Sport: Trial by Snow

The spectators sprawled on gaudy blankets at the bottom of the runs, or strapped on skis and slogged up through the slopes for a closehand look at the world's best skiers. Germans bellowed at each other across the turns; Italians shouted "Avanti!" as their blue-clad skiers hurtled past.

But to the competitors at California's Squaw Valley, the eighth Winter Olympics was an agonizing and lonely trial. Teammates drilled each other by the hour on the turns and perils of every run, tried to relax by taking long walks or playing table tennis. Before their runs, some skiers even retched in the snow.


Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!