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Famed Olympic ski venue Squaw Valley changes 'racist, sexist' name

Squaw Valley Ski Resort officials worked with the local Washoe Tribe of Nevada and California to find a new name for the facility, which hosted the 1960 Winter Games. Photo by Rennett Stowe/Squaw Valley Ski Resort
Squaw Valley Ski Resort officials worked with the local Washoe Tribe of Nevada and California to find a new name for the facility, which hosted the 1960 Winter Games. Photo by Rennett Stowe/Squaw Valley Ski Resort

Sept. 14 (UPI) -- Squaw Valley, the site of the 1960 Winter Olympics in Olympic Valley, Calif., changed its name to Palisades Tahoe to move away from its "racist and sexist" former name, resort officials said.

"While the name may be new, the legend and legacy of these valleys continue on, now as Palisades Tahoe," resort officials wrote on its social media accounts.

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Last summer, the resort announced plans to change its name. The local Washoe Tribe of Nevada and California on Monday called the move a "milestone decision."

The resort said it decided to make the name change "after extensive research" into the history of the term "squaw," which it called "derogatory and offensive." Native American communities in the United States have worked for years to remove the term for places named in ancestral lands.

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"The Washoe People have lived in the area for thousands of years; we have great reverence for our ancestors, history and lands," Tribal chairman Serrell Smokey said in a statement.

"The Washoe Tribal Council recognizes the significance of the name change and on behalf of the Washoe people expresses its great appreciation for this positive step forward."

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Palisades Tahoe features 6,000 skiable acres over two mountains, with views of Lake Tahoe and the Sierra Nevada.

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"As much as we cherish the memories we associate with our resort name, we must accept that these emotional attachments do not justify our continuing use of a word that is widely accepted to be a racist and sexist slur," resort president Ron Cohen said.

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