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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