June 17, 1955: Squaw Valley gets 1960 Winter Olympic games
Paris, June 17 — Squaw Valley at Lake Tahoe today was selected as the site of the 1960 Olympic Winter Games after International Olympic committee delegates questioned its eligibility in a day-long wrangle.
Selection of the California resort — less than 50 miles from Carson City — as the site for the winter competition completed the main talks of the 50th IOC Congress.
Yesterday the delegates chose Rome as site for the 1960 summer games. Tuesday they confirmed Melbourne, Australia, as site for the 1956 summer games. The 1958 winter games will be held at Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy.
Squaw Valley edged its strongest contender — Innsbruck, Austria — 32 to 30 on the second wrangling between IOC delegates.
A shadow was cast on Squaw Valley’s chances when European delegates drew attention of the congress to any Olympic rule that the games can only be awarded to a town or municipality. the delegates claimed Squaw Valley was a “business corporation” run by private investors.
Alex Cushing, president of the California winter games committee and leader of the Squaw Valley delegation, was called into the secret session. He faced a barrage of questions on the municipal status of the resort situated along the crest of the Sierra Nevada. Cushing explained the Squaw Valley is an incorporated city which has no mayor but a city council. He argued that the whole “misunderstanding arose from the fact that small municipalities are differently organized politically in the United States than in Europe.”
“We never dreamed that such a political question would come up,” Cushing later told reporters.
The other candidates for the winter games — St. Moritz in Switzerland and Garmisch-Partenkirchen in Germany — were eliminated on the first ballot. The voting on the first ballot was not disclosed.
This continues the Appeal’s review of news stories and headlines during its Sesquicentennial year.