Chamrousse, Olympic ski resort
The Chamrousse resort, near Grenoble, has been transformed to host the 1968 Alpine Skiing Olympic Games, the tenth Olympics:
- Dates: the events were to take place on February 8th, 11th, 12th and 17th 1968, but were delayed by bad weather conditions. The men's downhill took place on February 9th, 1968 instead of the 8th. The final men's slalom event on February 17th 1968 was remembered because of an intense fog.
- Events: the main events of the Olympic Games in alpine skiing are the men's downhill and the women's downhill, the giant and the slalom.
- Mascot: the "Shuss" or schuss, blue and red cartoon character skiing man
- Specificities: television broadcasts in color for the first time all over the world and great contribution of the army to prepare the ground.
From February 6th to 18th 1968, the city of Grenoble hosted the 10th Olympic Winter Games, opened by General de Gaulle.
Chamrousse, the closest station to Grenoble, is chosen by the Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games (OCOG) for alpine events, downhill and slalom. Major town planning, earthworks, communication and road infrastructure works were then undertaken. The places are worked on, the slopes are reshaped to meet competition standards but also to ensure the honor of the event and the reputation of Chamrousse. This is how the resort is going through a complete transformation to be able to host what will create a turning point in its history.
To receive the greatest sportsmen and personalities of the moment, as well as the spectators who will come in large numbers, the army is called in as reinforcements. Its role is decisive since more than 6,000 men come to lend a hand for the preparation and maintenance of sports facilities, the transport of equipment and personnel, the equipment in wired links of the test sites, the works on infrastructures or car parks ...
Road access from the valley to Chamrousse is also greatly improved with widened roads. The Olympic Games thus accelerated the development of the resort, two new poles were created: Roche-Béranger and Bachat-Bouloud. Later, this made it possible to host more than 1,000 children for summer camps.
These Games also stand out for their innovative side. Most notable is the color television broadcast of the event at a global level and no longer just nationally. This gives Chamrousse international influence and enhances the resort even more. In addition, for the first time in the Olympics history, IBM's computer, called 360, provides real-time event rankings, on television and on billboards.
The alpine events begin on February 9th with the men's downhill, in a fiery atmosphere in front of thousands of spectators and millions of viewers. The last event, the men’s slalom, saw Jean-Claude Killy (France) win his third gold medal. The French women skiers are not left out as they obtain 2 silver medals, a gold medal and a bronze medal in the three disciplines.