IX Olympic Winter Games Held in Innsbruck, Austria
The 1964 Winter Olympics, officially known as the IX Olympic Winter Games, were a winter multi-sport event which was celebrated in Innsbruck, Austria, from January 29 to February 9, 1964.
The games included 1091 athletes from 36 nations, and the Olympic Torch was carried by Joseph Rieder, a former alpine skier who had participated in the 1956 Winter Olympics.
The games were affected by the deaths of Australian alpine skier Ross Milne and British luge slider Kazimierz Kay-Skrzypeski, during training, and by the deaths, three years earlier, of the entire US figure skating team and family members.
On February 15, 1961, the entire US Figure Skating team and several family members, coaches, and officials were killed when Sabena Flight 548 crashed in Brussels, Belgium en route to the World Championships in Prague. This tragedy sent the US skating program into a period of rebuilding. The loss of the U.S. team was considered so catastrophic for the sport that the 1961 World Championships were cancelled, and impacted later Winter Olympics.
36 nations sent athletes to compete in Innsbruck. India, Mongolia, and North Korea participated in the Winter Games for the first time. Athletes from West Germany (FRG) and East Germany (GDR) competed together as the United Team of Germany from 1956 to 1964.