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SMALL TOWN, BIG DREAMS

Lake Placid 1932

On the morning of February 4, 1932, athletes from 17 nations march into the new speed skating stadium in the Opening Ceremonies of the 1932 Winter Olympics. New York Governor Franklin Delano Roosevelt opens the Games, and the athletes' oath is taken by Lake Placid's own Jack Shea, a college student and celebrated speed skater. As soon as the ceremony is over, Shea changes into his racing suit and goes to the starting line for the Games' first event, the men's 500-meter speed skating race, where he wins the Games' first gold in front of his hometown crowd.

One day later Shea toes the line for the 1,500-meter race – and just like in the 500, Shea wins the race pulling away, to become the Winter Olympics' first-ever double gold medalist. American Irving Jaffee also wins gold in the 5,000 and 10,000-meter races, for an American sweep of all four speed skating events.

On the outskirts of town, Lake Placid's new bobrun draws more than 10,000 spectators for the two-man race, where the top American team is Hubert and Curtis Stevens, the sons of a local innkeeper. Over the course of four heats, the Stevens Brothers fight it out with the top Swiss sled, and in the final heat they nip their rivals by 4/10ths of a second to take the gold. The four-man race is won by top U.S. driver Billy Fiske, whose pusher, Eddie Eagan, had won a gold medal in boxing at the 1920 Olympics – making Eagan the only person ever to win gold in both the Summer and Winter Games.
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