Winter Olympics

winter olympic games

The first Winter Olympic Games were held in 1924 in Chamonix, France and featured 16 events with more than 250 athletes from 16 different nations. Since then, the games have occurred every four years during the winter season, barring an interruption in both 1940 and 1944 due to WWII. Originally, both the Winter Olympics and the Summer Olympics took place during the same year. This changed in 1992 when the International Olympic Committee elected to keep the Summer and Winter Games on separate four-year cycles.

Which countries have hosted the Winter Olympic Games?

Since their inception, the Winter Games have been hosted by thirteen different countries. The games have been four times by the U.S.; three times in France; twice in Austria, Canada, Japan, Italy, Norway, and Switzerland; and once in Germany, Yugoslavia, Russia, South Korea, and China. For the 2022 Winter Games, Beijing became the first city to have hosted both the Summer and Winter games.

What sports are in the Winter Olympic Games?

There are currently 15 sports included in the Winter Olympic Games:

  • Alpine Skiing
  • Cross-country Skiing
  • Freestyle Skiing
  • Ski Jumping
  • Nordic Combined (Cross-country Skiing and Ski Jumping)
  • Biathlon (Cross-Country Skiing and Rifle Marksmanship)
  • Figure Skating
  • Speed Skating
  • Short Track Speed Skating
  • Snowboarding
  • Bobsleigh
  • Luge
  • Skeleton
  • Curling
  • Ice Hockey

Which countries have won the most medals in the Winter Olympic Games?

Following the 2018 Winter Olympics (hosted in Pyeongchang, South Korea), the 10 countries with the most Winter Games medals were:

  • Norway — 368 medals
  • United States — 305 medals
  • Germany — 240 medals
  • Austria — 232 medals
  • Canada — 199 medals
  • Soviet Union (Defunct) — 194 medals
  • Finland — 167 medals
  • Sweden — 158 medals
  • Switzerland — 153 medals
  • Netherlands — 130 medals

Which athletes have the most Winter Olympic Games medals?

Following the 2018 Winter Olympics (hosted in Pyeongchang, South Korea), the 10 athletes with the most Winter Games medals were:

  • Marit Bjørgen (Norway), Cross-country Skiing — 15 medals
  • Ole Einar Bjøndalen (Norway), Biathlon — 13 medals
  • Bjørn Dæhlie (Norway), Cross-country Skiing — 12 medals
  • Ireen Wüst (Netherlands), Speed Skating — 11 medals
  • Raisa Smetananina (Soviet Union, Unified Team), Cross-country Skiing — 10 medals
  • Stefania Belmodo (Italy), Cross-country Skiing — 10 medals
  • Lyubov Yegorova (Unified Team, Russia), Cross-country Skiing — 9 medals
  • Sixten Jernberg (Sweden), Cross-country Skiing — 9 medals
  • Sven Kramer (Netherlands), Speed Skating — 9 medals

When and where will the next Winter Olympic Games be held?

The 2026 Winter Olympics will take place in Milan-Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy. The host city for the 2030 Winter Olympic Games has not yet been announced — that will most likely occur at the 140th IOC Session, which will be held in Mumbai, India in 2023.

Latest Winter Olympics News and Updates

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    By Mustafa Gatollari
  • Stuffed animals on an ice rink.
    Sports

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    By Joseph Allen
  • Kamila Valieva
    Sports

    Some Think Kamila Valieva Was Forced to Fall on Purpose During Her Free Skate

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    By Joseph Allen
  • Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva
    Sports

    Despite a Failed Drug Test, Kamila Valieva Was Cleared to Compete at the Olympics

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    By Allison DeGrushe
  • Figure skaters have a designated "kiss and cry" area
    Sports

    The "Kiss-and-Cry" Area Will Make or Break Figure Skaters at the Winter Olympics

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    By Allison DeGrushe
  • Erin Jackson displaying her Winter Olympics 2022 Gold medal
    Sports

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  • Swiss biathlete Amy Baserga wears tape on her face
    Sports

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    By Allison DeGrushe
  • Erin Jackson
    Sports

    Olympic Gold Medalist Erin Jackson Made History — Who Are Her Parents?

