When Squaw Valley won the right to host the 1960 Olympic Winter Games, the future ski resort was little more than a hotel. Canada enjoyed its most successful Olympic Winter Games since 1932, winning four medals, including two gold.
After losing a close race to host the 1960 Olympic Winter Games, Innsbruck was a near-unanimous selection for 1964, winning the vote 49-9 over Calgary. It was in Innsbruck that Canada competed in Olympic bobsleigh for the first time and delivered what has been called the biggest upset in Olympic bobsleigh history.
Grenoble won the right to host the 1968 Olympic Winter Games in a close vote, 27-24, over Calgary. Canada’s star of the Games was alpine skier Nancy Greene, who in her third Olympic appearance won gold in the giant slalom and silver in the slalom.
In 1972 Sapporo became the first Asian city to host the Olympic Winter Games, winning the vote on the first ballot over three cities, including Banff. At the time, Sapporo was the largest centre to host the Winter Games. Canada’s lone medal was a silver in figure skating by Karen Magnussen.
The city of Denver was supposed to host the 1976 Olympic Winter Games, but when the people in the state of Colorado voted overwhelmingly against the use of public funds to support the Games, forcing Denver to withdraw, the IOC asked Innsbruck to step in, which it did successfully.
Lake Placid joined St. Moritz and Innsbruck as two-time hosts of the Olympic Winter Games, making the United States the first country to host three editions of the Winter Games. Although Canadian women had won five Olympic alpine skiing medals over the years, it took until 1980 for a Canadian man to get on the podium.
Now the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo won the rights to host the 1984 Olympic Winter Games by just three votes over Sapporo, bringing the Games to Socialist Yugoslavia. Canada’s star of the Games was speed skater Gaétan Boucher, who had also been the Opening Ceremony flag bearer.
After several previous bids, Calgary finally won the vote to become the first Canadian host city of the Olympic Winter Games. Among the greatest legacies of these Games are the venues, including the first sliding centre in Canada and the ski jumps at Canada Olympic Park as well as the Nordic centre in Canmore, which went on to serve as training facilities for future Canadian Olympians.