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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.
Grenoble 1968 is the first Olympiad to adopt a mascot, although unofficially. Schuss, the mascot, is a styled skier.
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.
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. Her victory marks the first gold medal won by an American after the 1961 Worlds tragedy, and heralds an American figure skating renaissance.
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 3,000-metre 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.
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.