Knowing Nevada: Nevada's influence on the 1960 Squaw Winter Olympics
The 1960 Squaw Valley Winter Olympics may have been hosted by the California town, but Nevada's influence on the games spans the region.
Walt Disney produced the opening and closing ceremonies for the 8th winter games.
The iconic star decided to invite dozens of California high school marching bands, along with a handful of Nevada ones.
Of the schools within Washoe County, Reno High School was the only participant.
The Reno-Tahoe International Airport credits the 1960 Olympics with a major growth spurt.
Brian Kulpin with the airport says before the games, the property was a Quonset hut with several runways and hangers.
"Skiing and winter sports are in our DNA, and it all goes back to 1960, that is when this terminal was built," says Kulpin. "We had to have an airport to land athletes coming in from around the world."
The airport honors the games by hanging the flags of all 30 countries who flew to northern Nevada back in 1960.
Once off the airplane, some of the athletes were close to staying on the Nevada side of state lines.
Squaw Valley didn't have much snow just days before the opening ceremony, and the alternate venue for the downhill event was at the Reno Ski Bowl, now known as the Slide Mountain side of the Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe.
"It would have been a lot of work, around the clock work to get it prepared," says Sierra ski pioneer Rusty Crook who recommend the alternative site. "Squaw was pretty much determined to put it on even though they didn't have enough snow."
But ask and you shall receive, as snow started falling hard the day of the opening ceremony and Squaw was able to host the games in full.