Watch the Evolution of the Winter Olympics' Opening CeremonyTrack the parade of nations' 86-year progression from Chamonix, France to Vancouver, Canada
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Squaw Valley (1960)
Foreshadowing the rough roads ahead for Sochi and Brazil's 2014 World Cup bid, the state of California, following five years of preparation, eventually contributed nearly nine times its original financial commitment to the 1960 Winter Games. But the opening ceremony, if only metaphorically, paid off, with "pageantry chairman" Walt Disney dazzling spectators with fireworks, ice sculptures and thousands of entertainers in the first-ever ceremonial seen live on American television. Favorite son Richard Nixon, like FDR 28 years earlier, represented the government and declared the Games open. But unlike the Squire of Hyde Park, the Vice President lost the ensuing contest for America's higest office to then Massachusetts senator John F. Kennedy.