The Innsbruck Games were threatened by a lack of snow. The Austrian army rushed to the rescue, carving out 20,000 blocks of ice from the mountain side and transporting them down to the luge and bobsleigh tracks. They also carried 40,000 cubic metres of snow to the Alpine skiing slopes.
Firsts and debuts
Mongolia, India and North Korea all made their debuts, and the latter’s Han Pil Hwa took silver in the women’s 3,000m speed skating event, her country’s first Olympic Winter medal. In the bobsleigh, athletes raced on a track that used artificial ice – another first. This resulted in the sport losing much of its danger.
Keep it in the family
Eighteen-year-old Marielle Goitschel of France finished in second place behind her older sister Christine Goitschel in the women's slalom. Two days later, Marielle got her revenge and finished ahead of her big sister in the giant slalom.
In the bobsleigh event, Italy’s Eugenio Monti distinguished himself by helping British duo Tony Nash and Robin Dixon win gold when he loaned them a replacement axle bolt. The Italian team took the bronze and Monti was awarded the first De Coubertin Medal for sportsmanship.
Athletes 1,091 (199 women, 892 men)