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Longboards to Olympics

MEDIA RELEASE:  January 2010

Award-winning Tahoe historian and author Mark McLaughlin's newest book, Longboards to Olympics: A Century of Tahoe Winter Sports is here!

Longboards to Olympics is the only book that tells the fascinating story of 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.

This 288-page book covers the world'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 world's top athletes, while America's best amateurs proved that they too could perform miracles on ice and snow.

Illustrated with more than 180 images, many never before published, these uplifting and entertaining stories pay tribute to the character and accomplishments of the early pioneers who fired up western winter sports.

Longboards to Olympics: A Century of Tahoe Winter Sports, (ISBN 978-0-9657202-6-7) Mic Mac Publishing, 288 pages, softcover, $19.95.


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