With all the excitement building around the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics there are a couple of memorable events concerning past Olympics here in the U.S. that I want to be sure everyone is aware of.
It was 50 years ago, this year, that the then 10 year old resort of Squaw Valley in California hosted the 1960 Winter Olympics - the VIII Winter Olympic Games. That the Games were even awarded to Squaw Valley is amazing, but Alexander Cushing managed convince the Olympic Committee to select a town with no mayor, and a ski resort with just one chairlift, two rope tows, and a fifty-room lodge.
The Squaw Valley Games were the first held in the Western United States and the first to be televised. Also for the first time computers were used to tabulate results. For skiing, French racer Jean Vuarnet became the first Olympian to compete on metal skis, a pair of Allais 60's and he won the Men's Downhill.
This January, the North Lake Tahoe region will commemorate the 50th anniversary of hosting the 1960 Winter Olympics with the Olympic Heritage Celebration, January 8-17, 2010, at venues throughout the region.
It all kicks off with a Commemorative Torch Relay Friday, January 8, 2010 from the West Shore at Sugar Pine Point State Park, home to the 1960 Winter Nordic Games, at 9 a.m. and then continuing with stops along West Shore Boulevard and Highway 89 before wrapping up at Squaw Valley USA, 3:30 p.m., for the official Opening Celebration. You can actually follow the torch, an accurate reproduction of the one used in 1960, as it progresses from point-to-point with many opportunities for photos.
The following day, Saturday, January 9, 2010, includes a Biathlon Re- enactment at Sugar Pine Point State Park, 1960 Retro Party at the Olympic House in Squaw Valley and the Shootings Stars Slalom Exhibition at Squaw Valley USA.
Alpine Meadows Ski Resort is honoring the 1960 Winter Games with an Olympic Heritage Freestyle Moguls Competition Tuesday, January 12, 2010, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., when historic champions Wayne Wong and Troy Caldwell will complete. Participants are encourage to wear their best 60s, 70s, and 80s ski gear, with the person deemed to have the best overall impression winning a pair of 09/10 Fischer Wateas. The Awards Ceremony and After Party is at the Chalet with DJ Paul spinning the tunes.
Ski for cheap during the Olympic Heritage Celebration at Sugar Bowl Ski Resort when the resort donates 1,000 lift tickets for just $25/ person Sunday, January 10, 2010 as part of the Tahoe Women's Services fundraiser. Tickets must be purchased prior to January 10 and will be available at the resort's will call window.
Just outside of Incline Village, Mt. Rose - Ski Tahoe gets free heel frenzied with Tele-Fest Sunday, January 10, when a lift ticket gets you the best in demo gear.
Diamond Peak has got the Learn to Ski & Burton Ride Week Monday, January 11 to Friday, January 15, 2010 with a first-time Learn to Ski and Ride package for only $29, which includes a beginner lift ticket, rental and nearly two hours of lessons.
The Resort at Squaw Creek in Olympic Valley hosts a Family Cross Country Ski Race, noon, at the Nordic Center for all ages and abilities Wednesday, January 13, 2010. The resort also offers Skate & Taste with Peggy Fleming as part of the Olympic festivities Friday, January 15, 2010, 4-5:30 p.m., at the ice rink. The fun continues with the Fleming Jenkins Vineyards & Winery Winemaker's Dinner in the resort's Six Peaks Grille at 7 p.m. that night.
Northstar-at-Tahoe hosts a Biathlon Demonstration Race Sunday, January 10, 2010, 1-3 p.m., when four professional biathletes demonstrate in a mock race at the Biathlon Range. Northstar also offer the Olympic Heritage Rail Jam Friday, January 15, 2010, 5-7 p.m., when amateur snowboarders cut loose on a professionally manicured street-style course to win a cash prize. This event is free to spectators and participants.
Granlibakken Resort hosts the 1960 Nordic Olympian Dinner in conjunction with the Olympic Heritage Celebration Friday, January 15, 2010, 6-9 p.m. The event will honor participants from the 1960 Nordic events, including coaches, course designers and groomers. These participants will also share stories with dinner attendees, reminiscing about events and historical significance of the era leading up to the Olympics in Tahoe.For more details about the Olympic Heritage Celebration and a complete schedule of events, visit www.SquawValley1960Celebration.com. Also check Squaw Valley USA's offerings of some great deals honoring the Squaw Valley USA 60th anniversary.