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SMALL TOWN, BIG DREAMS

Squaw Valley 1960

The VIII Olympic Winter Games open in Squaw Valley on February 18, 1960, with 30 nations attending. Walt Disney is the director of Pagentry, and CBS carries the Games on U.S. TV for the first time.

The athletes' oath is taken by figure skater Carol Heiss, who goes on to win the gold medal in her event. The men's figure skating gold is won by American Devid Jenkins, the younger brother of 1956 Olympic champion Hayes Alan Jenkins, who will later go on to marry Carol Heiss.

The speed skating events are dominated by Soviet athletes, while Frenchman Jean Vuarnet wins the men's downhill on a pair of newfangles metal skis.

Entering the Games, the U.S. hockey players aren't expected to do well against the favored Canadian and Soviet teams. But the scrappy Americans – mostly former college standouts who hold full-time jobs – advance to the medal round, where they roll over Sweden and Germany before nipping the Canadians and the Soviets. In the gold medal game Team USA trails Czechoslovakia 4-3 after two periods, but explode for five goals in the third to clinch the gold with a 9-4 victory.

American athletes finish the Squaw Valley Games with a total of ten medals, marking just the third time Americans have captured ten or more medals at the Winter Olympics.
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