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SMALL TOWN, BIG DREAMS

The Olympic Spirit Grows

Less than a year after FDR opens the 1932 Winter Olympics, he is elected to the presidency. In Lake Placid, the new Olympic Arena draws an innovative Swiss skating coach, Gustave Lussi, who settles in the village and goes on to make Olympic champions of Hayes Alan Jenkins, Tenley Allbright and Dorothy Hamill.

With a new bobsled track to train on, United States bobsledders are able to break the Europeans' domination of the sport, and upstate New Yorkers capture medals in the 1936, 1948, 1952 and 1956 Olympics.

Art Devlin, a local boy who watched the Olympic Ski Jumping competition as a nine-year-old in 1932, takes up the sport himself and becomes a four-time Olympian, ushering in an era of achievement for American nordic skiers. And 32 years after Jack Shea was the toast of the 1932 Winter Olympics, his son Jim competes as a cross country ski racer at the Olympic Games in Innsbruck, Austria.

Across the country, winter sports continue to gain popularity for sports enthusiasts and TV viewers alike – which draws the attention of the owner of a new ski resort in California's Squaw Valley. Alexander Cushing sees the Olympics as a way of putting his new resort on the map, and campaigns tirelessly to promote his town as an Olympic host.

Positioning a Squaw Valley Olympics as "The World's Games" in contrast to the European-hosted Olympics of recent years, Cushing travels to Paris in 1955 where his empassioned presentation wins over the IOC and brings Squaw Valley the Winter Games of 1960.
NEXT: The Games Go West >