• The Bobsled Controversy and Squaw Valley’s Olympic Winter Games

      Wakefield, Wanda Ellen; The College at Brockport (2006-01-01)
      In 1957, the Squaw Valley Organizing Committee (SVOC) asked to eliminate bobsled due to what it said was the expense of construction and the likelihood that too few nations would enter sleds in the competition to justify the cost. The International Olympic Committee, headed by its President, Avery Brundage, and Chancellor, Otto Mayer, clearly accepted these arguments. They also, in the years between 1957 and 1960, refused to entertain ideas for alternative venues in which the competitions might have been held. Why did they do so? Was there something specific about bobsled that earned their scorn? Was there something about the winter sports in general to which Brundage and Mayer objected? And would the decision to eliminate bobsled races at the 1960 Olympic Winter Games have been different if the bob run had been another field on which to fight the Cold War? The purpose of this paper is to suggest answers to these questions.