The Winter Olympics is a place for the most astounding athletic feats on ice and snow up in the frosty mountains. These photographs from the past give us a glimpse of how the Winter Olympics was during the earlier days.
Athletics is a world of victory and defeat. The most memorable feats are not always characterized by wins but also of great comeback stories that portray the strong will to succeed. Such is the story of one of the greatest ski racers to ever grace the icy slopes of the Winter Olympics, Frenchman Jean-Claude Killy.
Killy knew that he had to prove his mettle on the ice. He participated in different ski races with such incredible speed during the1960s although he rarely finished. His disregard for his own safety made for an exhilarating show for onlookers but didn’t play well to his advantage.
One instance was during a downhill competition only three weeks before the 1962 World Championships in Chamonix, France. Killy skied in his typical style with reckless speed, hit a stretch of ice and went down; he finished the race with one ski and still had the fastest time. He watched the World Championships on crutches after suffering a broken leg from the fall.
Killy experienced other difficulties along the way to his legendary 1968 Grenoble Olympics sweep of the Alpine skiing events. He had problems with his health but he got back up and started his climb to the podium. His performance at Grenoble stamped his name on history books. Killy swept the Alpine skiing events that included the Slalom, Giant Slalom and Downhill events. He brought home 3 Olympic Gold Medals that year.
All information and photos used in this article were sourced from the Olympics’ official website – Jean-Claude Killy, Ski Net and Wikipedia – Jean-Claude Killy.