Venues of the 1968 Winter Olympics

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For the 1968 Winter Olympics in Grenoble, France, a total of ten sports venues were used. Most venues were constructed between the 1964 Winter Games in Innsbruck and the 1968 Games. Thawing was an issue for the four-man bobsleigh run. They were limited to only two runs. Thawing also affected the men's 500 m speed skating event. Electronic timing in alpine skiing affected the results of the women's giant slalom event. It gave Canada's Nancy Greene a headache for two days despite her gold medal in the event.

Venues[edit]

Venue Sports Capacity Ref.
Autrans Biathlon, Cross-country skiing, Nordic combined, Ski jumping (normal hill) 40,000 (ski jump) [1]
Chamrousse Alpine skiing (men) Not listed. [2]
La Patinoire Municipale Ice hockey 2,700 [3]
L'Anneau de Vitesse Speed skating 2,500 [4]
Le Stade de Glace Closing ceremonies, Figure skating, Ice hockey 12,000 [5]
Piste de Bobsleigh Bobsleigh Not listed. [6]
Piste de Luge Luge Not listed. [7]
Recoin de Chamrousse Alpine skiing (women) Not listed. [2]
Saint-Nizier-du-Moucherotte Ski jumping (large hill) 50,000 [8]
Olympic Stadium (Grenoble) Opening ceremonies 60,000 [9]

Before the Olympics[edit]

In 1960, a local paper informed the public in Grenoble that it was making a bid for the 1968 Winter Olympics. They were awarded those games on 28 January 1964 in Innsbruck, the day before the start of the 1964 Winter Olympics.[10] La Patinoire Municipale was constructed in 1963 for the Brûleurs de Loups hockey team.[3] It hosted the European Figure Skating Championships the following year.[3]

In 1965, an aggressive construction scheduled was established using Program Evaluation and Review Technique that was used for both venue construction and all of the support systems, including transportation, communications, and public works to ensure all venues were completed in a timely manner.[11] Le Stade de Glace was the last venue completed, having been done so in November 1967.[5]

Alpe d'Huez hosted the Bobsleigh World Championships in 1967 though the four-man event was cancelled to warm temperatures causing the ice to melt.[6][12] This was fixed by adding more refrigeration to the exposed area of the track to reduce melting.[6]

During the Olympics[edit]

Thawing ice had an impact on several events at these games. In the men's 500 m speed skating event, American Terry McDermott drew the last of the 24 pairs on ice that had badly melted despite artificial refrigeration.[13] McDermott tied for silver with Norwegian Magne Thomassen in the event.[13] Thawing also limited the bobsleigh four-man event to two runs.[14]

Bad weather limited the men's single luge event to three runs instead of four.[15] It also affected the women's single luge event, but the three East Germans were disqualified for heating their luge runners illegally.[16] Another event affected by bad weather was the alpine skiing men's slalom event where Austrian Karl Schranz was disqualified for missing two gates during his initial run in fog before he stopped at the 21st gate and demanded a rerun.[17]

Electronic timekeeping had debuted in alpine skiing at the previous Winter Olympics. Omega and Longines were the official timekeepers of the 1968 Games.[18] The reliability of the timing had athletes on their toes when they completed their performances. The most notable incident of the 1968 Winter Olympics which involved electronic timing took place with the women's alpine skiing giant slalom event. Canada's Nancy Greene had skied a perfect race, but when she turned around to look at the stop clock, the numbers were still moving. It took two or three seconds to correct the stop clock malfunction. Greene thought originally that the officials missed her time, causing her blood pressure to rise to the point that she had a headache for two days. Her margin of victory was 3.24 seconds over France's Annie Famose.[19]

After the Olympics[edit]

Autrans remains a popular skiing venue, having started in 1896 and continuing to do so as of 2010.[20] Chamrousse is a popular skiing venue.[21] La Patinoire Municipale was renamed Halle Clemenceau in 2001, the last year the Grenoble Hockey Club played before moving into a new sports arena.[22]

