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
- 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
Steering a 90 Mph Bobsled Involves a Simple Mechanism, but It’s Super DifficultA lot of Winter Olympics viewers are wondering: how do you steer a bobsled? They go ridiculously fast and require quick reflexes.
People Throw Stuffed Animals at Figure Skaters After They Finish Their EventsPeople throw stuffed animals at figure skaters, but some want to know why this tradition began, and how it's evolved over the years.
Some Think Kamila Valieva Was Forced to Fall on Purpose During Her Free SkateKamila Valieva fell during her free skate routine, leading some to wonder if she had been told to fall on purpose by Russian authorities.
Despite a Failed Drug Test, Kamila Valieva Was Cleared to Compete at the OlympicsFollowing a failed drug test, the Olympics committee allowed figure skater Kamila Valieva to compete — why? How is this fair? Details inside.
The "Kiss-and-Cry" Area Will Make or Break Figure Skaters at the Winter OlympicsFor figure skaters, nothing is more stressful than entering the "kiss-and-cry" area. What is it? Here's everything we know about the section.
Are Olympic Medals Actually Made of Real Gold? Here's the ScoopAre Olympic medals actually made of real gold? The coveted sports prizes have an interesting process of creation.
Skiers Are Wearing KT Tape on Their Face at the Winter Olympics — Here's WhyMany skiers are choosing to add an extra layer of protection while running their events — KT tape. Why do they wear it? Here's what to know.
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.
Here’s Why Snowboarders Wear Mittens Instead of GlovesSnowboarding has quickly become a fan favorite Winter Olympics event, and fans watching the events want to know: why do boarders wear mittens?
Olympic Snowboarder Shaun White Maintains a Close Relationship With His FamilyDoes Shaun White have kids? With news of his relationship with Vampire Diaries star Nina Dobrev heating up, fans have some questions.
What Is Super-G in Skiing? Everything Fans Should Know About the Speedy CourseThe Winter Olympics are here, and viewers are eager to see the super-G skiing competition. Here's what to know about this speedy course.
Shaun White Is Officially Retired from Competition After Finishing FourthShaun White has officially retired from Olympic competition after the Beijing games, but why did the 35-year-old decide to retire now?
Did Kamila Valieva Take Trimetazidine? Inside the Latest Olympic Doping AllegationsDid Russia get caught doping, and if so, how? Kamila Valieva, a figure skater who made history on Monday, Feb. 7, 2022, is facing doping allegations.
All Female Snowboarders Are Sporting Face Framing Hair Strands — Why Is That?The Winter Olympics are in full swing, and viewers are eager to know why female snowboarders leave their hair out while competing. Here's what we know.
Nina Dobrev and Shaun White's Relationship Timeline Is Filled With Special MomentsCurious about Nina Dobrev and Shaun White's relationship timeline? There’s a lot to consider with this good-looking power couple. Here's what fans should know.
Olympic Athletes Are Complaining About Quarantine Conditions in Beijing — What's Going On?Some of the Olympic athletes in Beijing are complaining about food and other quarantine conditions. Here's what we know about what's going on.
Why Do Figure Skaters Wear Gloves? Here's What Winter Olympics Fans Should KnowViewers of the amazing figure skating performances at the Olympics might be a little curious about one small detail: Why do figure skaters wear gloves?
Olympic Ski Jumpers Are Facing Suit Violations at the 2022 CompetitionSki jumping is quite a complex sport, especially in terms of suit violations. What is that? Here's everything you need to know about the rule.
Olympic Athletes Can Get Paid for Their Remarkable Athleticism, but It's Usually Not MuchAre Olympic athletes actually paid anything? Detailing the trials and tribulations of some of the world's biggest athletes.
Eileen Gu Was Born in America but Is Winning Gold Medals for ChinaEileen Gu is a breakout star of the 2022 Winter Olympics, but why is she skiing for China instead of the U.S., the country she was born in?
Leslie Jones Might Quit Her Olympics Live Recap, but the Internet Wants Her to StayLeslie Jones has been providing relatable Olympics recaps for years, but she might end with the 2022 Winter Olympics. Why is she leaving?
Who Was Mikaela Shiffrin's Dad? The Skier Took a Break From the Sport After His PassingOlympic skier Mikaela Shiffrin's dad, Jeff Shiffrin, was a constant support in her life. Her father sadly died in 2020. What was his cause of death?
When Will the Olympics Be in the USA Again? It's Been 20 Years Since the Games Were HereWhen will The Olympics be held in the USA again? It's been 20 years since the games were in the States, and a lot has happened since then.
Mikaela Shiffrin Fell Early in the Giant Slalom, Shocking the Olympic WorldMikaela Shiffrin skied out of the giant slalom event in Beijing, leading many to wonder what the phrase actually means and why she fell.
What Is Skeleton at the Olympics? Everything You Need to Know About the Heart-Pounding SportAmong the many sports played at the Winter Olympics is skeleton, a lesser-known but equally exciting show of athletics. What is skeleton? Here's the scoop.
Nathan Chen’s Salt Lake City Upbringing Fueled His Olympic DreamsIs Nathan Chen Mormon? Learn more about the Salt Lake City-raised figure skater representing the United States at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.
Nonbinary Skater Timothy LeDuc: Queer Athletes Have “Always Been Here”Meet Timothy LeDuc, the nonbinary figure skater making history at the Winter Olympics in Beijing (and calling out China’s human rights violations).
Nathan Chen and Amber Glenn Were Once a Figure-Skating Power CoupleWho is Nathan Chen dating? The athlete currently competing in the 2022 Olympics was once in a relationship with fellow figure skater Amber Glenn.
Olympic Figure Skater Ashley Cain-Gribble’s Husband Gave a “Truly Incredible” ProposalAshley Cain-Gribble’s husband proposed to her three years after their first date at an ice rink. Learn more about the U.S. figure skater and her beau.
What Is Michelle Kwan up to Now? The Figure Skating Champion and Olympic Darling Is a New MomOlympic figure skater Michelle Kwan won hearts and medals during her days of competition, but where is she now? Here's what we know about Michelle.
Nathan Chen Is a Talented Figure Skater –– Who Are His Parents and Siblings?Nathan Chen is an Olympic-level figure skater who’s made a name for himself. Here’s what you should know about his parents and his siblings.
NBC's Savannah Guthrie Won't Be at the 2022 Winter Olympics — Here's WhyWhy Is Savannah Guthrie not at the Winter Olympics? Details on how NBC is covering the Games in 2022.
Everything You Need to Know About Watching the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, ExplainedLight 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