When and where the Winter Olympics took place

At the time of the first Winter Games, athletes didn’t even suspect they were participating in the Olympics. In February 1924, they gathered in the small French town of Chamonix for competitions organized by the hosts of the Paris Summer Olympics called “International Winter Sports Week”. The following year, the International Olympic Committee decided to regularly hold the Winter Games and declared the competitions held in Chamonix as the first Winter Olympics. So American speed skater Charles Jethro (Charles Jewtraw) learned to his surprise that he is the first ever Winter Games champion.

The second games were already held according to all rules – a contest of cities took place, and at the opening ceremony in the winning Swiss St. Moritz the Olympic flame was lit. Before the break caused by the Second World War, the Olympic Games were held in the American Lake Placid (1932) and German Garmisch-Partenkirchen (1936). The first post-war winter competitions again took place in the Swiss St. Moritz (1948), but athletes who lost the war to Germany and Japan were not invited to them.

In 1956 the Winter Olympiad finally came to the server of Europe, whose states always get the lion’s share of medals. VI games were held in the Norwegian capital, in Oslo. After 46 years Norway once again hosted the Winter Olympiad – XVII games were held in Lillehammer. As this is not strange, no other Nordic country has held a Winter Olympics to date. But in the United States they took place four times (1932, 1960, 1980, 2002), in France – three (1924, 1968, 1992). Two times each were played in Japan (1972, 1998), Austria (1964, 1976), Canada (1988, 2010) and Italy (1956, 2006). Once the Winter Forum of Olympians took place in Yugoslavia (1984). In 2014, Russia has to be added to this list, which has received the right to host XXII games, and in four years – South Korea, which will become the hostess of the XXIII Winter Olympics.

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