As the name suggests, the Winter Olympics consists of games specifically played in winter and of course, how can we forget about ice? The Winter Olympics are not as old as the Summer Olympics. The Summer Olympics started in 1896, however, it was in 1924 that the Winter Olympics began. These games are the exhibition of an athlete’s strength and willpower. Thousands of people strive every year to take part in the Winter Olympics. Other than that, after every four years people are more than ever enthusiastic to watch the Winter Olympics live.
Aren’t you curious about when the next Winter Olympics will be? Well, don’t you worry because in this read, we are going to cover every aspect of these exciting Winter Olympics events for you.
Table of Content
- Winter Olympics – Display Of Skill
- The Origin And History Of The Winter Olympics
- The First Ever Winter Olympics Event
- Addition And Subtraction Of Winter Olympic Sports
- Reason Behind The Fame Of Winter Olympics
- What Are The Winter Olympic Events?
- USA Winter Olympics – The Only Country With The Most Number Of Medals
- Where Will The Winter Olympics 2024 Be Conducted?
- Winter Olympics Locations 2024
- Future Of Winter Olympics – Impact Brought By Climatic Changes
- Final Words
Winter Olympics – Display of Skill
The Winter Olympics are a multi-national sport that is conducted after every four years. Here athletes from different countries take part and represent their country. The Winter Olympics games take place on ice and snow and are very different from the Summer Olympics. The first ever Winter Olympics event was conducted in 1924 in Chamonix, France. The inspiration behind these games dates back to the Greek times.
At first, there were only five to six sports in the Winter Olympics. However, today the number is 16. And maybe in the next few years it can increase more. Who knows? This year’s Winter Olympics event is starting this very January 19, 2024, and ends on 1st February 2024. We are going to discuss all about this year’s event and how many games there will be. So just stick to this read and find out what interesting information awaits you!
The Origin and History of the Winter Olympics
As mentioned before, the start of the Winter Olympics dates back to 1924. Also, the initial name of the Winter Olympics wasn’t just what we call it today. Rather it was “International Winter Sports Week” in 1926, which was the second Winter Olympics event. It was years later it was labeled as an Olympic tournament and countries participated in it. It is because of the participation of different countries and cities that today we have 16 Winter Olympics sports. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is the ruling organization of the Winter Olympics.
The First Ever Winter Olympics Event
In France, the foundation of the Winter Olympics was laid in 1924. The event’s starting ceremony was on 25 January to 5 February 1924. 258 athletes from 16 nations participated in the Winter Olympics. From the European continent, 28 medals were won by athletes from Finland and Norway.
Addition and Subtraction of Winter Olympic Sports
For instance, the Military Patrol was part of the first Winter Olympic sport. But now it is not part of the current day Winter Olympics. However, alpine skating, snowboarding, and figure skating are today a permanent part of the Winter Olympics.
Reason Behind the Fame of Winter Olympics
One of the reasons behind the fame of the Winter Olympics is the advancements in the media industry. Of course, in 1924 television wasn’t that much advanced. Of course, it was a new sport so people were partly interested and partly not. But despite their interest, they couldn’t watch the games with high-quality broadcasting. After the development of television, different broadcasting channels went to buy broadcasting rights which made it easy for people to watch these games.
It is the purchasing of these broadcasting rights that now makes it easy for Winter Olympics fans to watch these games anywhere. With the addition of sponsorship, another gateway for easy access to these games is available. Also, with the inculcation of more cities and countries, the number of athletes increases which brings the factor of scandals and mishaps.
There have been numerous scandals throughout the years among which one is the use of performance enhancing drugs by athletes. The authorities are more than ever vigilant over these situations. IOC conducts drug and urine tests which ensures the integrity and honesty of the game is held high. The International Olympic Committee takes every necessary measure to make sure that there is no injustice among players. Critical measures are also taken, for example, the suspension of athletes or sometimes ban from the Winter Olympics for a limited period of time.
What are the Winter Olympic Events?
As we mentioned earlier, in the start there were only six games in the Winter Olympics. It was with the passage of time that many games were added in the Olympics league. Following are the famous 16 Winter Olympic games that we are going to describe for you.
Downhill skiing or alpine skiing is a sport where athletes descend down on snowy hills while wearing fixed-heel bindings. It is a tough sport that requires skill and speed. For protection purposes, athletes can wear ankle and heel supporters but still it requires precision.