Le Stade de Glace continues to host sporting events and musical concerts as of 2010.[23] Alpe d'Huez's bobsleigh track is no longer in use, having last run in 1972. Since 1976, the city is a popular mountain stage in the Tour de France.[24] Villard-de-Lans's luge track is no longer in use, but the city continues to remain a tourist attraction.[25]

References[edit]

  1. ^ 1968 Winter Olympics official report. pp. 85-95. Accessed 1 November 2010. (English) & (French)
  2. ^ a b 1968 Winter Olympics official report. pp. 77-84. Accessed 1 November 2010.(English) & (French)
  3. ^ a b c 1968 Winter Olympics official report. pp. 106, 108. Accessed 1 November 2010. (English) & (French)
  4. ^ 1968 Winter Olympics official report. pp. 105-6. Accessed 1 November 2010. (English) & (French)
  5. ^ a b 1968 Winter Olympics official report. pp. 108-11. Accessed 1 November 2010. (English) & (French)
  6. ^ a b c 1968 Winter Olympics official report. pp. 104-105. Accessed 1 November 2010. (English) & (French)
  7. ^ 1968 Winter Olympics official report. pp. 102-104. Accessed 1 November 2010. (English) & (French)
  8. ^ 1968 Winter Olympics official report. pp. 95-8. Accessed 1 November 2010. (English) & (French)
  9. ^ 1968 Winter Olympics official report. pp. 200-4. Accessed 1 November 2010. (English) & (French)
  10. ^ 1968 Winter Olympics official report. p. 17. Accessed 1 November 2010. (English) & (French)
  11. ^ 1968 Winter Olympics official report. pp. 49-51. Accessed 1 November 2010. (English) & (French)
  12. ^ FIBT.com Men's World Championships and Olympic Games medalists: 1924-2007. Accessed 1 November 2010.
  13. ^ a b Wallechinsky, David and Jaime Loucky (2009). "Speed Skating: Men: 500 Meters" In The Complete Book of the Winter Olympics: 2010 Edition. London: Aurum Press Limited. p. 101.
  14. ^ Wallechinsky, David and Jaime Loucky (2009). "Bobsleigh: Four-Man". In The Complete Book of the Winter Olympics: 2010 Edition. London: Aurum Press Limited. p. 163.
  15. ^ Wallechinsky, David and Jaime Loucky (2009). "Luge (Toboggan): Men". In The Complete Book of the Winter Olympics: 2010 Edition. London: Aurum Press Limited. pp. 168-9.
  16. ^ Wallechinsky, David and Jaime Loucky (2009). "Luge (Toboggan): Women". In The Complete Book of the Winter Olympics: 2010 Edition. London: Aurum Press Limited. p. 171.
  17. ^ Wallechinsky, David and Jaime Loucky (2009). "Alpine Skiing, Men: Slalom". In The Complete Book of the Winter Olympics: 2010 Edition. London: Aurum Press Limited. pp. 198-9.
  18. ^ 1968 Winter Olympics official report. pp. 246-8. Accessed 2 November 2010. (English) & (French)
  19. ^ Wallechinsky, David and Jaime Loucky (2009). "Alpine Skiing, Women: Giant Slalom". In The Complete Book of the Winter Olympics: 2010 Edition. London: Aurum Press Limited. pp. 215-6.
  20. ^ http://www.autrans.fr/index.php?PHPSESSID=a819d2f8315651e466765e363470e922&template[0]=matricecommune.html&template[1]=commune.html&oidRub=T012:207fca610ae6e6f168f608afd2138f2f (History of Nordic skiing in Autrans: 1896 - present. Accessed 2 November 2010. (French))
  21. ^ Chamrousse.com profile of skiing activities. Accessed 2 November 2010. (English) & (French)
  22. ^ Hockeyarenas.net profile of Halle Clemenceau. Accessed 2 November 2010.
  23. ^ Palais des sports official website. Accessed 2 November 2010. (French)
  24. ^ Alpe d'Huez profile. Accessed 2 November 2010.
  25. ^ Villard-de-lans.fr tourism information. Accessed 2 November 2010. (French)