Olympic Rings and Cauldron, Squaw Valley, California
The 1960 Winter Olympics was a winter multi-sport event held between February 18–28, 1960 in Squaw Valley, California, United States. Squaw Valley was chosen to host the Games at the 1956 meeting of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). It was an undeveloped resort in 1955, so from 1956 to 1960 the infrastructure and all of the venues were built at a cost of US$80,000,000. It was designed to be intimate, allowing spectators and competitors to walk to nearly all the venues. Squaw Valley hosted athletes from thirty nations who competed in four sports and twenty-seven events. Women's speed skating and biathlon made their Olympic debuts. The organizers decided the bobsled events did not warrant the cost to build a venue, so for the first and only time bobsled was not on the Winter Olympic program. The Soviet Union dominated the medal count winning twenty-one medals, seven of which were gold. Soviet speed skaters Yevgeny Grishin and Lidiya Skoblikova won two gold medals each. Swedish cross-country skier Sixten Jernberg added a gold and silver to the four medals he won at the 1956 Winter Games.
Cold War politics forced the IOC to debate the participation of China, Taiwan, North Korea and East Germany. In 1957 the United States government threatened to deny visas to athletes from Communist countries. The IOC responded with a threat to revoke Squaw Valley's right to host the 1960 Games. The United States conceded and allowed entry to athletes from Communist countries.