As the name suggests, ski jumping means that the athletes aim to jump the highest and the furthest. The heel bindings are in a curvy shape.
Bobsleigh or bobsled is a racing event that consists of athletes on a sled, which is in the form of a skateboard. There is a racing track on which there are three to four players.
In simple words, speed skating is just like running on a track. The difference between running on a track and speed skating is that in speed skating athletes are wearing ice skating shoes. Also, there is a difference in track.
In curling, participants move stones over an ice sheet in the direction of a target area. That target area is basically divided into four circles.
In figure skating, athletes either individually or in the form of a pair perform figure skates on ice. Some people confuse it with just dancing on the bise. But that is not the case. It is a high precision demanding sport where both individuals need to be extra cautious. A slight imbalance can cause athletes to fall on ice and get injured pretty badly.
Other than these six games, there are nine more games:
- Nordic Combined
- Cross-Country Skiing
- Freestyle Skiing
- Short Track Speed Skating
- Ice Hockey
- Ski Mountaineering
USA Winter Olympics – The Only Country With the Most Number of Medals
It is only the United States of America that has conducted the Winter Olympics three times, unlike any other country. Other than that it is the United States that is home to so many champions. In 1932, 1960, 1980, and 2002 were the years when the United States was the host for the Winter Olympics. To this date, the United States has won 113 Gold, 122 Silver, and 95 Bronze medals.
If you notice the statistics, every Winter Olympic sport that was conducted in the United States, consisted of a greater number of participants as well as participating nations. You can check the following table for more clarity:
|Number of Athletes
|Lake Placid, New York
|Squaw Valley, California
|Lake Placid, New York
|Salt Lake City, Utah
Where Will the Winter Olympics 2024 Be Conducted?
Are you curious about the next Winter Olympics? Well, no need to get curious because this year’s Winter Olympics is starting in the very first month, January 2024.
One piece of information to add here is that the Southern Hemisphere has never hosted the Winter Olympics. The reason behind this is that in January and February, the weather is warm in the Southern region.
Winter Olympics Locations 2024
This year the location of the Winter Olympics isn’t just one. Rather under the name Gangwon 2024 Winter Youth Olympics, the tournament is in four different cities.
The Paris event of the Winter Olympics 2024 is still under talks. However, this year the opportunity is in the Asian region, in the hands of South Korea. Little do you know that South Korea isn’t just hosting the tournament for the first time. In 2018, South Korea was the host country for the Winter Olympics. Last time it was Pyeongchang and this year it’s all important cities of South Korea, including Pyeongchang just like before.
Host Cities and Countries For Winter Olympics Sports
There are three continents that always conduct the Winter Olympics sports, Europe, North America, and Asia. The countries and cities vary but these three continents remain the same. One thing to remember here is that since 1924, the Winter Olympics have been conducted every four years except this year. The last Winter Olympics sports was conducted in 2022 but instead of 2026, it is being conducted again this year. But there was a time when the Winter Olympics was banned twice because of World War II back in 1940 and 1944. However, in 1948 Winter Olympics resumed right from where it was left.
Following is the list of host cities, countries, and the continents in which they reside. So let’s have a look at the list.
|Salt Lake City
|Milan – Cortina d’Ampezzo
|The Schedule for Upcoming Years Has Yet to Be Decided
Future of Winter Olympics – Impact Brought By Climatic Changes
With the enhancement in greenhouse effects, the melting of glaciers puts us in a tight spot. With the influx of chlorofluorocarbons and depletion of the ozone layer, the glaciers are going down which means that the Arctic and Antarctic regions are in danger. The change in precipitation patterns and rising temperature impact the natural snow venues for the Winter Olympics. There are still artificial snow and ice skating venues but these places allow only some of the Winter Olympics games. This means that after 10 to 15 years you will find many new games in the Winter Olympics as well and some games won’t be a part of it.
To sum up, the Winter Olympics is as tremendous an event as the Summer Olympics. 1924 is the year of its inception. After every four years, the Winter Olympics is celebrated in the Northern Hemisphere. Games like luge, snowboarding, cross-country skiing, freestyle skiing, short-track speed skating, ice hockey, ski mountaineering are a part of the Winter Olympics.
The USA has won the most medals and is the leading country today in terms of the Winter Olympics. The factor of environment lingers behind because of the increase of the CFCs. All in all, it is a fun based sport enjoyed worldwide.