One year from the opening ceremonies of the 2014 Winter Games, the U.S. Olympic Committee got the countdown started Wednesday in Times Square.
To honor the occasion, a group of former and hopeful Olympic athletes was invited to Manhattan to ring the NASDAQ closing bell.
Front and center at the event was Great Neck skating greats Sarah and Emily Hughes — just back from a trip to Capitol Hill earlier this week to celebrate national women in sports day with the Women's Sports Foundation.
"Once an Olympian, always an Olympian," said Sarah, the 2002 women's figure skating gold medalist.
With Long Island ties keeping them close to home, the sisters, now living in the city, say they enjoy getting back to the peninsula whenever they can.
"It's where we grew up and it's where my parents live," Emily said.
Both Hughes girls graduated from Great Neck North High School. Their parents still reside in the Great Neck area.
"We really support the town," said Sarah. "We love it and we actually spend a lot of time there."
Just two weeks ago, Sarah was at the Parkwood rink to do an ice show in honor of National Skate Month.
Making the trip to the Big Apple Wednesday with Sarah and Emily was their mom, Amy.
Patrick Sandusky, Chief Communications Officer for the U.S. Olympic Committee, joined the Hughes women, and former and future Olympians to announce the countdown to the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.
On the guest list was Sasha Cohen, the 2006 Olympic figure skating silver medalist; Chuck Berkeley, 2010 Olympic bobsledder and 2014 Olympic hopeful; Keri Herman, the 2014 Olympic hopeful for slopestyle skiing; and Tom Wallisch the 2014 Olympic hopeful for slopestyle skiing.
Cohen, who attends Columbia University in New York, said she was excited to be ringing the NASDAQ bell and promoting the Sochi games.
"I have Russian roots," said Cohen, a California native. "It's super exciting."