V Olympic Winter Games
After World War II forced the cancellation of the 1940 and 1944 Olympic Winter Games, scheduled for Sapporo and Cortina d’Ampezzo respectively, the first Olympic Winter Games in 12 years took place in St. Moritz. The Swiss resort town was selected because all of the sites that had been used 20 years earlier were still available and the Games could be organized relatively quickly. Having been the aggressor nations in World War II, Germany and Japan were not invited to participate in the resumption of the Olympic Games.
For the first time in its Winter Olympic history, Canada won more than one gold medal. The RCAF Flyers represented Canada in ice hockey and won six of their first seven games, a scoreless tie against Czechoslovakia the only blemish to the perfect record. When the Czechs finished their tournament with seven wins and the tie, the Canadians knew they needed to defeat Switzerland in their final game by at least two goals to win gold on goal differential. Canada scored once in each period to win the game 3-0 and the Olympic title.
In St. Moritz, ice hockey and figure skating shared the ice at the Olympic Ice Stadium. That challenged the figure skaters to work around the badly rutted surface. Succeeding in that effort was a 19-year-old from Ottawa, Barbara Ann Scott. The reigning World and European Champion had a clear lead after the compulsory figures and extended that lead in the free skate to win Canada’s first Winter Olympic gold in a sport other than ice hockey. Canada also won a bronze medal in the pairs event, courtesy of Suzanne Morrow and Wallace Diestelmeyer.
Olympic Oath (athletes): Riccardo Torriani (ice hockey)
Olympic Oath (officials): None
Lighting Olympic Cauldron: None
Official Opening: President Enrico Celio