Squaw Valley 1960 Olympic Winter Games

Photo courtesy International Olympic Committee

Landowner Alexander Cushing had a dream of turning an uninhabited valley near Lake Tahoe into the host of the  Olympic Winter Games. Within five years, Squaw Valley transformed from an undeveloped site into a fully functioning town.


Speed skating, figure skating and hockey were all held on artificial ice for the first time ever, with the United States claiming a dramatic gold medal in hockey for the first time ever. CBS had purchased the exclusive rights to televise the Games in the United States – the first that that was done – and instant replay was born when Olympic officials asked CBS to check and see if a skier had missed a gate in the men’s slalom event.

Olympic Highlights

  • Nations: 30
  • Athletes: 665 (521 men, 144 women)
  • Disciplines: 8
  • Medal Count: Soviet Union 21 (7 gold, 5 silver, 9 bronze); United States 10 (3 gold, 4 silver, 3 bronze); United Team of Germany 8 (4 gold, 3 silver, 1 bronze) and Finland 8 (2 gold, 3 silver, 3 bronze)
  • New Sports: biathlon, women’s speed skating
The Salt Lake City 2002 Olympic Winter Games set attendance records for a Winter Games, selling more than 1.5 million tickets and attracting a daily average of more than 70,000 fans per day.
The United States' women's teams enjoyed resounding success at the Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games, capturing the first-ever gold medals in women's soccer and softball, as well as winning gold in women's gymnastics team all-around and women's basketball.
The first Olympic Games held without government financing since the first modern Games in 1896, the Los Angeles 1984 Olympic Games became a model for the future with its reliance on existing facilities and corporate sponsors, turning a $223 million profit.