|Competition type||Olympic Games|
|Number and Year||V / 1948|
|Host city||Sankt Moritz, Switzerland (Venues)|
|Opening ceremony||30 January|
|Closing ceremony||8 February|
|Competition dates||30 January – 8 February|
|Participants||667 from 28 countries|
|Medal events||22 in 9 disciplines|
|Other events||2 in 2 disciplines|
The world returned to Winter Olympia after an enforced absence of 12 years. St. Moritz was chosen because all of the sites that they had used in 1928 were still available and the Swiss resort could organize the Games much quicker than any other city, with the possible exception of Germany’s 1936 site, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, which was not even considered. In fact, Germany and its Axis partner, Japan, were not invited to the Olympic Games in 1948 in either St. Moritz or London.
Another small political protest occurred when Lebanon, the only Arab state entered, protested the entry of a Palestine team, which actually represented the nascent Jewish state, was composed of an all-Jewish team, and planned on carrying a Zionist flag. Fortunately, the Palestine team withdrew because the team did not have adequate time to prepare.
St. Moritz hurriedly put together excellent arrangements for the Games that were again disturbed, though less severely, by the Föhn. This time ice hockey matches (held outdoors) and the 10,000 metres speed skating had to be delayed but no events were cancelled this time, as they had been in 1928.
Alpine skiing made its true Olympic début. A combined event had been held in 1936 but this time there were three events for both men and women. Two athletes won a second “St. Moritz” Olympic medal, as “Bibi” Torriani played on the Swiss ice hockey team to match his bronze from 1928; and Jack Heaton (USA) also repeated his silver medal from the skeleton race in 1928 on the famed Cresta Run. The skeleton race, a form of tobogganing unique to the St. Moritz resort, was held at the Olympics for only the second time, and some thought, last time. But skeleton was restored to the Olympic Program and returned to the Olympics in 2002 at Salt Lake City.
The major dispute of the 1948 Winter Olympics occurred in ice hockey. The Americans sent over two teams, one representing the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) and one representing the American Hockey Association of the United States (AHAUS). The AHAUS team was affiliated with the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) but not the USOC. The IIHF accepted the AHAUS entry over the protests of the IOC. USOC President Avery Brundage declared that if the AHAUS team was approved, the entire United States’ team would withdraw. The IOC then ruled that neither team could compete, but was overruled by the Swiss Organizing Committee, which accepted the AHAUS entry. The AHAUS team played in the tournament and finished fourth, but was then disqualified by the IOC and their finish declared void. The other United States’ athletes did not withdraw, as Brundage had promised. Amazingly, even though only the AHAUS players competed in the Olympic contests, the USOC today does not carry their names on their database of Olympians but does carry the names of the USOC team that did not play one minute in the Olympics.
St. Moritz (Switzerland) was proposed as the host for the 1948 Olympic Winter Games in the postal vote which was mailed for selection of the 1948 Olympic Games host city. St. Moritz was confirmed by acclamation at the 40th IOC Session in Lausanne on 6 September 1946. Lake Placid, New York (United States) had also shown interest in hosting these Games.
|Officially opened by||Enrico Celio||SUI||President|
|Taker of the Athlete's Oath||Bibi Torriani||ITA|
|Alpine Skiing||Figure Skating||Skeleton|
|Bobsleigh||Ice Hockey||Ski Jumping|
|Cross Country Skiing||Nordic Combined||Speed Skating|
|Military Ski Patrol||Winter Pentathlon|
|Barbara Ann Scott||CAN||1||0||0||1|