Killy hat-trick at Grenoble 1968 overshadowed by controversy

France’s Jean-Claude Killy won the "Triple Crown" of Alpine skiing at the 1968 Winter Olympic Games in Grenoble with a sweep of all three gold medals - the downhill, giant slalom and slalom. But his achievement was not without controversy in an affair that even the International Olympic Committee bills as the "greatest controversy in the history of the Winter Olympics." The slalom run was held in poor visibility and Austrian skier Karl Schranz claimed a course patrolman crossed his path during the slalom race, causing him to stop. Schranz was given a restart and posted the fastest time. A Jury of Appeal then reviewed the television footage, declared that Schranz had missed a gate on the upper part of the first run, annulled his repeat run time, and gave the medal to Killy.

Schneemann was the first official mascot of the Winter Olympic Games

The first official mascot of the Winter Olympic Games was at Innsbruck in 1976 and was called Schneemann, a snowman in a traditional red Tyrolean hat. Designed by Walter Pötsch, Schneemann was purported to represent the 1976 Games as the "Games of Simplicity". It was also regarded as a good-luck charm, to avert the dearth of snow that had marred the 1964 Winter Olympics in Innsbruck. The public's opinion of Schneemann was divided, but its financial success was indisputable. In addition to the tee-shirts, soft toys and the other items Schneemann inspired, individuals in large costume versions became "living mascots" at promotional events. There were objects with Schneemann holding a hockey stick or wearing skis and boots. This practice of representing the mascot in various poses and practicing multiple sports has become customary.

American bobsled hero killed in the Battle of Britain

At the 1928 Winter Olympics in St Moritz, as driver of the first five-man team, 16-year-old Billy Fiske became the youngest gold medallist in any winter sport, a record not eclipsed until 1992 by ski jumper Toni Nieminen. Fiske competed again at the 1932 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, where he carried the United States flag at the Opening Ceremony, and took another gold in the four-man event. Fiske was invited, but declined to lead the bobsled team in the 1936 Winter Olympics in Garmisch-Partenkirchen in Germany. It is believed by some that this decision was due to his disagreeing with the politics in Germany at the time, which may also explain his later decision to be one of the first Americans to actively participate in the Second World War. He travelled to the United Kingdom and joined the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, claiming Canadian citizenship in order to be permitted to enlist. He participated as a pilot in the Battle of Britain until he was killed in action in August 1940. He was aged just 29.