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Guest Blog: Tahoe Honors Olympic Heritage

By Al Saracevic From Slope Dope

Photos by: Granlibakken Resort

California State Parks and a group of Tahoe businesses are planning to honor the area’s Olympic heritage with a series of events in January that will focus on the region’s Nordic skiing history.

The biathlon and cross-country events at the 1960 Squaw Valley Olympics were held in what is now Sugar Pine Point State Park. A few years back, Tahoe historians and preservationists went back and retraced the routes used during that Olympiad and now visitors can literally ski and snowshoe in those same tracks.

“The magic of the Olympics and our California snow heritage comes alive as our visitors ski or snowshoe under the forest canopy or along Tahoe’s magical shoreline,” said California State Parks’ Interpretation Program Manager Heidi Doyle.

Here’s a list of the events outlining this weekend Olympic Heritage Celebration:

Jan 13 (Fri) 6-8pm Olympian Dinner at Granlibakken

Cedar House Pub, at Granlibakken Resort is sponsoring a very special evening in honor of Olympic Heritage Celebration week by offering 50% of the evening’s profits to be donated towards the Olympic Trails restoration efforts. Come and enjoy a fabulous menu of local favorites while mingling with other Nordic enthusiasts and contributing to a worthy cause. Call 530-581-7307 for reservations.


Jan 14 (Sat) 10am-1pm Citizens Against the Clock

Strap on your cross country skis and get ready to live the thrill of Olympic competition! The West Shore Business Association with Turning Point Tahoe are sponsoring a Citizens Against the Clock event which puts skiers, of all ages and abilities, on a short cross-country ski course followed by an electronic rifle shooting range, proving a safe and family friendly way to experience this Olympic sport. This is your chance to try something new and fun! Turning Point Tahoe will be providing adaptive skiing options, making this event accessible to all! Each skier will be electronically timed and the results posted. The course will be run between 10am and 1pm. The event is free. There is an $8 per vehicle parking fee.

Jan 15 (Sun) 12pm-2pm Historic Cross Country Ski Tour

Dave Antonucci, author of “A Snowballs Chance: The Story of the 1960 Winter Olympics”, will lead Nordic skiers on a interpretive tour of the Olympic Ski Trails located at Sugar Pine Point State Park. This intermediate level 10 kilometer tour will take you to Olympic Meadows, the site of the Biathlon range with stops along the way where you will learn of about our fascinating snow heritage. This will be a tour that you will never forget! The event is free and parking is $8. Please wear layered clothing, bring water, energy snack and be prepared for changing weather conditions.

Jan 15 (Sun) 2:30-3:30pm Olympic Heritage Celebration Closing Ceremonies

Join past Olympians and local dignitaries as we commemorate the official end of the Olympic Heritage Celebration events with the extinguishing of the Olympic caldron. The ceremony will take place in front of a replica of the Tower of Nations that stood at the entrance of Squaw Valley to welcome visitors to the 1960 Winter Olympic Games. This free event will be held near the campground entrance of Sugar Pine Point State Park. Hot cider and cookies will be provided.

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