Learn some important facts about the Winter Games.
The winter Games started on February 4. Right now, athletes are skating, skiing and soaring on ice and snow. For the next two weeks, many anthems will be heard and Gold will be given to the top Olympians. Keep reading to learn 10 things you need to know about Winter Olympics.
1. First Host
The first Winter Olympics were originally called “winter sports week.” That event was held in Chamonix, France in 1924. 260 athletes from 16 nations competed in 16 events in the Games. The Games started on Jan 25 and ended on Feb 5.
2. First winners
The American speed skater Charles Jewtraw is the first gold medalist in the history of the games. The Austrian figure skater Herma Planck-Szabo was the first woman to win a gold medal. Norway became the first country to win the Winter Olympics with 17 medals. Those included 4 Gold medals.
3. Oldest Sport
There 15 sports in the Winter Olympics. Figure skating is the oldest one of them. It was first introduced in the summer Olympic Games in 1908. The United States has the most medals in this sport with 15 gold medals. The Canadian duo Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir won the most medals in this sport with 3 gold and 2 silver medals.
4. Newest Sport
The skeleton is the newest addition to the Winter Olympics. It was added in 2002. The British racer Elizabeth Yarnold is the most successful athlete in that sport winning 2 consecutive Gold medals in 2014 and 2018. Great Britain has the most medals in the sport so far with nine medals.
5. Norwegian Dominance
Norway dominates the Winter Olympics. The country has won the most medals (368), the most gold medals (132), the most silver medals (125), and the most bronze medals (111).
6. Looking for success
119 nations have participated in the Winter Olympics. Romania has attended the most Winter Games (21) without winning a gold medal. While Greece and Argentina have attended the most games without winning any medals (19).
7. Most Successful Athlete
The Norwegian skier Marit Bjorgen is the most successful athlete in the history of the Winter Olympics with a total of 15 medals (8 gold, 4 silver and 3 bronze). The great champion won her medals across five Olympic Games: Salt Lake 2002, Torino 2006, Vancouver 2010, Sochi 2014 and PyeongChang 2018.
8. Most Successful Male Athlete
The Norwegian biathlete Ole Einar Bjørndalen is the most successful male athlete in the history of the games with 13 medals (8 Gold, 4 silver, 1 bronze). He won his medals across five Olympic Games. His prime was in the 2002 Salt Lake City games where he swept 4 gold medals. He is the only athlete ever to win all biathlon events in a single Winter Olympics.
9. Success in Summer and Winter Games
128 athletes have participates in both the summer and winter games and only five of these Olympians have won medals in both editions. The American athlete Edward Eagan was the first win to achieve this milestone and the only Olympian to win gold medals in both the summer and Winter Olympic Games in different disciplines. Eagan won his first gold in boxing in the 1920 summer Olympics. In 1932, he won his winter gold in the four-man bobsled competition. The last one to do this achievement was the American sprinter Lauryn Williams who won two medals in the Summer Olympics (gold in 2012 and silver in 2004). She also won a silver medal with the US’ two-woman bobsleigh team in 2014.
10. Beijing is the first city to host both the Winter Games and the summer games.
The Chinese city hosted the summer games in 2008, 14 years before hosting the winter edition. Enjoy the Games!