Winter Olympic Games, Squaw Valley, USA(© IOC, Olympic Museum, Allsport, Getty Images)

The official poster for the 1960 Winter Olympic games held in Squaw Valley, USA. The poster is in the IOC, Olympic Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland.

VIII Winter Olympic Games - Squaw Valley - Lake Tahoe, Calif.
There's a good chance the next Winter Games will be televised in 3-D, but the first televised Games took place 50 years ago in Squaw Valley, which recently celebrated its Golden Olympic Year Anniversary with a weeklong celebration that included opening and closing ceremonies. True to California's tech-pioneer spirit, these were also the first Olympics to employ computers to calculate times and scores. The U.S. Hockey Team also skated away with the gold medal here.

Today, looking out over Lake Tahoe, home to North America's largest concentration of ski resorts, it's impossible to imagine how this lone, five-year-old, upstart ski resort consisting of two chairlifts and a rope tow cajoled the International Olympic Committee into awarding the Games to "sunny" California. The Squaw Valley Ski Museum Foundation was established in 2008 in hopes of finally creating a permanent VIII Olympic Winter Games Museum.

Though most of Squaw Valley's Olympic moments remain exclusively in the memories of participants and that first television audience, who witnessed instant replay for the first time, the legacy of Tahoe as fertile ground for future champions is as the gold from nearby Sutter's Mill with Olympians like Jonny Moseley, who spent youthful weekends in the Sierras, to reigning giant slalom Gold Medalist Julia Mancuso, who grew up in nearby Truckee.


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1960, Squaw Valley, California, USA(© Hulton Archive, Getty Images)

Figure skating practice in the rink at the Winter Olympics in Squaw Valley, California