Winter Olympics History: IX, X, XI, XII

By: Sean Sporman
By: Sean Sporman

The 22nd Winter Olympic Games continue in Sochi, Russia this week, and each day News 4 This Morning will be taking a look back at the Winter Olympiads of the past, leading up to Sochi.

The 1960 Winter Games were hosted in the United States, in the California resort of Squaw Valley. Men's Biathlon, a sport combining shooting and skiing, made its Olympic debut at these games, along with women's speed skating. Bobsled was not contested at these games, due to cost concerns. These were the first Winter Games to be televised in the United States, by CBS who paid $50,000 for the TV rights. During a skiing event, there was a question to whether a skier had missed a gate, and asked CBS if they could check the videotape to confirm or deny this. This is the origin for what is known today as instant replay.

The 1964 Winter Olympics games were hosted in the Austrian city of Innsbruck. To make up for a lack of snow at the time, the Austrian army took ice and snow from nearby mountains to venues. The Soviet Union once again dominated the medal count with 25 compared to the United States winning 6. This is the Olympics where luge made its Winter debut as well.

The first Winter Olympics to be broadcast in color were the 1968 hosted in Grenoble, France. These games were the first to introduce both gender and doping testing for athletes. Norway managed to edge past the Soviet Union which had been so dominant in the games of the past decade.

The first non-American, non-European country to host the Winter Games was Japan, when Sapporo played host to the 1972 Olympics. Before these games, Japan had never won a Winter medal, but managed to sweep one of the Ski Jumping events! The United States pulled off a pair of upsets in the Ice Hockey competition against Czechoslovakia and Finland to win the Silver Medal just behind the Soviet Union.

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