After exactly 44 years, the 1968 Olympics again returned to France, the birthplace of the greatest winter sports event of all.
Time and Place: Grenoble (France); 6 - 18 February 1968
Participation: 37 countries, 1158 athletes
Number of sports: 8 sports, 35 events
Number of Slovenian athletes: 28
Fire lit by: Alain Clamat (figure skater)
Games opened by: Charles de Gaulle (President of France)
Olympic oath: Leo Lacroix (alpine skier)
Trivia from the Grenoble 1968 Winter Olympic Games
Chamonix 1924 was granted the status of the first Winter Olympics only after the event. In Grenoble, everybody was aware of the Olympic nature of the competition from the very opening of the Games, carried out by Charles de Gaulle. The French invested a lot of money into the event but took a lot of criticism from the participants who were stationed in seven villages spread out rather far apart.
It is interesting that the IOC begun carrying out doping controls in Grenoble for the first time, along with sex verification with the female athletes. There were no controversies, at least with the best athletes... After several years of calm, Norwegian athletes returned to the throne, mostly due to Nordic skiers, beating the mighty USSR in the process.
Nevertheless, the key protagonist of the Games was a Frenchman, to the great delight of the local fans. Alpine skier Jean Claude Killy proved unbeatable. After winning the first two rounds of the world cup circuit, he beat all his competitors in slalom, giant slalom and downhill at the Olympics. Downhill was a double win for the French with their compatriot Guy Perillat coming in second.