Remembering the Olympics in Squaw Valley

SQUAW VALLEY, California – Squaw Valley hosted the winter Olympics in 1960.

54 years later, the Olympic torch still burns.

“We have two Olympic torches down at the base of our entrance. Then we also have rings at the base and at high camp. Really kind of everywhere you go you can feel part of that Olympic experience,” said Amelia Richmond, senior public relations manager.

It also helps that several athletes in this year’s Olympics are from the area, including Julia Mancuso, who won a bronze medal last week in the super-combined.

“We couldn’t be prouder of our athletes and team USA, it’s been fun to watch,” Richmond said.  “We’ve been doing lots of Olympic viewing parties, we’ve started some new mountain tours so guests can experience the original runs from the 1960 Olympics.”

Joe Pete Wilson experienced those runs in 1960.

He was on the US cross-country team.

“When you think back to the time, and to the event itself, it almost seems like the Olympics had to be at Squaw Valley. The terrain, the snow, the easy access for Americans… it created a tremendous amount of the hype. The area can back it up because of its beauty,” said Wilson.

And it’s already put in a bid for the 2026 games.

“The Olympics have grown substantially since 1960 so it wouldn’t be just Squaw Valley hosting the Olympics like we did in the 60s. However, it would be very much a regional effort spanning both north and south Lake Tahoe as well as Reno and potentially Sacramento,” said Richmond.

That decision is up to the group working on the bid and the USOC.

Here’s something you may not know…the term “instant replay” was coined at the 1960 Olympics in Squaw Valley.

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