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Winter Olympic Games Facts

International multi-sport event

  • The first Winter Olympics organized by the IOC were in Chamonix, France, in 1924.
  • The Games were held every four years from 1924 until 1936 when they were interrupted by World War II. They resumed in 1949.
  • The Winter Olympics have been hosted on three continents, but never in a country in the southern hemisphere.
  • The United States has hosted the Games four times; France has been the host three times.
  • A postage stamp issued by East Germany in commemoration of their first Winter Olympics as an independent country.
  • The Winter Games have had only one national team boycott when Taiwan decided not to participate in the 1980 Winter Olympics held in Lake Placid.
  • The 2010 Winter Olympics were held at Vancouver, Canada.
  • The 2014 Winter Olympics will held at Sochi, Russia followed by the 2018 Winter Olympics at Pyeongchang, South Korea.
  • American speed skater Eric Heiden holds the record for most gold medals in a Winter Olympics with five. He won every event he competed in during the 1980 Winter Olympics.
  • Norwegian cross-country skier Bjorn Daehlie has won 12 medals at the Winter Games, the most by any Winter Olympian.
  • Speed skater Bonnie Blair holds the American record for most Winter Olympic medals with six.
  • Vancouver is the only city to ever host the Winter Olympic Games.
  • Because of its lower elevation, the Richmond Olympic Oval will be the first time any Olympic venue has been exactly at sea level.
  • The torch relay at the 2010 Winter Olympics was the longest relay in Olympic history.
  • Great Britain won the Gold at the Curling event at the 1924 Winter Games, although it wasn’t recognized until 2006, 82 years later.
  • At the Opening Ceremony of the first Winter Olympics, many of the athletes paraded with their equipment on their shoulders.
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