Hope you are enjoying the Winter Olympics from Sochi, Russia. Are you old enough to remember the 1960 Winter Olympics from Squaw Valley, USA? I was eight years old, but thanks to my Dad I was already an avid skiing fan. My grandpa had made me a pair of wooden skis. In February 1960, I was glued to our black & white TV to watch the Winter Olympics coverage on CBS with Jim McKay (1921-2008) only to be replaced by Walter Cronkite (1916-2009).
A short book “Snowball’s Chance: The Story of the 1960 Olympic Winter Games, Squaw Valley and Lake Tahoe” was authored by David C. Antonucci with photos by Briner. Here are some 1960 Squaw Valley Winter Olympics trivia questions for your amusement:
1) Where was the Bobsled Run located at 1960 Games? (Hint: Trick question.)
2) Who installed more than 3 million feet of communications cables to support the games and the first Olympics with electronic timing linked to a room-sized IBM RAMAC 305 computer? (Hint: The same outfit took over what is now the UC Davis campus during WWII for training.)
3) Squaw Valley was the first Winter Olympics to use ice resurfacing machines (3) built to produce Olympic ice surfaces to specifications. What was “z” inventor’s name?
4) What innovative design-feature of the award-winning Blyth (Ice) Arena allowed the roof to have a 300-foot roof span (with no interior posts) in region known for heavy snow-loads? (Hint: After 25-years this design-feature was compromised and the Blythe Arena collapsed during the exceptionally cold and heavy winter of 1982-83. Importantly, the ice- making machinery had been turned off.)
5) Alex Cushing (1914-2006) read something in his morning paper in 1954 which inspired his bid for the 1960 Winter Olympics at his fledgling ski resort, Squaw Valley. What he did read in the paper? (Hint: You may have ready something similar in your paper the last couple of years.)
6) What other more established venue did Squaw Valley beat-out 32- to 30 when the IOC took their final vote (circa 1955) on a venue for the 1960 Winter Olympic Games? (Hint: The Austrians were stunned!)
Leave me a message if you’d like the answers.