At the time, Lake Placid was a town with a population of fewer than 4,000 people. Faced with major obstacles to raising money in the midst of a depression, Mr Godfrey Dewey, President of the Organising Committee, donated a plot of land belonging to his family for the construction of the bobsleigh track.
Norway’s Sonja Henie and the French pair of Andrée and Pierre Brunet successfully defended their figure skating titles. American Billy Fiske won a second gold medal in the four-man bobsleigh. However, Gillis Grafström of Sweden was thwarted in his attempt to win his fourth gold medal, placing second behind Austrian Karl Schäfer.
For the first and only time in Olympic history, the American group race method was used in the speed skating competition. This involved mass starts and athletes racing against all other competitors, in contrast to the European system of heats where two participants compete against each other and the clock.
American Eddie Eagan achieved a unique feat by winning gold medals in both summer and winter sports. In 1920 in Antwerp, he had won the light-heavyweight boxing category at the Olympic Summer Games. In Lake Placid, 12 years later, he won in the four-man bobsleigh.
Athletes 252 (21 women, 231 men)