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The Stage is Set at Squaw


The majestic expanse of the giant new Olympic ski jump at Squaw Valley rising behind the spectators on the opposite page symbolizes California's triumphant success in putting together the whole expensive, massive, exciting, colorful and complex production of a Winter Olympics. The job to be done was roughly equivalent to building a small city in the mountains. The final test is yet to come. Six weeks from now over 700 competitors, additional hundreds of coaches, trainers and officials, plus several thousand miscellaneous helping hands will descend on the valley to stage the show, playing daily to crowds of 20,000 to 35,000. Keeping all these people happy will be a gargantuan task. How well the state of California has succeeded in preparing for her guests can be best summarized by statistics: 45 miles of cross-country runs, 14 miles of downhill trail and, of course, the great jump, 1,300 feet from top to bottom, are all ready and now being tested by advance contingents of skiers; three ski lifts have been constructed at a cost of $600,000; $50,000 has been spent to secure Squaw against the chance of avalanche; communications on the downhill courses require 80 miles of telephone wire; blasting the trails smooth took two tons of dynamite; 12 miles of construction road were built; it took 50 men and $250,000 to build the ski jump. These are just fragments of the picture. The final bill is a big one. All told, the price tag on the Olympics is $15 million. The question arises, "Is it worth the price?" Of course. California's Olympics will bring thousands into the area; introduce them and millions of television viewers to winter sport. Best of all, as you can see by turning the pages, the Olympics have already created an unparalleled winter playground for skiers.

Spectators shade eyes to watch juniper land on new 80-meter Olympic hill at Squaw Valley. Jump has been carved out of heavy Sierra evergreen forest at the 6,000-foot level in the valley

Swinging across the glistening snow beside Squaw Creek, five members of U.S. cross-country team head west through Squaw Valley during a sunrise training run on Olympic practice course

Strung out along the steep headwall near the top of KT-22, spectators and competitors watch a racer dart through a gate on the first pitch of the men's giant slalom course, considered one of the world's finest racing trails