- Mounted to commemorative card signed by Walt Disney stating: "Presented in appreciation of your personal assistance in the ceremony and pageantry of the VIII Olympic Winter Games Squaw Valley, California February 18 thru 28, 1960; Walt Disney Chairman, Pageantry Committee" [15] During the Games, CBS broadcast 15 and a quarter hours of television focusing on ice hockey, speed skating, figure skating, alpine skiing and ski jumping. [7], Squaw Valley in 1956 consisted of one chair lift, two rope tows, and a fifty-room lodge. “The clock ticked down to showtime,” Hirt recalled, “and, at that moment, the sky parted and the sun shone. The Soviet Union dominated the medal count, winning twenty-one medals, of which seven were gold. [69] One end of the stadium could be opened and closed, depending on the event. DISNEY’S GAMES FAIRYTALE . The opening (and closing) ceremonies are orchestrated by Walt Disney (the Head of Pageantry for the Games), and involve 5,000 participants, 1,285 instruments and 2,645 voices from 52 California and Nevada high school bands. Walker was renowned for his innovative entertainment at Disneyland, including creating the nighttime fireworks show. You may have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed. California’s Squaw Valley hosted the first complete Winter Games site built from the ground up, with an Olympic Village that became home to 665 athletes from 30 countries. Squaw Valley Organizing Committee (1960), p. 121. Walt Disney planning the 1960 Winter Olymipcs’ opening ceremonies. The Golden Horseshoe Revue troupe from Disneyland was brought up to entertain with the ending being a mock gunfight and saloon fight with three stuntmen. [9], Television was not new to the Olympic Winter Games; broadcasts of events to European audiences had begun in 1956. With the expansion of roads, bridges, water and electrical capacity the resort of Squaw Valley became the city of Squaw Valley. It is the story of the Pageantry at the Winter Olympics at Squaw Valley California. A year later she married Hayes Jenkins and starred in Snow White and the Three Stooges. Cushing presented the site as a blank canvas of unspoiled environment, where a world-class ski resort could be constructed. Image: The Walt Disney Family Museum. Opening of Ceremonies—Announcer Bill Henry (known for his sports and politics reporting), The Parade of the Olympians (The entrance of the athletes accompanied by 52 honor high school bands from California and Nevada numbering 1,322 members, the U.S. Marine Corps Band, and a 2,328 voice choir all performing the song “The Parade of the Olympians.”). They were just the second and third Poles ever to win Winter Olympic medals. Comment. Having official sponsors was another “first” introduced at this event. Real doves would have stayed in the area and froze to death. He was also a lead member of the opening and closing ceremonies at the 1960 Winter Olympics in Squaw Valley, California. Walt Disney (signature), Chairman of Pageantry.”. Thirty gleaming aluminum flagpoles were used around the Tower of Nations area for the flags of the competing nations. I could see them. Disney, you say? MousePlanet is not associated in any official way with the Walt Disney Company, its subsidiaries. There were concerns that the Squaw Valley Olympic Games would become "too Disney". Look to MousePlanet for daily news, weekly theme park updates, and detailed travel and resort guides for your favorite Disney destinations. He had been thinking about building a ski resort with a different slant and this would give him some hands-on experience that he could transfer to his innovative concept. [55] Despite Johannesen's victory, the Soviets dominated the speed skating events, winning all but two of the races. Olympic officials complained about the costs of some of Walt's elaborate plans, but Walt silenced those complaints when he declared, "Either we're going to do it the right way or Disney will pull out. Aluminum crests of all competing nations were suspended in the grid of the Tower of Nations frame, each 5-feet wide and 6-feet high. Each pole featured a large engraved plaque stating “This Olympic flagpole was used at Squaw Valley, California in the Pageantry ceremonies of the VIII Olympic Winter Games held in February 18-28 1960. [27], The ice hockey tournament took place at Blyth Arena and the Squaw Valley Olympic Skating Rink. Javascript must be enabled for the correct page display The 1960 Winter Olympics (officially known as the VIII Olympic Winter Games and commonly known as Squaw Valley 1960) was a winter multi-sport event held from February 18 to February 29, 1960, in Squaw Valley, California, United States. China continued calls for Taiwan to be expelled from the IOC, demands that were refused until China broke off relations ending any hope they would participate in the 1960 Games. To start viewing messages, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below. Organizers felt the lack of possible entrants and the high cost of building the run were sufficient deterrents to leave the bobsled events off the 1960 Olympic program. It was what he loved. Disney designed the opening and closing ceremonies at the 1960 Winter Olympics in California, which helped him a few years later when he began planning his second theme park: Walt Disney World. I was 50 years of age, by the way.". [21], Problems similar to the issue with China broke out over North Korea and East Germany. The design work for these figures was carried out under the supervision of Hench at the Disney Studios in Burbank, California, with the actual construction being executed by Floats Inc., of Pasadena, California. After a poll was taken indicating that only nine countries would send a bobsled team, the organizers determined that bobsled would be removed from the Olympic program. However, as music director Hirt told Walt, that meant that many of the young people who had been practicing so long and so hard in the bands and choirs for so many months would not be able to participate because there was simply no room for them inside. The monies were used to build sports arenas and provide military support during the Games. 54–59. [62], The peaks surrounding Squaw Valley were used for the alpine skiing events. No matter how much credit you give Walt Disney and his organization, it isn't nearly enough.". These Things Shall Be—Combined High School Choirs & Bands performing this original composition. Audiences generally totalled 1,500 composed of athletes, officials and newspaper reporters. The 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, begin on February 8, the 23rd Winter Games to be held. [7] The Blyth Memorial Ice Arena was built along with three outdoor skating rinks, a 400-meter speed skating oval and four dormitories to house athletes. [41], The Nordic combined competition was held on February 21 at the Squaw Valley normal hill and the McKinney Creek Cross-Country Complex. The 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, begin on February 8, the 23rd Winter Games to be held. The speed skating, figure skating and ice hockey events were held on artificial ice for the first time in Olympic history. The flagpoles ranged in cost from $500 to $600 each, a considerable sum in those days. Blyth Arena, site of the opening and closing ceremonies as well as the figure skating and ice hockey competitions, was built with a 22 in (56 cm) gap in the roof, which would slide closed as the cables supporting the roof contracted during cold weather. Labels: 1960, Article, Disney History, February, Historical, Squaw Valley, The Pageantry Story, Tower of Nations, VIII Olympic Winter Games, Walt E. Disney. [18] In 1957, IOC president Avery Brundage, an American, announced that if the US refused entry to any country recognized by the IOC, they would revoke Squaw Valley's invitation to host the Games and he would resign the presidency. Flags of the participating nations were followed by the athletes who marched as a group with no national distinctions, a tradition carried over from the 1956 Summer Olympics. And the program went off without a hitch. It was here that the Opening, Victory (awarding of individual medals…another first in one location) and Closing ceremonies were staged during the Games. [10] Organizers wanted the Olympics to be intimate with the venues close to one another. Home » Guest Writers » All Tags » The Walt Disney Company » San Francisco Bay » city » Disneyland carrousel » Disney history » 1960 Winter Olympics. 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