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Best Moments of Alpine Skiing in the Winter Games. Grenoble 1968

The X Olympic Winter Games were held from 6 to 18 February 1968 in Grenoble, France, and attracted 1,158 participants (947 men and 211 women) representing 37 countries (NOCs). The program consisted of six sports and 35 separate events.

Grenoble was selected to host the 1968 Olympic Winter Games on January 28, 1964, at the 62nd IOC Session at Innsbruck, beating competition from Calgary, Lake Placid, Lahti, Oslo, and Sapporo.

On February 6th, President Charles de Gaulle of France declared the 10th Olympic Winter Games open. Alpine Skier Léo Lacroix swore the Olympic Oath and the Olympic Flame was lit by the figure skater Alain Calmat.

Chamrousse, a town 30 kilometers east of Grenoble, hosted the six alpine skiing events of the 1968 Winter Olympics, where Jean-Claude Killy of France won three gold medals in the Men's events. All women's events took place at Recoin de Chamrousse.

In the first Winter Olympic Games to be broadcast in color, French hero Jean-Claude Killy swept the Men’s Alpine events, but only after great controversy.

After he won 12 of 16 World Cup races during the 1966-1967 season, French fans hoped that the charming and hugely talented 24-year-old skier would win the three Alpine skiing events when the Olympic Winter Games were staged in Grenoble, France, in 1968.

The Frenchman grew up in the French Alpine village of Val d'Isère and began by winning gold in the Downhill, slashing across the finish line a mere eight-hundredths of a second ahead of French teammate Guy Périllat. Then when, for the first time, the Giant Slalom contest was decided by a combination of two runs rather than a single run, Killy again won gold – by more than two seconds. Killy needed the Slalom to complete the Alpine sweep. His second run kept him in the lead until the turn of his closest rival, Karl Schranz. But as Schranz sped through the fog, he skidded to a halt, claiming that someone had crossed his path. Granted a rerun, Schranz beat Killy's time and was declared the winner. But a Jury of Appeal disqualified him for missing a gate and awarded gold to Killy.

Killy had achieved what France so wanted – three gold medals at his home Olympic Winter Games. “The party went on for two and a half days”, he later said, “and the whole time I never saw the sun once”.

In 1967, Nancy Greene won the first Alpine skiing World Cup. After finishing tenth in the Downhill and winning silver in the Slalom in the 1968 Grenoble Olympic Winter Games, the Giant Slalom in Grenoble was Greene's last chance for victory. She skied a near-perfect race, but when she turned around to look at the electronic clock, the numbers were still moving. Greene thought, "I've just skied the race of my life and they missed my time”. Then the clock malfunction was corrected and her time appeared – she had won the race by 2.64 seconds, the largest margin in the event's history.


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