The Olympic Games came to Scandinavia for the first time in 1952. Also for the first time, the Olympic torch was brought to the Winter Games by way of a runner relay. Germany and Japan, two former Axis powers, were welcomed back to the Olympic family of nations.
Women athletes were allowed to compete for the first time in an Olympic Nordic event (a 10k cross-country race), and Alpine skiing saw two important changes: the addition of separate men's and women's giant slalom, and the dropping of both Alpine combined events.
The forthcoming participation of speed skater Finn Hodt (Norway) at the Oslo Games caused a sensation before the Games. He had served prison time for collaborating with the Nazis during World War II. A month before the Oslo Winter Olympics commenced, the Norwegian Olympic Committee voted to ban Hodt and all other Nazi collaborators from representing Norway at the Games.
Men's figure skater Dick Button (USA) once again sparkled at the Olympic Games, executing the first triple loop on his way to a second consecutive gold medal.
Speedskater Hjalmar Anderson (Norway) delighted his country by skating to three gold medals in the 1,550m, 5,000m and 10,000m events.
Stein Eriksen (Norway) captured the first gold medal in the Alpine giant slalom. He also took the silver medal in the slalom.
Lydia Wideman (Finland) finished almost
a full minute ahead of her nearest competitor
to win the gold medal in the first Nordic
event for women at the Olympics. This
accomplishment was made all the sweeter by
the fact that 31-year-old Wideman was the
oldest competitor to participate at the 1952
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