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Ski jumping into our Olympic Archives

by on February 21, 2014


Guest blogger Elizabeth Lieutenant, a Master’s student in Library and Information Science at The Catholic University of America, is a virtual intern in the Office of Innovation.


Here at the National Archives, we’ve been busy watching the Olympics and rooting for Team U.S.A. All the excitement of watching snowboarders fly through the air and figure skaters dance on ice has us reminiscing about Winter Olympics of the past. Now that the 2014 Winter Olympics are officially over, take a trip down memory lane (or a Giant Schalom down to our archives) and check out some of our records! While you’re there, be sure to tag your favorite Olympic-related photos.

Curious about what tagging means and how you can get involved? Check out our previous blog post, where we discuss tagging the Online Public Access catalog. Tagging helps index the National Archives’ collections and allows you, our public users, to discover records. Have suggestions for Tag It Tuesday? Let us know here on NARAtions or by emailing us at search@nara.gov.

One of our favorite parts of the opening ceremonies is the lighting of the Olympic flame. Even 12 years later, the 2002 Olympic flame helps warm our chills.

Members of the 1980 US Gold Medal Olympic hockey team stand below the Olympic flame after lighting it, at Rice-Eccles Olympic Stadium, during the opening ceremonies of the 2002 WINTER OLYMPICS in Salt Lake City, 02/08/2002. NARA ID: 6527810

Members of the 1980 US Gold Medal Olympic hockey team stand below the Olympic flame after lighting it, at Rice-Eccles Olympic Stadium, during the opening ceremonies of the 2002 WINTER OLYMPICS in Salt Lake City, 02/08/2002. NARA ID: 6527810

One of our favorite events of the Winter Olympics is the biathlon. Here we have two members of our National Guard competing for glory at the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, Canada. While they may not have won the gold, we’ll always be proud of our service members.

Major (MAJ) Lyle Nelson, Vermont Army National Guard, skis during the biathlon competition, part of the 1988 Winter Olympics, 02/20/1988. NARA ID: 6437920

Major (MAJ) Lyle Nelson, Vermont Army National Guard, skis during the biathlon competition, part of the 1988 Winter Olympics, 02/20/1988. NARA ID: 6437920

SPECIALIST Fourth Class (SPC) Curtis Schreiner, New York Army National Guard, skis toward the finish line as a competitior sights a target from standing position during the biathlon, part of the 1988 Winter Olympics, 02/13/1988. NARA ID: 6437944

SPECIALIST Fourth Class (SPC) Curtis Schreiner, New York Army National Guard, skis toward the finish line as a competitior sights a target from standing position during the biathlon, part of the 1988 Winter Olympics, 02/13/1988. NARA ID: 6437944

Do you prefer watching four man or two man bobsleigh racing? It doesn’t matter to us. As long as Team U.S.A. is competing, we’ll be watching!

(Right to left) Pilot Brian Shimer, World Class Athletes SPECIALIST Mike Kohn, USA, and SPECIALIST Doug Sharp, USA, with brakeman Dan Steele speed down the track at Utah Olympic Park in Park City, Utah, during the second heat of the men's four-man bobsled in the 2002 WINTER OLYMPIC GAMES, 02/22/2002. NARA ID: 6527766

(Right to left) Pilot Brian Shimer, World Class Athletes SPECIALIST Mike Kohn, USA, and SPECIALIST Doug Sharp, USA, with brakeman Dan Steele speed down the track at Utah Olympic Park in Park City, Utah, during the second heat of the men’s four-man bobsled in the 2002 WINTER OLYMPIC GAMES, 02/22/2002. NARA ID: 6527766

Bobsled Driver Todd Hays and brakeman Army reservist First Lieutenant Garret Hines, USA, of USA-1 hurl their way down the track at the Utah Olympic Park during the Men's two-man bobsled at the 2002 OLYMPIC WINTER GAMES, 02/16/2002. NARA ID: 6527735

Bobsled Driver Todd Hays and brakeman Army reservist First Lieutenant Garret Hines, USA, of USA-1 hurl their way down the track at the Utah Olympic Park during the Men’s two-man bobsled at the 2002 OLYMPIC WINTER GAMES, 02/16/2002. NARA ID: 6527735

Sure, photos of Olympic winners are great, but they don’t compare to watching Olympic athletes in action. Check out this video of highlights from the 1964 Winter Olympics in Innsbruck, Austria:

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You can find out more about the Universal Newsreel collection and the 1964 Olympics on Media Matters, the blog of the National Archives’ Special Media Archives Services Division.

Be sure to head over to our Online Public Access Catalog and start tagging! Tag your favorite Winter Olympic records so you can find them again for the next Winter Olympics in 2018!


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