Squaw Valley Institute presents Mark McLaughlin, Longboards to Olympics, A Century of Tahoe Winter Sports | SierraSun.com

Squaw Valley Institute presents Mark McLaughlin, Longboards to Olympics, A Century of Tahoe Winter Sports

Mark McLaughlin will give an informative and entertaining slide presentation based on his new book: Longboards to Olympics: A Century of Tahoe Winter Sports. These uplifting stories pay tribute to the character and accomplishments of the early pioneers who fired up western winter sports. Today we take for granted Californiaand#8217;s $500 million winter sports industry, but McLaughlin will share the fascinating story of how this lucrative economy got its start and developed over one hundred years from 1860 to 1960.-

Longboards to Olympics is the only book that explains how winter sports took Northern California by storm and captured the imagination of a nation. From the early exploits of skiing mailman Snowshoe Thompson, through the 1930s, a breakout decade for Skisport when thousands attended ski jumps in Berkeley and San Francisco. These well-illustrated stories conclude with the 1960 Winter Olympics at Squaw Valley, the seminal event that launched Lake Tahoe into the international spotlight for world-class winter sports.

McLaughlinand#8217;s 288-page book covers the worldand#8217;s first organized downhill ski races held in Plumas County where 19th century speed demons exceeded 90 mph on 14-foot long skis. Fueled by ego, money and alcohol, these skiers were the fastest humans on the planet!

Other chapters include the history of ski development in the Donner Summit region and the opening of Sugar Bowl in 1939. Recognition is also given to the veterans of the 10th Mountain Division who were largely responsible for the growth of the modern ski industry after World War II.

The 1960 Squaw Valley Olympics arrived on a wing and a prayer, but today are regarded as among the best Winter Games ever held. These Games embraced the hopes and dreams of the worldand#8217;s top athletes, while America’s best amateurs proved that they too could perform miracles on ice and snow.

-Before and after the presentation, McLaughlin will be selling and autographing his new book. Longboards to Olympics can be purchased directly from Mark for $25 cash or check.

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Tahoe historian Mark McLaughlin is an award-winning, nationally published author and photographer with six books and more than 500 articles in print. Mark was educated as an historian and cultural geographer at the University of Nevada, Reno, and his work appears regularly in California and Nevada media; he has received the Nevada State Press award five times. Mark frequently writes historical articles for such magazines as the Tahoe Weekly, Sierra Heritage, Wild West, Nevada, Skiing Heritage and Weatherwise.- A professional and popular lecturer who has lived at North Lake Tahoe since 1978, McLaughlin teaches Sierra Nevada history using dramatic stories, slide shows and field trips.

Mark McLaughlin

Longboards to Olympics, A Century of Tahoe Winter Sports

Tuesday, Jan. 12

Resort at Squaw Creek

No-host bar opens at 6:30 p.m., lecture begins at 7 p.m.

$10 to Squaw Valley Institute

Children and students with ID are free.

For more information visit http://www.squawvalleyinstitute.org or call 581-4138