Log in
There's more to see...
Sign up to see the rest of what's here!

1960 Winter Olympics at Squaw Valley

Alex Cushing’s bid to host the 1960 Winter Games originally began as a plan to gain publicity for the resort. However, the announcement of the bid stirred so much excitement that Cushing saw the real potential of hosting the Winter Games. What began as an impulsive idea quickly materialized into a feasible plan, and Squaw Valley, with only one chairlift and lodging for fifty, became a forerunner in run for the Winter Games bid.

Carol Heiss won gold in 1960 in Squaw Valley.

Not originally published in LIFE. A skier trains for the Olympics, Squaw Valley, California, 1950.

1952 Winter Olympics: American Skiers in Training |

California Cool: 1960 winter olympics @ squaw valley

The 1960 Winter Olympics were held in Squaw Valley, California and put the region on the map. Here is a recap of all the historical moments of the 1960 Winter Olympics.

Jumper during the 1960 Winter Games at Squaw Valley

The Blyth Ice Arena at the 1960 Winter Games

Figure skater Carol Heiss took the Olympic Oath on behalf of all participating athletes, marking the first time that a woman enjoyed the honor. She later won Gold with first place rankings from all nine judges at the 1960 Winter Games

The 1960 Winter Games at Squaw Valley was the first artificially refrigerated ice surface.

The 1960 Olympic Winter Games brought commerce and infrastructure to the Lake Tahoe Area, turning a former summer vacation town into a renowned winter destination and transforming Squaw Valley, a small ski mountain with one chairlift and lodging for fifty, into a world-class ski resort.

1960 Winter Games at Squaw Valley

The original KT-22 lift was a double chair that brought athletes and spectators to el. 8,200'

Computers were used to tabulate results for the first time. The glass-walled IBM processor drew almost as many observers as the competitions.

The 1960 Winter Games was the first time an Olympian (Jean Vuarnet) competed on metal skis (pair of Allais 60's). Those new tech skis got him the gold medal in Men's Downhill and afterwards he endorsed a sunglass company that took his name.

The 1960 Winter Olympics were the first Games held in the Western United States and the first to be televised.

Ski Jump at the 1960 Winter Games hosted at Squaw Valley, Lake Tahoe

After a virtually snow-less early season, a heavy Sierra storm moved in to save the Games. At the Opening Ceremonies, dense snowfall greeted the Greek delegation as it led the athletes' procession. Just then, the storm broke and a ray of light beamed down. The sky remained clear as Vice President Richard Nixon declared the Games officially open.

The largest group yet gathered to see a winter sports program in America convened on February 22, 1960 as over 47,000 spectators packed into Squaw Valley.

With the help of Russian Team Captain Nikolai "Solly" Sologubov, the US won its first (Gold!) medal in Hockey.In the last period, Team USA beat Czechoslovakia 9-4.

Winter Games Celebration | Squaw Valley

Opening ceremony fireworks for the 1960 Winter Games at Squaw Valley

The Olympic Torch being lit for the 1960 Winter Games at Squaw Valley