18 Books You Need to Read Before the Winter Olympics

The 2018 Winter Olympics are right around the corner, and if you’re anything like us, you want to know more about the Games and its athletes. Never fear! While you wait for the figure skaters and hockey games, learn a little more about the Winter Olympics, and some of the United States’ most featured athletes.

For the more general Olympic history enthusiast:

The 1960 Winter Olympics, by David C. Antonucci

The 1960 Winter Olympics were notable for many reasons – taking place for the first time in city constructed specifically for the Olympic Games, the 1960 Olympics at Squaw Valley, California, showcased America’s teams in unprecendented ways. In The 1960 Winter Olympics, David Antonucci reviews the history of this singular Game, and its influence on the Winter Olympics as a whole.

2. Lake Placid Figure Skating: A Historyby Christie Sausa

Competitive figure skating has been one of the foremost events at the Winter Olympics for nearly a century. In Lake Placid Figure Skating, Christie Sausa looks at the sport’s history in one of its most popular locations, and the site of two different Winter Olympic Games.

And for those of us that love a particular winter spectacle:

Squaw Valley & Alpine Meadows by Eddy Starr Ancinas

The home of alpine skiing Olympian Bryce Bennett, Squaw Valley is a yearly destination for the most avid of skiers. In Squaw Valley & Alpine Meadows, Ancinas shares the histories of Squaw Valley, which made a name for itself when it was give a surprise nomination as host of the 1960 Winter Olympics.

Then & Now: Lake Placid by Laurea Russell Viscome

While Lake Placid is known for its figure skating, the village is known for much more than just one winter sport – in fact, there has been an athlete from Lake Placid on all but one Winter Olympic roster. This year, they’ll be sending Lowell Bailey for the biathlon event, and in Viscome’s Then & Now: Lake Placid, the city can be seen throughout its history as a winter athlete hot spot.

Salt Lake City, 1890-1930 by Gary Topping, Melissa Coy Ferguson, and Utah State Historical Society

One of the biggest names in contemporary figure skating, Nathan Chen will be coming from Salt Lake City, Utah to compete in the 2018 Olympics. A town with pioneer roots, Salt Lake City: 1890-1930 examines the city as it developed from a small Mormon community, to an all-American hub.

Douglasville by Lisa Cooper

The home of bobsled Olympian Elana Meyers Taylor, Douglasville, Georgia is a Southern town with deep roots in the Reconstruction era. In Douglasville, Lisa Cooper traces the history of the city, which has grown from a small industrial town to a 21st century city with a thriving historic district, and the home of many large businesses.

Early Skiing on Snoqualmie Pass by John W. Lundin

Cross-country skiing Olympians Erik and Sadie Bjornsen trained for nearly ten hours a day to make their way to the 2018 Winter Olympics – hailing from Winthrop, Washington, this sibling duo comes from a state with a long history of skiing. In Early Skiing on Snoqualmie Pass, John Lundin lets you relive the early days of skiing, and the ways Snoqualmie helped to build the sport within Washington state.

Around Glen Rock by Bob Ketenheim

Hailing from Glen Rock, Pennsylvania, Olympian Summer Britcher will be travelling to South Korea to compete for the US in the luge event. Her hometown, which dates back to 1860, is preserved and showcased in Ketenheim’s Around Glen Rock, from its vibrant beginnings to its residential present.

Madison: History of a Model City by Erika Janik

The home of curling Olympian Nina Roth, Madison, Wisconsin has a rich history dating back to its settlement by Native American populations. In Madison: History of a Model City, Erika Janik follow Madison from its humble beginnings through the Civil War, industrialization, and two World Wars to the present day.

Then & Now: South Lake Tahoe by Peter Goin

Freestyle skiing Olympian Maddie Bowman will set out from South Lake Tahoe, California to compete in this year’s Olympics. Known for its scenic views, South Lake Tahoe is a town which has grown from industrial foundations to a tourist destination and picturesque site. Goin’s Then & Now: South Lake Tahoe offers a pictorial journey through this history, and showcases the beauty of the landscape.

Highlands Ranch by the Highlands Ranch Historical Society

Anaheim Ducks centerman Troy Terry may have once played hockey for the University of Denver, but he calls Highlands Ranch, Colorado home. One of the quicket growing communities in America, Highlands Ranch’s history and growth is showcased in this book by the city’s historical society, and gives a picture of the background to a man who will join the men’s Olympic hockey team at the 2018 Games.

Palos Park by Jeannine Kacmar , the Palos Park Public Library, and the Village of Palos Park

The recipient of the NCAA’s 2017 Today’s Top 10 Award, hockey forward Kendall Coyne will be coming from Palos Park, Illinois to compete with the women’s Olympic hockey team. Her hometown is highlighted in Kacmar’s Palos Park, from its railroad beginnings in the 19th century, to its retreat status for busy Chicagoans.

High Point by Barbara E. Taylor

A native of High Point, North Carolina, US Olympian Heather Bergsma will be competing in long track speedskating events at this year’s Games. Bergsma hails from a city with a rich manufacturing history, and was once a transportation hub for the railroad. In High Point, Barbara Taylor examines this colorful history through vintage images.

Legendary Locals of Bend by Les Joslin

The home of US snowboarder and Olympian Ben Ferguson, Bend, Oregon is no stranger to remarkable people coming from its unassuming population of just 80,000 – in Legendary Locals of Bend, some of the city’s more significant citizens have their stories retold, showcasing a singular city of America’s West Coast.

Steamboat Springs by David H. Ellis and Catherine H. Ellis

Steamboat Springs, Colorado, holds the name of “Ski Town U.S.A.,” so it should come as no surprise that they’ll be sending Ben Berend to compete in the Nordic Combined events. A town that has deep roots in Olympic history, Steamboat Springs details the history of a winter sports town that continually places its winter Olympians on the map.

Glenview by Beverly Roberts Dawson

Short track speedskating Olympian Lana Gehring will be joining the US Olympics team this year from Glenview, Illinois. An affluent suburb of Chicago, Glenview holds a mosaic history of truck farms, major industry, small businesses, country clubs, polo fields, entrepreneurs, and colorful characters, all highlighted in Dawson’s Glenview.

Prairie du Chien by Mary Elise Antoine

While Matt Antoine can be found in South Korea for the next few weeks as he competes for the US in the skeleton event, his mother, Mary Elise Antoine, can be found writing one of her many books on the history of their hometown, Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin. In Prairie du Chien, Antoine covers the history of the Wisconsin’s second-oldest community, from its indigenous origins to its small town present.

Wauconda by Kathy Catrambone and Marianne Folise

The home of US ski-jumping Olympian Kevin Bickner, Wauconda, Illinois has a long history that dates back to 19th century treaties. In Wauconda, Kathy Catrambone and Marianne Folise examine the trail of this Illinois town as it attempts to adapt to the growth of the 21st century.