The Best of Winter - 5th Place: St. Moritz 1948

It's time to count down my personal favourite editions of both Summer and Winter Games, starting with number five on the ice and snow list. In 1948, St. Moritz not only became the first town to stage Winter Games for the second time. It was also the first time the Olympic flame was lit after World War II - after a twelve year break that started with Leni Riefenstahl's infamous "Lichtdom" in Berlin in 1936.

St. Moritz was totally different from the Nazi Games, being a kind of last look back into the dawning days of modern winter sports at the turn of the 20th century. The Swiss mountain resort was a meeting place for the rank, rich, and famous, their favorite sports of ski racing and figure skating being mundane physical exhibitions instead of mass media entertainment. One of the few real stars of the Games where figure skating champions Dick Button and Barbara Ann Scott, the rest of this year's Olympic champions being mostly forgotten today.

Controvery was scarce at this last idyllic mountain top Winter Games, had it not been for the scandal surrounding American hockey. The U. S. had sent two teams to Switzerland, one picked by the American Hockey Association (AHA), one by the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU). After endless discussions, the AAU team supported by Avery Brundage got the honor of marching at the opening ceremony, but a few hours later, the AHA (picture: Getty Images) team took to the ice. It finished fourth before being ruled out as well. The gold medal went to Canada, as usual.

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