"Longboards to Olympics: A Century of Tahoe Winter Sports" is the only book that tells the fascinating story of how winter sports took Northern California by storm and captured the imagination of a nation. From the early exploits of skiing mailman Snowshoe Thompson, through the 1930s, a breakout decade for Skisport when thousands attended ski jumps in Berkeley and San Francisco. These well-illustrated stories conclude with the 1960 Winter Olympics at Squaw Valley, the seminal event that launched Lake Tahoe into the international spotlight for world-class winter sports. This 288-page book covers the world's first organized downhill ski races held in Plumas County where 19th century speed demons exceeded 90 mph on 14-foot long skis. Fueled by ego, money, and alcohol, these skiers were the fastest humans on the planet! Other chapters include the history of ski development in the Donner Summit region and the opening of Sugar Bowl in 1939. Recognition is also given to the veterans of the 10th Mountain Division who were largely responsible for the growth of the modern ski industry after World War II. The 1960 Squaw Valley Olympics arrived on a wing and a prayer, but today are regarded as among the best Winter Games ever held. These Games embraced the hopes and dreams of the world's top athletes, while America's best amateurs proved that they too could perform miracles on ice and snow. Illustrated with more than 180 images, many never before published, these uplifting and entertaining stories pay tribute to the character and accomplishments of the early pioneers who fired up western winter sports.
Sierra Ski History Books
Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows: Tales from Two Valleys by Eddy Starr Ancinas
Nestled amidst California's High Sierra peaks, two valleys have captured the imaginations of skiers and mountain explorers year after year. In this account, local author and longtime skier Eddy Starr Ancinas shares the histories of Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows as they've never been told before, including the stories of John Reily, Wayne Poulsen and Alex Cushing, the visionaries whose dreams and determination forever transformed North Lake Tahoe. Squaw made a name for itself on the world stage thanks to its surprise nomination as host of the 1960 Winter Olympics. Meanwhile, just one mountain apart, Alpine was built with the support of local skiers and Bay Area families. Today, a new chapter unfolds as the distinct philosophies behind Squaw and Alpine unite under common ownership.
Snowball’s Chance: The Story of the 1960 Olympic Winter Games Squaw Valley & Lake Tahoe by David C. Antonucci
Snowball’s Chance: The Story of the 1960 Olympic Winter Games is the only book devoted solely to chronicling the historic events at Squaw Valley and Lake Tahoe. The VIII Olympic Winter Games took place in February 1960 in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California. 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. You-are-there accounts of all competition events with top scores and medal results for each sport are included. Readers will learn about the extensive pageantry and artistic expression of the opening and closing ceremonies produced by the legendary Walt Disney. The 200-page book includes 80-plus photographs by official photographer Bill Briner and others showing historic Olympic venues and athletes in the heat of competition.
NEW! ~ The 1960 Winter Olympics (Images of Sports): by David C. Antonucci
The 1960 Olympic Winter Games were a long-shot effort that succeeded beyond the wildest expectations. Working in a sparsely populated valley in the Sierra Nevada with only rudimentary facilities, organizers created a world-class Olympic site in four short years. For the only time in Olympic history, the venues and athlete residence halls were located in a compact, intimate setting that encouraged sportsmanship and interaction between athletes. There was elaborate pageantry in the ceremonies and decorations. The underdog American ice hockey team won the first-ever USA gold medal in that sport. American figure skaters swept gold in the individual events. Well-trained Soviet and Scandinavian athletes dominated the speed skating and cross-country skiing events. American women proved their mettle in the Alpine skiing events. German skiers made surprise upsets in the Nordic combined and ski jumping contests. And CBS-TV was there to capture the most exciting moments and make groundbreaking live broadcasts to American audiences.
Powder Perfect – by Barbara Fritschi Morgan
A first person story of ski pioneering in Squaw Valley and the Eastern Sierra, California 1937–1960.