    Who are Erin Jackson's parents? The 29-year-old gold medalist has made history as the first Black woman to win solo speed skating event at the Olympics.
    By Tatayana Yomary
  • Snowboarders Mittens
    Sports

    Here’s Why Snowboarders Wear Mittens Instead of Gloves

    Snowboarding has quickly become a fan favorite Winter Olympics event, and fans watching the events want to know: why do boarders wear mittens?
    By Mustafa Gatollari
  • Shaun White
    Sports

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  • A female skier competing down a slope.
    Sports

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    By Allison DeGrushe
  • Shaun White
    Sports

    Shaun White Is Officially Retired from Competition After Finishing Fourth

    Shaun White has officially retired from Olympic competition after the Beijing games, but why did the 35-year-old decide to retire now?
    By Joseph Allen
  • Russian ice skaters
    Sports

    Did Kamila Valieva Take Trimetazidine? Inside the Latest Olympic Doping Allegations

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    By Leila Kozma
  • Team USA women's snowboarder Chloe Kim
    Sports

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    By Allison DeGrushe
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  • olympic protesters
    Sports

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  • figure skating
    Sports

    Why Do Figure Skaters Wear Gloves? Here's What Winter Olympics Fans Should Know

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    By Stephanie Harper
  • An unidentified individual ski jumps at the 1960 Winter Olympics
    Sports

    Olympic Ski Jumpers Are Facing Suit Violations at the 2022 Competition

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    By Allison DeGrushe
  • Natalia Becker
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  • Eileen Gu
    Sports

    Eileen Gu Was Born in America but Is Winning Gold Medals for China

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    By Mustafa Gatollari
  • Leslie Jones in 2016
    Entertainment

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    Leslie Jones has been providing relatable Olympics recaps for years, but she might end with the 2022 Winter Olympics. Why is she leaving?
    By Callie (Carlos) Cadorniga
  • Mikaela Shiffrin's dad
    Sports

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  • April Ross and Alix Klineman
    Sports

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  • Skiier in Chin
    Sports

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    Mikaela Shiffrin skied out of the giant slalom event in Beijing, leading many to wonder what the phrase actually means and why she fell.
    By Joseph Allen
  • Skeleton sport
    Sports

    What Is Skeleton at the Olympics? Everything You Need to Know About the Heart-Pounding Sport

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    By Anna Garrison
  • Nathan Chen
    Sports

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    By Dan Clarendon
  • Timothy LeDuc
    Sports

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    By Dan Clarendon
  • Amber Glenn and Nathan Chen
    Celebrity Relationships

    Nathan Chen and Amber Glenn Were Once a Figure-Skating Power Couple

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    By Dan Clarendon
  • Dalton Gribble and Ashley Cain-Gribble
    Sports

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    By Dan Clarendon
  • Michelle Kwan
    Sports

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    By Anna Garrison
  • Nathan Chen
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    Nathan Chen Is a Talented Figure Skater –– Who Are His Parents and Siblings?

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    By Stephanie Harper
  • Gus Kenworthy
    Celebrity Relationships

    Who Is Gus Kenworthy Dating? He Posted Pics With a Mystery Man Last Fall

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    By Stephanie Harper
  • Savannah Guthrie
    Entertainment

    NBC's Savannah Guthrie Won't Be at the 2022 Winter Olympics — Here's Why

    Why Is Savannah Guthrie not at the Winter Olympics? Details on how NBC is covering the Games in 2022.
    By Kori Williams
  • '2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.'
    Sports

    Everything You Need to Know About Watching the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, Explained

    Light the torch! Feb. 4, 2022, kicks off the Beijing Winter Olympics, and fans are eager to watch the festivities. Here's how to catch the Winter Olympics
    By Anna Garrison
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