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CONTACT: Meri-Jo Borzilleri, Empire State Winter Games Communications & Media, ( Tel: 719-337-7987,, Twitter @ESWGames


February 5, 2023

PAUL SMITHS, N.Y. – Chris Burnham of Stowe, Vt. won his third gold in three days in ski orienteering at the 2023 Empire State Winter Games, winning his men’s 21+ age group division at Paul Smith’s College Visitor Interpretive Center.

Ski orienteering, which combines cross-country ski racing and map navigation, and the ESWG concluded Sunday. After enduring two days of frigid weather that reached 19 below zero before race time Saturday, Sunday’s races were held in more seasonal weather – about 25 degrees. A total 67 competitors completed the courses of varying lengths by age group, from 4.5 (2.7 miles) to 15 kilometers (9.3 miles) in Sunday’s long-distance event.

Burnham, 31, of Stowe, Vermont, finished the 15-kilometer long-distance course in a time of one hour, 24 minutes, two seconds, best among 12 finishers in his age group. Ari Ofsevit of Cambridge, Mass. won silver in 1:27:46 and bronze medalist Adrian Owens, 55, of Craftsbury Commons, Vermont, posted a time of 1:28:40.

Paul Lefebvre of Dunrobin, Ontario won the 10-competitor men’s 60+ category, completing the 8.3K (5.14-mile) course in a time of 1:08:09. Ottawa, Ontario’s Randy Kemp took silver with a time of 1:13:06 and Darrell Rikert of Greenfield Center won bronze in a time of 1:13:33.

In the women’s 50+ division, Marketa Graham of Ottawa again won gold with a time of 1:17:3 over Pam James of Windsor, Nova Scotia, who had a time of 1:21:03. Dagmar Merkova of Silver Spring, Maryland won bronze in a time of 1:40:59 in the seven-competitor field.

The ski orienteering event was sanctioned by and run in conjunction with Orienteering USA.

For complete ski orienteering results, see and follow us on social media @ESWGames.

The ESWG, sponsored by Community Bank, N.A., is the largest multi-winter amateur sports event in the United States. From Friday Feb. 3-Sunday, close to 2,200 athletes competed in 23 winter sports in Lake Placid, Wilmington, Saranac Lake, Tupper Lake and Paul Smiths.

For more information, including sport schedule and results, visit For photos of the Opening Ceremony and events, see You do not have to be a resident of New York State to participate in the Empire State Games, and most sports are open to all levels.