Squaw Valley 1960 Winter Olympic Games

Winter Olympians travelled to the United States of America for the second time. This time again without Slovenian athletes who missed out on the Winter Olympics for the second and last time.


Time and Place: Squaw Valley (USA), 18 – 28 February 1960
Participation: 30 countries, 665 athletes
Number of sports: 6 sports, 27 events
Number of Slovenian athletes: /
Fire lit by: Kenneth Charles Henry (Olympic 500 m speed skating champion from 1952)
Games opened by: Richard Nixon (Vice-president of the USA)
Olympic oath: Carol Heiss (figure skating)


Trivia from the Squaw Valley 1960 Winter Olympic Games

When the International Olympic Committee awarded the bid to host the games to Squaw Valley (the other candidates were Innsbruck, St. Moritz and Garmisch-Partenkirchen), most of the venues existed only in the heads of the organizers. Nevertheless, the ambitious Americans managed to construct all the venues around Lake Tahoe in full accordance with the Olympic demands with generous financial assistance of the state. The only blunder was the bobsled track. The Americans did not build the track so the event was removed from the Olympic program for the first and last time.


Americans paid great attention to the visitors of the Olympics and worked hard on all the ceremonies. The opening ceremony of the Games was directed by none other than Walt Disney. The 10-day program of the Games saw plenty of interesting and well matched competition. The Games also brought several new events. The biathlon was held for the first time and the speed skating program was expanded to include women's events. Skaters had moved into covered venues by then.


30 countries competed at the Games and nearly half of them won medals. The most medals were won by athletes from the Soviet Union for the second time in the row. Germans came second with their athletes competing under a common flag. The third most successful team were the Americans, winning three gold medals, four silvers and three bronzes.