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A Torch for the VIII Olympic Winter Games – Squaw Valley, USA, 1960

Eivind Donstad and Olav Nordskog
Photo by Varden

This second Olympic Torch ceremony in Morgedal takes place on January 31, 1960. From the fireplace inside the Sondre cottage the pinewood torch is lit by 80-year-old ski veteran and Royal cup winner Eivind Donstad. Sitting next to him at the fireplace is 12-year-old Olav Nordskog.

As Eivind Donstad leaves the cottage with the torch, he hands it over to the chairman of the Morgedal Sports Club, Eivind Strondi. Then it’s time to light the fire in the special Olympic Torch holder – the same holder which was used here at Øverbø in 1952. For the second time Olav Hemmestveit is waiting with the holder, and the fire is lit from Eivind’s pinewood torch.

Olav Hemmestveit is ready to set off with the torch
Photo by Varden

With the Olympic Torch in his hand, Olav is skiing down the steep hillside, just as he did back in 1952. He is followed down the hillside by several young skiers from Morgedal. Finally they all gather at the Sondre memorial stone in the centre of the village, where a special ceremony takes place.

This time the fire from Morgedal is going to be sent all the way to Squaw Valley in California. The first lap is Morgedal to Oslo by car and the second is to Los Angeles by plane. Olav Strandi is escorting the torch to Oslo Airport Fornebu where a plane marked with the text “Olympic Flame Carrier” is waiting to cross the Atlantic.

The Olympic Flame is lit in Squaw Valley at February 18 by the 1952 Olympic champion in 500 meter speed skating, Ken Henry. The games are opened by Vice President Richard Nixon. The fire from Morgedal is still burning in Squaw Valley.


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