Six different sports How many events took place during the inaugural Winter Olympics? The 12-day program that formed the inaugural Winter Olympics, named Winter Sports Week at the time, comprised six sports, 16 events, and 16 countries competing. These six sports were Alpine Skiing, Biathlon, Cross-Country Skiing, Figure Skating, Short Track Speed Skating, and Snowboarding. Of these, only Ice Hockey was officially recognized by the IOC as a true Olympic sport. All other events are considered to be manifestations of various forms of winter carnival activities that date back to ancient times.
The first Winter Olympics were held from February 8 to 18, 1924. They were hosted by Switzerland with Arosa serving as the only true host city. The opening and closing ceremonies were held in a large stadium built for that purpose. The first event was a cross-country skiing competition. It was followed by a biathlon (shooting range competition) and then two more cross-country skiing races. This was repeated twice more on each day of the games before concluding with a final ice hockey game.
Alpine Skiing was the most popular sport at the 1924 Olympics with 11 events being held over two days. It was followed by Nordic Skiing with nine events and Bobsleigh with eight events. Figure Skating had the least number of participants with only four events being held.
Five events have appeared in every Winter Olympic Games since they were first held in 1924: ice hockey, cross-country skiing, ski jumping, figure skating, and speed skating. Here's a peek at those exciting events, as well as some additional fan favorites to keep an eye out for.
The most popular sport at the Winter Olympics, ice hockey has been played by men on skates (or "shiners") and women on blades (or "runners") since it was introduced in 1920. The shiners try to score by shooting pucks at the net while the runners try to prevent them from getting into the goal by kicking the ball away or blocking the shot.
Men's Ice Hockey Gold Medal Match: Canada vs. Sweden
Canada is the favorite to win its fourth consecutive gold medal, but Sweden could give it a run for its money. The Canadians beat Germany in their quarterfinal match yesterday, while the Swedes eliminated the United States after both teams ended with identical 4-1 records. Today's game will determine which country gets to face Finland in the semifinals.
Women's Ice Hockey Gold Medal Game: United States vs. Finland
Last year's gold medal game was one of the best games of all time with the United States defeating Canada 7-4 for its third title.
Bobsleigh, curling, ice hockey, Nordic skiing (comprising the disciplines military patrol, cross-country skiing, Nordic combined, and ski jumping), and skating were the first five Winter Olympic sports (divided into nine disciplines). The first Winter Olympics was held in St. Moritz, Switzerland, from February 13 to 24, 1928.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) recognizes a total of seven winter sports as being part of the modern pentathlon. They are biathlon, bobsleigh, cross-country skiing, ice hockey, nordic skiing, short track speed skating, and snowboarding. While all these sports have been part of previous games, only ice hockey, nordic skiing, and short track speed skating were included on the IOC's list of recommended sports for inclusion in the Winter Games. Short track speed skating was added in 1989 and ice hockey in 1990. Snowboarding was accepted into the Olympics as a standalone sport in 2014 but cannot be performed on an actual track because of its nature as a non-contact sport.
An event called "skeleton" was proposed by the Swedish Olympic Committee for the Stockholm Games in 1891 but it was rejected by the International Olympic Committee because there was no evidence that skeleton had ever been played before or since then. The same thing happened with the French proposal for luge at the 1924 Paris Games.
The inaugural Winter Olympics featured athletes from 16 different countries. Germany was barred from partaking in the games and instead hosted the Deutsche Kampfspiele.
The inaugural winter Olympics had 258 competitors from the 16 nations that were represented.
The inaugural Winter Olympics The inaugural Winter Olympics were held in Chamonix, France, on January 25, 1924. The ski jump and bobsled, as well as 12 other events featuring a total of six sports, wowed spectators. No Games have been held since Germany's capital city hosted them in 1936.
Germany dominated the early Winter Olympics with 13 gold medals and 33 overall. Norway was second with 10 golds and 29 overall. Canada and Switzerland rounded out the top five countries with four gold medals each.
These figures will likely change when the final results are released later this year. But it's clear from looking at the top nations today that Germany is still king of the mountain when it comes to winter sports.
In fact, no country has come close to matching its total number of medals since Norway did so in 1964. Germany remains the only nation to have ever won more than one Olympic medal in ice hockey, soccer, and basketball all at the same games.
However, Russia is making a strong push to break this record. It has already earned nine gold medals this season and is currently third in the medal table behind Germany and Sweden. If it continues to compete at this level, Russia could win more than ten gold medals at the 2024 Paris Games.