Photos of the 1932 Olympic Winter Games 

From the Lake Placid Olympic Museum Photo Collection


In 1932, the Great Depression gripped the United States.  Remarkably, Lake Placid became the first U.S. host site of the Olympic Winter Games.  The Opening Ceremony welcomed 252 athletes from 17 countries, competing in 5 sports over 14 events, despite the worldwide economic hardships.

For the first time in Winter Olympic history, an indoor arena was used for the figure-skating competitions and half of the ice hockey games during the 1932 Olympic Winter Games. The arena was designed by architects Distin & Wilson of Saranac Lake and was built in less than 5 months.

The stadium built for the 1932 Olympic Winter Games hosted both the opening and closing ceremonies of the Games, along with all of the speed-skating events. The in-field was used for both the start and finish of the 18-kilometer cross-country ski races and half of the ice hockey games.

Scroll down the page for a look at the history of these games, through a collection of photos from the Lake Placid Olympic Museum.