The new Olympic Channel brings you news, highlights, exclusive behind the scenes, live events and original programming, 24 hours a day, 365 days per year.
The Innsbruck Games were threatened by a lack of snow. The Austrian army rushed to the rescue, carving out 20,000 blocks of ice from the mountain side and transporting them down to the luge and bobsleigh tracks. They also carried 40,000 cubic metres of snow to the Alpine skiing slopes.
Mongolia, India and North Korea all made their debuts, and the latter’s Han Pil Hwa took silver in the women’s 3,000m speed skating event, her country’s first Olympic Winter medal. In the bobsleigh, athletes raced on a track that used artificial ice – another first. This resulted in the sport losing much of its danger.
Eighteen-year-old Marielle Goitschel of France finished in second place behind her older sister Christine Goitschel in the women's slalom. Two days later, Marielle got her revenge and finished ahead of her big sister in the giant slalom.
In the bobsleigh event, Italy’s Eugenio Monti distinguished himself by helping British duo Tony Nash and Robin Dixon win gold when he loaned them a replacement axle bolt. The Italian team took the bronze and Monti was awarded the first De Coubertin Medal for sportsmanship.
Athletes: 1,091 (199 women, 892 men)
The organisers had to cope with serious problems concerning snow conditions. The Austrian army had to remove 20,000 blocks of ice from the mountain side and transport them down to the luge and bobsleigh tracks. They also had to transport 40,000m3 of snow to the Alpine skiing slopes and leave 20,000m3 of spare snow as a back-up.
For the first time in the Winter Games, the Flame was lit in Olympia. Since then, it has always been lit there.
Introduction of timing to a hundredth of a second in Alpine skiing.
The Inn is the river from which Innsbruck takes its name. Its source is in the Swiss Alps some kilometres above St Moritz. With the two St Moritz editions in 1928 and 1948, and the two Innsbruck ones in 1964 and 1976, the Olympic Winter Games have been held four times on the banks of this river.
For these Olympic Games, over one million spectators (1,073,000) flocked to the slopes and rinks to watch the champions’ performances. Record crowds turned up for the Alpine skiing events and the ice hockey matches.
The Opening Ceremony was held at the foot of the Bergisel ski jump, in the ski jump stadium. From the top of the jump, the jumpers dominated the whole city and all the Olympic facilities. The Closing Ceremony was held at the Olympia Eisstadion, the rink used for figure skating and ice hockey.
For the first time, delegations from Mongolia, India and North Korea took part in the Olympic Winter Games. Thanks to Pil Hwa Han, who took silver in the women’s 3,000m speed skating event, North Korea won its first Olympic Winter medal.
For the first time, a bobsleigh track that used artificial ice was built for the Games and as a result the bobsleigh conditions became more controllable and the competition lost much of its danger.
Innsbruck, 9 February 1964. General view of the Ice Stadium.
Official opening of the Games by:
President Dr Adolf Schärf
Lighting the Olympic Flame by:
Joseph Rieder (Alpine skiing)
Olympic Oath by:
Paul Aste (bobsleigh)
Officials' Oath by:
The officials' oath at an Olympic Winter Games was first sworn in 1972 at Sapporo.
Il représente les armoiries de la Ville d'Innsbruck illustrant le pont sur l'Inn auquel la ville doit son nom. Le pont et les cinq anneaux olympiques symbolisent la compréhension entre les peuples et l'amitié entre les jeunes sportifs des différents pays qui se sont donné rendez-vous au pont sur l'Inn en 1976.
On the obverse, an imposing Alpine scene, with the inscription ”INNSBRUCK 1964” going round it. For the first time, the name of the discipline appeared on the medal at the foot of the mountain.
On the reverse, the official emblem with the coat of arms of the City of Innsbruck linked with the Olympic rings, with the inscription "IX - OLYMPISCHE WINTERSPIELE" going round it.
Number of torchbearers: unknown
Total distance: unknown
Countries crossed: Greece, Austria
Published late, in 1967, the official report of the 1964 Innsbruck Games was produced only in German under the title “Offizieller Bericht der IX. Olympischen Winterspiele Innsbruck 1964”. It consists of one 350-page volume.