Posted by: distributorcap | April 13, 2008

Downhill Racer – 1960 version

1960 Winter Olympics were held in Squaw Valley (Lake Tahoe), California. While many people remember the 1980 Lake Placid games for the Miracle on Ice US Hockey Team victory, it was the team in 1960 that first brought home the gold when they upset the Soviet Union in the semi-finals and Czechoslovakia in the final game.

I managed to find 1:00 (one minute) of video from those games (which I used in some past presentation) – shot on film, broadcast by CBS. It is quite fascinating. And of course it is in living black & white.

Walter Cronkite was the host – standing outside in the snow. Notice how extremely low tech the production is compared to 2008 standards. The menu of events is a manual letterboard which Cronkite points to – nothing electronic! The skiing coverage is what one would call “unwatchable” — the skier is so far in the distance you can barely make him or her out, the camera following the skier gets blocked by technicians. But the best was the Renault commercial for the official car of the 1960 Olympics. I don’t think you can fill up a tank today for the price of that car.



  1. DCap, when you get the time please visit Let’s Talk ABout It

  2. I stopped paying attention to the olympics when the tv coverage started skipping from one event to another and never really following one single event from beginning to end. That’s when watching the games became frustrating to me.

  3. I watched the US and Russian hockey teams during a several city tour after the Olympics. The US kicked ass in every game but one…the one I attended of course.

  4. So awesome. I too enjoyed it when they would stick with one or two events, rather than jumping around to show how many events they can (inadequately) cover in one night. It’s just boring now to watch sports, and I fault ESPN for making it that way. They enhanced sports coverage at first, then became parodies of themselves and focused more on their broadcasters than the event itself. Like almost everything on TV, it started out good and then just went to shit.

  5. I loved the 1984 Olympics that took place in Los Angeles.But, other than baseball, I’m not much of a sports fan and after the Olympic Committee sued the organizers of the Gay Olympics, claiming they owned the word “Olympics,” I really had no reason to support or watch this spectacle.Funny though, the IOC has no problem with the “Special Olympics,” but the Gay Olympics? They ain’t having any of those queers using the name.

  6. I love watching the Olympics, and 1960 was still during a time when things were not tainted by all the drugs and politics.That ski race production was poor even for 1960!

  7. Great find, DC!

  8. Pain is nature’s way of telling you that you are still alive.You have officially been Clichéd.

  9. Herb Brooks was the last guy cut on the 1960 team.

  10. The Olympics have been pimpified and have lost that innocent, international feel of healthy competition.What killed it for me was those 40 pound gymnasts with the insane coaches who work them half to death for a chunk of metal.That, and all the steroids and other creepy enhancements.Beijing winning the latest locale nod was the final straw.

  11. That was a heck of a game. I watched it and cheered as our amateurs beat their pros. How did it become their amateurs against our pros?

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