A New Gold Standard in Olympic History
The 1960 Winter Olympic Games are best remembered as an intimate gathering of nations that truly embodied the camaraderie and good will at the heart of the Olympic ideal. For the first time the entire Olympic venue was built from the ground up, designed to meet the demands of the competition sites, athletes, officials and spectators. Athletes were housed in a newly constructed Olympic Village that was within walking distance of almost all other venues.
Officials used computers for the first time to compile and tabulate results, and a new, sophisticated electronic timing system debuted. Walt Disney, as the first ever Director of Pageantry, brought the magic and glamour of Hollywood to these games, which were the first Olympics to be televised live to a national and international audience. Despite concerns that the live broadcast of the games would severely impact attendance, nearly 50,000 spectators a day arrived by car, bus and train to watch history unfold. Visitor housing in the valley was limited, with many guests staying in Reno, Nevada, about 40 miles away. Despite all of the critics and naysayers, this previously unknown, isolated alpine hamlet earned a place in Olympic history for setting a new gold standard.