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Dick Button
Dick Button of the U.S. becomes the first figure skater to successfully perform a double Axel at the Olympics.
World War II caused a suspension of Olympic events in 1940 and 1944. The Olympic Winter Games resumed in 1948, with a revisit to the 1928 host site, St. Moritz. Alpine skiing was expanded to include separate downhill and slalom events for both men and women.


 Dick Button became the first American to win a figure skating title in Olympic competition. He is also remembered for being the first figure skater to ever successfully complete a difficult double Axel in Olympic competition.

 Gretchen Frazer of the United States beat her Swiss and Austrian counterparts by taking the gold medal in the first Olympics women's slalom skiing event. She also won a silver medal in the women's Alpine combined.

 Controversy embroiled America's hope for a medal in ice hockey in 1948. Two competing federations, the American Hockey Association and the U.S. Olympic Committee, each sent its own teams to St. Moritz, both hoping to represent the United States at the Games. Presented with a dilemma, the International Olympic Committee elected to bar both from the Games. The Swiss Olympic Committee decided otherwise, however, and told the American Hockey Association team that it could take part. And so it did, finishing fourth.

A year later, it was decided that the American Hockey Association and U.S. Olympic Committee teams were to be considered officially disqualified as participants in the 1948 Winter Olympics.

AttendanceMale AthletesFemale AthletesMost-MedaledU.S. Rank
28 nations636 70Norway, Sweden,
Switzerland (10)

Source: Knight-Ridder/Tribune

© Copyright 1998 The Washington Post Company

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