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Tag-Archive for "winter olympics"

1972 another second chance Mar 23

Saporro, Japan was signed up to host the Winter Olympics in 1940, but the games were canceled that year. You’ll find a post about the place on this site if you scroll down far enough. The 1972 Winter Games was a good event for Japan, too—The country won its first winter medals that year. The Japanese team got all three medals in the ski jump. It was the first Winter Olympics held in Asia, too. Trivia: This was the last Olympics where someone won gold wearing all-wood skis. High-end ski manufacturing technology is pretty much all fiberglass and composites now.

Sapporo is not well known outside Japan, but if you’re into winter sports, you could try vacationing during their annual Winter Festival, which brings in about 3 million people from around the world.A Serenity agent should be able to find a place for you to stay.

Winter Festival Activity

Ahem. If you’re into beer, the town (city, really) is home to the famous Sapporo brewery.  But don’t drink and luge.

Have you ever been to Japan? Tell us about it.

The grim games—1964 Mar 13

Not grim, perhaps, but affected by two deaths during the pre-game training period, and the loss of the entire US figure skating team a couple years before. The mood was not quite as carefree as other winter games.

They were short on snow that year, too, and the army brought in jillions of ice blocks for the bobsled runs and zillions of cubic feet of snow for the Alpine skiing venues.

Innsbruck, where those games were held, is a pretty nice place for a vacation, though, especially if you like winter sports. Summer is pretty nice, too.The town is toward the western end of Austria, nestled in the Alps, and with the Inns River running through it. Like about every place in Europe, it has a lot of history, and you can visit the old town and take in some interesting sights and meet some really nice people.

You can see the alps from anywhere

The watchtower is a famous landmark

The picture on the left shows part of the “Altstadt,” or Old City. The walking is great, and sidewalk cafes abound, and they are renowned for their chocolate, coffee, and bread. Actually, all the food is worth over-eating. Have you ever seen a skinny middle-aged male Austrian? Innsbruck has a world-class airport, so you can fly there, and the Bed-and-Breakfasts are as hospitable as the scenery is gorgeous.

Have you ever been there? We’d like to hear about it. Make a comment.

1960 Winter Olympics Mar 07

Now we’re getting into years that I personally remember. Before these games, I had never even heard of Squaw Valley, California. As a matter of fact, neither had anybody else. The place had exactly one homeowner, one resort, one ski lift, and two rope tows. That homeowner was a guy named Alex Cushing, and he performed yeoman’s work, managing to convince the Olympic Committee to select the place, and piles of corporate sponsors to develop the site.

As it was, weather almost ruined the event. A big rain washed most of the snow away just beforehand, but they got another twelve feet of white stuff after the rain, saving the day.

I don’t have an Olympics picture, but here’s one from that era:

Clearly in the 1950's

With all that new Olympic stuff in the valley, it became a world-class winter sport venue, sharing publicity with Lake Tahoe. (ahem) Your Serenity agent can fix you up with a place if you’d like to go there.

What was the first Winter Olympics you remember? Did it change you? Share a comment.

Winter 1956 Mar 04

You can’t say you don’t get a second chance in the Olympics—the host of the first televised winter games had been scheduled for the 1944 games, but WWII intervened. That was a decade ago by now, and the memories were starting to fade, and Europe was recovering well. So Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy got the nod, beating out three other locations for the honor. You can find some info about this vacation spot a couple posts down (the one with the map), and the link above has some nice info, so here is a bit of trivia: All the venues except one were within walking distance of each other. Only time it’s ever happened.

Hardly necessary any more, now that they were televised, eh?

What’s the most memorable Winter Olympic event you’ve seen? Share in the comments.

The 1952 Winter Olympics Feb 28

Finally we get away from the war. And go to Norway—Oslo, to be exact. It was the biggest winter games to date, with 30 countries and almost 700 athletes. Guess who won the most medals. Yup, the hosts. Those Norveegians are pretty good at winter sports.

Oslo is a pretty good vacation spot, too. Winter sports, of course, but they actually have summer up there. In fact, there’s even a list of the ten best places to scuba in Norway. I don’t think they wear bikinis, though.  Norway is famous for its coastline—huge bays called Fjords, ideal for camping and hiking adventures.

The Vikings have been around a loooong time, and this part of their history has produced some museums the likes of which you can find nowhere else. The world’s two best-preserved Viking ships, for instance. You can even ride in and operate several authentic reconstructions.

Built in the 9th century.

If you’re of an artistic bent, check out Norwegian Rosemaling, any of several traditional styles of painting plates and other wooden furniture.

"Typical" pattern

Many people in the USA have Norwegian roots. How about you?