make the pep talk from yesterday’s 4-year-old star so poignant. It is difficult to describe the odd, but positive, competitive culture of growing up in the Lake Placid region. Generally speaking, athletic prowess is well-respected and fitness therefore encouraged, which makes it a healthy place to raise a family. Surrounded by competitive athletes from all over the world, winning and “being the best” is obviously reinforced. This philosophy might upset some people’s apple carts, but there is ample evidence that points to the positive outcome of goal setting, hard work, and physical exertion. It has also been my personal observation that when we humans get our innate competitive aggression out on the playing field, in the ski race or on the mountain, it is easier to be nicer to each other in every day life. Maybe that is another one of the reasons Adirondack kids are so nice and good at sports.