Son passes on his father’s Olympic torch memories

Jay Jacobs remembers going to 1960 event at Squaw Valley
By: Jenifer Gee Journal News Editor
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Auburn resident Jay Jacobs doesn’t have to look far to see a piece of Olympic history up close and personal. Jacobs has a framed picture of his father, Jim Jacobs, who was Auburn’s mayor in 1960, passing the torch to a Placer High School runner in Downtown’s central square. The torch was eventually carried to Squaw Valley for the 1960 Winter Olympics. The black-and-white photo hangs on Jay Jacobs’ home office wall and is a nice reminder of his family’s deep-rooted history in Auburn. “I get kind of emotional,” Jay Jacobs said of when he looks at the photo. Jay Jacobs said he doesn’t know the name of the young runner pictured to the left of his father, who passed away 1997. He does know that Bill Briner, a photographer for the Olympics at the time, took the picture. Jay Jacobs, who was about 8 years old at the time, said he doesn’t remember watching the torch-passing ceremony but he does remember going to Olympic events. “I remember sliding down (the side) of the ski jump hill,” Jay Jacobs said, laughing. “We were on our butts taking people out.” Jay Jacobs said he doesn’t have any souvenirs other than the memory. “I remember I was there,” Jay Jacobs said. Jay Jacobs said he hopes his photo will bring back memories for those who were around at the time and worked hard to bring the Olympics through Auburn. “Auburn was a big part of it,” Jay Jacobs said of the Squaw Valley Olympics. “Everybody piled in.” Jenifer Gee can be reached at