The story of the 1960 Olympic Winter Games is the saga of the highly improbable that became the wildly successful.
Within it are compelling personal stories of underdogs that become unlikely champions, American ingenuity and heroism for team and country. The inspiring story includes a promise kept to a dying loved one, brash stars that falter in the glare of a world spotlight and risky strategies that payoff with golden results.
Snowball’s Chance – The Story of the 1960 Olympic Winter Games written by David C. Antonucci contains the only complete account of the preparations, pageantry, ceremonies, competitions and epilogues of the historic VIII Olympic Winter Games at Squaw Valley and Lake Tahoe.
The VIII Olympic Winter Games took place in February 1960 in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California, specifically at Squaw Valley USA. From 30 countries around the world, 665 athletes gathered over 11 days to engage in five recognized Olympic winter sports contested in 27 events. These sports and events included alpine skiing, Nordic combined, cross-country skiing, biathlon, figure skating, speed skating, ice hockey and ski jumping. The book includes “you are there” style accounts of all competition events with top scores and medal results for each sport.
Readers will learn about:
- Elaborate Olympic pageantry in the ceremonies and venue decorations instilled by the creative force of Pageantry Chairman Walt Disney.
- The “Miracle of Squaw Valley” astonishes spectators during the opening ceremonies.
- For the only time in Olympic history, the venues and athlete residence halls are located in a compact intimate setting that encourages sportsmanship and socializing among nations.
- The underdog American ice hockey team becomes the “Team of Destiny” by fighting to capture their country’s first gold medal.
- American figure skaters Carol Heiss and David Jenkins sweep gold in the individual events.
- Well-trained Soviet and Scandinavian athletes dominate the speed skating and cross-country events.
- German skiers make surprise upsets in the Nordic combined and ski jumping contests.
The 198-page book includes 80-plus photographs by official photographer Bill Briner and others showing historic Olympic venues and athletes in the heat of competition. The book is currently available at Explore Tahoe and Lake Tahoe Historical Society in South Lake Tahoe, Bookshelf Stores in Tahoe City and Truckee, The Store in Tahoe City, West Shore Sports in Homewood and Tahoe Cross-country Ski Area in Tahoe City and Village Square Family Store in Incline Village. And of course, amazon.com.
Author David C. Antonucci has a passion for winter sports and the history of the VIII Olympic Winter Games. He lives at Lake Tahoe near the site of the VIII Olympic Winter Games cross country skiing and biathlon venue. He frequently lectures on the 1960 Winter Olympics, Mark Twain at Lake Tahoe and Lake Tahoe natural history.
David will make presentations throughout Lake Tahoe, including December 18th at the South Lake Tahoe museum and January 28th at Explore Tahoe in South Lake Tahoe.