Finland and Norway athletes earned 28 medals, more than the rest of the competing nations combined. The IOC agreed in 1925 to establish a distinct Olympic Winter Games, and the 1924 Chamonix Games were retrospectively proclaimed as the inaugural Winter Olympics.
The second Winter Olympics took place in St. Moritz, Switzerland, and the results are still used today as the definitive list of winter sports champions.
A third Winter Olympics was held in Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy, but it is not considered an official games because of political conflicts between France, the host country, and Italy. The only gold medal awarded at this event is therefore still considered vacant.
A fourth Winter Olympics was held in Lillehammer, Norway, and while no gold medals were awarded, these games produced many important changes to the future evolution of the sport.
Lillehammer marked the beginning of the modern era of winter sports when Swedish athlete Carl Johan Bergström became the first person to win both a summer and winter Olympic gold medal with his victory in the 10,000-meter race two years in a row (1988/1996). This feat has never been repeated since then.
It also proved to be the last time that Sweden would send a single athlete to the Winter Olympics.
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 three medals each.
These days, Germany is still the nation that wins the most medals per event, but it's not easy to catch up with German excellence. From 1976 to 1998, they didn't win any more than two medals at a time. But beginning in 1999, they've started winning more than two again - including four gold medals at these 2014 Games.
Canada also had a strong showing at these Olympics, taking home three silver medals and nine overall. Italy, Sweden, and United States also earned multiple silver medals.
In fact, only eight nations have ever won more than two medals at a single Winter Olympics: Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Norway, Japan, South Korea, Russia, and Canada.
The International Olympic Committee lent its support to a Winter Sports Week in Chamonix, France, in 1921. This tournament was a huge success, with 10,004 paid spectators and was renamed the First Olympic Winter Games in hindsight. No doubt this event helped establish sports like ski jumping, ice hockey, and nordic skiing as major attractions at the modern Olympics.
The First Olympic Winter Games were held from February 12-22, 1924. A total of 9 athletes from three countries participated in these games: Switzerland, Sweden, and Norway. All events except figure skating were open to men and women equally. The United States boycotted the games because they were not willing to be classified as a winter sport.
The next Winter Olympics were held in Chamonix four years later and are known as the Second Olympic Winter Games. A total of 28 nations sent athletes to this event which served as a qualification tournament for the 1936 Berlin Summer Games. Swedish athlete Stig Bengtsson won both the 100 meter sprint and the long jump during these games. This is still considered by many historians to be the first ever double victory in a single Olympic event.
The Third Olympic Winter Games were held in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany from February 14-23, 1952.
Chamonix The inaugural Winter Olympics were held in Chamonix, France, on January 25, 1924. The original plan was for the games to be held in Rheims, but since this city was under German rule at the time, it wasn't possible. So they settled on Chamonix instead.
Nyon Nyon is a small town in eastern Switzerland where the first Olympic Winter Games medal was won. It also holds the record for the highest average temperature during the event- 31 degrees Celsius (88 degrees Fahrenheit). The Games were held from February 9 to March 4, 1924. Alpine skiing was the most popular sport at the time; it was only a matter of time before it became an official Olympic event. The men's cross-country race was the first event held at the Olympics. It attracted nearly 15,000 fans - much more than any other Olympic game at that time.
Saint Moritz Saint Moritz is a town in Switzerland near the border with Italy. It hosts two major annual events: the Saint Moritz World Cup Skiing Championships and the Saint Moritz Film Festival. These events draw thousands of tourists to the area. But the town is best known as the home of the Winter Olympics.