The Winter Games-with the Disney touch.
On Febuary 18,1960, the Winter Olympics in Squaw Valley, California, kicked off with an opening ceremony that had the Disney touch. Literally!!
Walt Disney served as chairman of the Pageantry Committee for the 1960 Winter Games, overseeing the opening and closing ceremonies, entertainment, the torch relay, publicity and more. Walt Disney enlisted the help of a number of his colleagues and friends, including Disney Legend and artist John Hench, who designed the 79-foot Tower of Nations with 30 aluminum crests representing the participating nations. This also became the site for medal ceremonies, marking the first time these ceremonies were open to the public. John Hench also designed a new look for the Olympic torch, a form still used today.
The 1960 Games were also the first to be nationally televised.The opening ceremony included 5,000 participants, 1,285 instruments and 2,645 voices from 52 California and Nevada high school bands and even daytime fireworks, also considered a first. Walt Disney even made sure the athletes were entertained. One evening, the entire cast of the Golden Horseshoe Revue from Disneyland performed for the Olympians.
Sponsorships for the 1960 Winter Games included 30 flagpoles, which were sold at $500-$600 each and included a plaque signed by Walt Disney. Today, two of these poles can be found at The Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, Calfornia.