Walt Disney and the Olympic Games

Walt Disney’s impact is still felt everyday at both Walt Disney World and Disneyland.  His impact can still be felt at the World’s Fair.  Another place where his impact is still lasting is the Winter and Summer Olympics.  From the first modern Olympics in Athens in 1896 to the 1956 Summer Olympics in Melbourne, the Opening and Closing Ceremonies were events without a lot of fanfare.  Walt’s impact was first felt in the 1960 Winter Olympics held in Squaw Valley, California.  The tiny town was awarded the games in 1955 in a time when it had no mayor, a small lodge, and only three ski lifts (one chair and two tow lifts).  Walt also had an interest in the area for his potential ski resort but at Squaw Valley itself.  As a result, Walt was approached to be the Chair of the Pageantry Committee for the 1960 Winter Games.

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