The move toward a winter version of the Olympics began in 1908 when figure skating made an appearance at the Summer Games in London. Ten-time world champion Ulrich Salchow of Sweden, who originated the backwards, one revolution jump that bears his name, and Madge Syers of Britain were the first singles champions. Germans Anna Hubler and Heinrich Berger won the pairs competition.
Organizers of the 1916 Summer Games in Berlin planned to introduce a “Skiing Olympia,” featuring nordic events in the Black Forest, but the Games were cancelled after the outbreak of World War I in 1914.
The Games resumed in 1920 at Antwerp, Belgium, where figure skating returned and ice hockey was added as a medal event. Sweden's Gillis Grafstrom and Magda Julin took individual honors, while Ludovika and Walter Jakobsson were the top pair. In hockey, Canada won the gold medal with the United States second and Czechoslovakia third.
Despite the objections of Modern Olympics' founder Baron Pierre de Coubertin and the resistance of the Scandinavian countries, which had staged their own Nordic championships every four or five years from 1901-26 in Sweden, the International Olympic Committee sanctioned an “International Winter Sports Week” at Chamonix, France, in 1924. The 11-day event, which included nordic skiing, speed skating, figure skating, ice hockey and bobsledding, was a huge success and was retroactively called the first Olympic Winter Games.
Seventy years after those first cold weather Games, the 17th edition of the Winter Olympics took place in Lillehammer, Norway, in 1994. The event ended the four-year Olympic cycle of staging both Winter and Summer Games in the same year and began a new schedule that calls for the two Games to alternate every two years.
|Year||No||Location||Dates||Nations||Most medals||USA medals|
|1924||I||Chamonix, FRA||Jan. 25-Feb. 4||16||Norway (4-7-6–17)||1-2-1– 4 (3rd)|
|1928||II||St. Moritz, SWI||Feb. 11-19||25||Norway (6-4-5–15)||2-2-2– 6 (2nd)|
|1932||III||Lake Placid, USA||Feb. 4-15||17||USA (6-4-2–12)||6-4-2–12 (1st)|
|1936||IV||Garmisch-Partenkirchen, GER||Feb. 6-16||28||Norway (7-5-3–15)||1-0-3– 4 (T-5th)|
|1940-a||–||Sapporo, JPN||Cancelled (WWII)|
|1944||–||Cortina d'Ampezzo, ITA||Cancelled (WWII)|
|1948||V||St. Moritz, SWI||Jan. 30-Feb. 8||28||Norway (4-3-3–10),||3-4-2– 9 (4th)|
|& Switzerland (3-4-3–10)|
|1952-b||VI||Oslo, NOR||Feb. 14-25||30||Norway (7-3-6–16)||4-6-1–11 (2nd)|
|1956-c||VII||Cortina d'Ampezzo, ITA||Jan. 26-Feb. 5||32||USSR (7-3-6–16)||2-3-2– 7 (T-4th)|
|1960||VIII||Squaw Valley, USA||Feb. 18-28||30||USSR (7-5-9–21)||3-4-3–10 (2nd)|
|1964||IX||Innsbruck, AUT||Jan. 29-Feb. 9||36||USSR (11-8-6–25)||1-2-3– 6 (7th)|
|1968-d||X||Grenoble, FRA||Feb. 6-18||37||Norway (6-6-2–14)||1-5-1– 7 (T-7th)|
|1972||XI||Sapporo, JPN||Feb. 3-13||35||USSR (8-5-3–16)||3-2-3– 8 (6th)|
|1976-e||XII||Innsbruck, AUT||Feb. 4-15||37||USSR (13-6-8–27)||3-3-4–10 (T-3rd)|
|1980||XIII||Lake Placid, USA||Feb. 14-23||37||E. Germany (9-7-7–23)||6-4-2–12 (3rd)|
|1984||XIV||Sarajevo, YUG||Feb. 7-19||49||USSR (6-10-9–25)||4-4-0– 8 (T-5th)|
|1988||XV||Calgary, CAN||Feb. 13-28||57||USSR (11-9-9–29)||2-1-3– 6 (T-8th)|
|1992-f||XVI||Albertville, FRA||Feb. 8-23||63||Germany (10-10-6–26)||5-4-2–11 (6th)|
|1994-g||XVII||Lillehammer, NOR||Feb. 12-27||67||Norway (10-11-5–26)||6-5-2–13 (T-5th)|
|1998||XVIII||Nagano, JPN||Feb. 7-22||72||Germany (12-9-8–29)||6-3-4–13 (5th)|
|2002||XIX||Salt Lake City, USA||Feb. 8-24||78||Germany (12-16-7–35)||10-13-11–34 (2nd)|
|2006||XX||Turin, ITA||Feb. 10-26|
|2010||XXI||Vancouver, CAN||Feb. 12-28|
|Winter Olympics Through The Years||1924 Olympics|