Squaw Valley Olympics boasted many firsts

Giant Slalom course at Squaw Valley, 1960/Colorado Ski Museum

The increasing spectacle of the Olympics blinds us to the fact that the event used to be a far more humble affair. Check out this article from the Vail Daily, which points out that the 1960 Winter Olympics in Squaw Valley was the first where an Olympic Village was built to house up to 750 athletes (5,500 athletes and officials will be in Vancouver).  Walt Disney elaborately orchestrated the opening ceremonies, which commenced with the release of white doves (so blame him for the out of control ceremonies these days).

Two other fascinating firsts: 1960 was the first year the broadcasting rights were sold (to CBS for just $50,000!) and electronic data processing was provided for the first time by an IBM computer. That’s singular. Read more about Squaw and other Olympics.

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