The 1928 Winter Games in St. Moritz marked the first time Germany was allowed to participate in any Olympic competition after World War I. Bobsledding was in the news at the 1928 Games. A new event, the skeleton sled, was added to the program. In addition, teams in the four-man bobsled event had an option to include a fifth member. They all took up that option.
William "Billy" Fiske of the United States drove the bobsled team to Olympic glory in St. Moritz. Only 16, he became and still is the youngest U.S. male athlete to win a gold medal. He repeated his gold- medal performance in the bobsled at the 1932 Games, but passed on a third attempt at the 1936 Games because, according to a former U.S. Olympic teammate, of his disdain for Germany's leader, Adolf Hitler. After the outbreak of World War II in Europe, Fiske joined the Royal Air Force as a volunteer pilot. On Aug. 16, 1940, he died in an aerial fight with a German bomber the first American pilot to die in World War II.
Fifteen-year-old Sonja Henie of Norway unnoticed at Chamonix in 1924 shot to stardom. She won the gold medal in women's figure skating, and would repeat her gold medal feat twice more: 1932 at Lake Placid, N.Y., and 1936 at Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany.
Clas Thunberg of Finland once again
was the man to beat in speedskating. At St.
Moritz, he added two gold medals in the
500m and 1500m event to the three golds he
earned at the 1924 Chamonix Games.
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