History of the Winter Olympics

History of the Winter Olympics

This history of the Winter Olympics does not tract back to the tradition Greek origins we are so accustomed to when first mentioning “The Olympiad.” The first official Winter Olympic Games were scheduled to be held in 1916 in Germany however World War 1 started in 1914 so the Winter Olympics had to be postponed. It wouldn’t be until 1924 when the war was over that the winter games would begin in the town of Chamonix, Paris. Unofficially, it was designated The Olympic Winter sports week or festival, stopping short of calling it the Winter Olympic Games. The first Winter event was speed skating won by Charles Jewtraw from USA. Ice Hockey and Cross Country skiing were the other events that year. The Canadian team won all five Ice Hockey events While a Norwegian named Thorleif Haug won the Cross Country Skiing events.

Unlike the prizes of the first summer Olympic games, which were olive branches woven into a crown, the first Winter Olympic Games offered precious metals to the victorious. To 1st place would go the gold medal. Next the silver medal for 2nd place. Finally bronze would go to 3rd place

The Summer Olympic Games and the Winter Olympic Games have been scheduled to fall on the same year until in 1986 The IOC (International Olympic Committee) decided that the Winter Olympic Games in Lillehammer, Norway would be scheduled for 1994 just two years after the Summer Olympics Games in Barcelona, Spain, thus making the Summer and Winter Olympic Games be spread only 2 years apart instead of 4.

The sports played in the Winter Olympic Games are:

Alpine Skiing
Cross-country skiing
Curling (chess on ice)
Figure Skating
Freestyle Skiing
Ice Hockey
Nordic Skiing
Ski Jumping
Speed Skating