16 countries sent their athletes to the Winter Olympics. European states dominated, joined by the US and Canada. Germany has not received an invitation to the games – the world public has not forgiven it a leading role in unleashing the First World War. Among the participants was not the Soviet Union – this country was not recognized by the majority of countries. But for games came the team of independent Latvia, as well as former allies of Germany – Austria and Hungary.
A total of 293 athletes competed in a limited number of disciplines: ski racing and ski double, bobsleigh, hockey, speed skating and figure skating. The participants included 13 women. Most female athletes performed in figure skating – both in singles and as part of pairs. Figure skating became a major wrestling arena for men as well. Skiers and speed skaters from Scandinavia were so above their rivals from other countries that they had virtually no competitors at these games.
The unofficial team championship was won by the team of Norway, which received 17 medals – most of them brought by athletes – skiers. One of the heroes of this Olympics was Turleif Haug, who won three golds and one bronze for the ski races and the double sculls. Second place and 11 gold medals went to Finland. Skater Claes Thunberg brought the most awards – three golds and one silver – to his country.
In the third place with a large margin was the team of Austria – two gold and one silver medal were won by skaters. The hostess of games – France – did not shine at this Olympics. In her piggy bank was just one bronze medal for pair figure skating.