1968 Winter Olympics

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X Olympic Winter Games
1968 Winter Olympics logo.png
The emblem represents a snow crystal and
three red roses, the symbol of Grenoble,
and the Olympic rings.
Host city Grenoble, France
Nations participating 37
Athletes participating 1158
(947 men, 211 women)
Events 35 in 6 sports (10 disciplines)
Opening ceremony 6 February
Closing ceremony 18 February
Officially opened by President Charles de Gaulle
Athlete's Oath Léo Lacroix (alpine skiing)
Olympic Torch Alain Calmat (figure skating)
Stadium Olympic Stadium (Grenoble)

The 1968 Winter Olympics, officially known as the X Olympic Winter Games (French: Les Xes Jeux olympiques d'hiver), were a winter multi-sport event which was celebrated in 1968 in Grenoble, France and opened on 6 February. Thirty-seven countries participated. Norway won the most medals, the first time a country other than the USSR had done so since the USSR first entered the Winter Games in 1956.

Frenchman Jean-Claude Killy won three gold medals in all the alpine skiing events. In women's figure skating, Peggy Fleming won the only United States gold medal. The games have been credited with making the Winter Olympics more popular in the United States, not least of which because of ABC's extensive coverage of Fleming and Killy, who became overnight sensations among teenage girls.

The year 1968 marked the first time the IOC first permitted East and West Germany to enter separately, and the first time the IOC ever ordered drug and gender testing of competitors.

Host city selection[edit]

Grenoble went against five other candidate cities for the 1968 Winter Olympics. Here was the resulting vote count that occurred at the 61st IOC Session in Innsbruck, Austria, on 28 January 1964.[1]

1968 Winter Olympics bidding results[2]
City Country Round 1 Round 2 Round 3
Grenoble  France 15 18 27
Calgary  Canada 12 19 24
Lahti  Finland 11 14
Sapporo  Japan 6
Oslo  Norway 4
Lake Placid  United States 3

Highlights[edit]

Arrival of Jean-Claude Killy
Site of Chamrousse (1968)
  • Grenoble 1968 is the first Olympiad to adopt a mascot, although unofficially. Schuss, the mascot, is a styled skier.[3]
  • Norway came away from the Games with the most medals: 6 gold, 6 silver, and 2 bronze.
  • In the downhill skiing event, French hero Jean-Claude Killy won the gold medal with a time of 1:59.85.
  • Killy also swept the other men’s Alpine events, but only after one of the greatest controversies in the history of the Winter Olympics. Austrian superstar Karl Schranz claimed that a mysterious man in black crossed his path during the slalom race, causing him to skid to a halt. Given a restart, Schranz beat Killy’s time. However, a Jury of Appeal disqualified Schranz and gave the medal to Killy.[4]
  • The East German women’s luge team, who had won gold, silver, and fourth, were all disqualified for heating their runners.
  • Swedish skier Toini Gustafsson was a star in women’s cross-country events, winning both individual races and earning a silver medal in the relay.
  • American figure skater Peggy Fleming built up a huge lead after the compulsory figures and easily won the first-place votes of all nine judges.[5] Her victory marks the first gold medal won by an American after the 1961 Worlds tragedy, and heralds an American figure skating renaissance.
  • Elegant married couple Lyudmila Belousova and Oleg Protopopov successfully defended their pairs figure skating title from Innsbruck for the Soviet Union.
  • Fabled Italian bobsleigh pilot Eugenio Monti drove both the two-man and four-man events to win gold.
  • All bobsleigh contests had to be scheduled to start before sunrise and end shortly after dawn because the track at L'Alpe d'Huez was designed with insufficient cooling capability and could not keep the ice solid in bright daylight.
  • In speed skating, the women’s 3,000m event turned out to be particularly fast, with the first 10 finishers beating the previous Olympic record set in Squaw Valley in 1960. However, the gold medallist, the Netherlands’ Johanna "Ans" Schut, was unable to beat the world record—until the next year on the same oval in Grenoble.
  • Sex tests for women were introduced.
  • This Olympics was the first to use Bugler's Dream by Leo Arnaud as the theme for Olympic television coverage by ABC. It was also the first Olympics to be broadcast in color.
  • Were the first Winter Olympics on which doping control tests were performed.[6]

Venues[edit]

Medal winners[edit]

There were 35 events contested in 6 sports (10 disciplines).

Participating nations[edit]

A total of 37 nations sent athletes to compete at these Games. Morocco competed at the Winter Games for the first time in Grenoble. East Germany and West Germany sent independent teams to the Games for the first time.

Medal count[edit]

Bib used during the games

These are the top ten nations that won medals at the 1968 Winter Games.

 Rank  Nation Gold Silver Bronze Total
1 Norway 6 6 2 14
2 Soviet Union 5 5 3 13
3 France (host nation) 4 3 2 9
4 Italy 4 0 0 4
5 Austria 3 4 4 11
6 Netherlands 3 3 3 9
7 Sweden 3 2 3 8
8 West Germany 2 2 3 7
9 United States 1 5 1 7
10 East Germany 1 2 2 5
Finland 1 2 2 5

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ IOC Vote History
  2. ^ "Past Olympic host city election results". GamesBids. Archived from the original on 17 March 2011. Retrieved 17 March 2011. 
  3. ^ "International Olympic Committee - Passion - Memoribilia Numismatics & Philately". Archived from the original on 15 February 2009. 
  4. ^ www.Olympic.org
  5. ^ Beijing 2008
  6. ^ Dimeo, Paul (2009). A History of Drug use in Sport 1876–1976: Beyond Good and Evil. Kindle Locations 419–420: T & F Books UK (Kindle Edition). 

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Innsbruck
Winter Olympics
Grenoble

X Olympic Winter Games (1968)
Succeeded by
Sapporo