Innsbruck 1964 Winter Olympic Games

The 9th Winter Olympic Games were held in 1964 in Innsbruck, Austria. Other candidates included Calgary Canada in Lahti/Are in Sweden. The Games thus again returned to Europe. In Austria, the number of participants climbed above 1,000 for the first time.

Time and Place: Innsbruck (Austria), 29 January – 9 February 1964
Participation: 36 countries, 1091 athletes
Number of sports: 8 sports, 34 events
Number of Slovenian athletes: 26
Fire lit by: Joseph Rieder (alpine skiing)
Games opened by: Dr. Adolf Schärf (President of Austria)
Olympic oath: Paul Aste (bobsled)


Trivia from the Innsbruck 1964 Winter Olympic Games

Almost 1,100 athletes from 36 countries gathered in Innsbruck in 1964 which welcomed them with open arms. The organizers took care of every minute detail, attracted a million spectators and, when the Games came, stared helplessly at the sky. Mother nature simply refused to take part in the Olympic spirit. There was just no snow whatsoever. The Austrian army took on a mammoth task by carting over 25,000 tons of snow from the nearby hills and made ice on the luge and bobsled tracks.


The Games also made several contributions to the traditional program. The Olympic torch was thus brought from ancient Olympia for the fist time to the Winter Olympics. At the opening ceremony, the torch was used by alpine skier Josef 'Pepi' Rieder to light the Olympic fire. Lugers celebrated winners in singles and doubles for the first time and ski jumpers competed in two events, carried out in accordance with adjusted rules. These rules turned out to be excessively complicated, so ski jumping events returned to previous rules at the very next Games.


Athletes of the USSR were the undisputed rulers of the Games, winning eleven gold medals - more than Austria, Norway and Finland, the three runners-up - combined. The most successful individual was Russian speed skater Lidiya Skoblikova who added another four gold medals to her double Olympic crown from 1960. Her compatriot Klavdiya Boyarshikh won three gold medals in cross country skiing.