Lake Placid (1932)
Unlike the French eight years earlier, American athletes found great success at the first Winter Games held on their home turf. Our countrymen won the medal tally with a total of 12, half of them gold. In all, 17 nations competed in northern New York, down from 25 at the '28 games in St. Moritz, Switzerland (Argentina, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands and Yugoslavia failed to send athletes but returned for the German games four years later). Watch at left as the parade circumnavigates the 7,500-seat Lake Placid Speedskating Oval (later renamed the James B. Sheffield Olympic Skating Rink). But the real treat of this clip comes at the 0:26 mark, when then-New York governor Franklin D. Roosevelt officiates the opening. ". . . the representatives of many of our sister nations," he relays in his high-pitched accent, cut short by some elementary editing, "to this the opening of the third Winter Olympic games." Just 10 months later, the Empire State's executive would defeat his Republican rival, President Herbert Hoover, for what would become an unprecented run of 12 years as Commander in Chief.