Did you know that the first ever Winter Olympic games were held January 25th through February 4th, 1924 in Chamonix, France where 258 athletes from sixteen countries participated in sixteen contested events for bobsled, curling, figure skating, hockey, military patrol, skiing (cross-country, and jumping), and speed skating? The countries represented were: Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czechoslovakia, Finland, France, Great Britain, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Norway, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland, United States, and Yugoslavia. On the tenth day, February 4th, Canada defended its hockey title and dominated in winning six of seven gold medals. Norway brought home the greatest number of medals, followed by Finland. Interestingly a new prize for mountaineering was awarded to Charles Granville Bruce of Great Britain who attempted to climb Mount Everett with his expedition team two years earlier.
The success of these games led to the decision by the International Olympic Committee that the Winter Olympics would be held every four years, separate from the Summer Olympics. Over time new sports have been added, among them: luge, Nordic combined, skeleton, snowboard, and short track speed skating.
The 2022 Winter Olympics are being hosted in Beijing, China, February 4th through 20th. Other host countries have been: Switzerland (St Moritz, 1928, 1948); the United States (Lake Placid, 1932, 1980; Squaw Valley, 1960; Salt Lake City, 2002); Germany (Garmisch-Partenkirchen, 1936); Norway (Oslo, 1952; Lillehammer, 1994); Italy (Cortina d'Ampezzo, 1956; Torino, 2006); Austria (Innsbruck, 1964, 1976); France (Chamonix, 1924; Grenoble, 1968, Albertville, 1992); Japan (Sapporo, 1972; Nagano, 1998); Yugoslavia (Sarajevo, 1984); Canada (Calgary, 1998; Vancouver, 2010); Russia (Sochi, 2014); South Korea (PyeongChang, 2018).
The following articles are drawn from Proquest Historical Newspapers, which informs and inspires classroom teaching and learning.
- Olympic History. (1960, Feb 14). The Observer (1901- 2003)
- Daly, A. (1968, Feb 20). Sports Of the Times: The Frostbite Follies. New York Times (1923-)
- The Official History Of the Olympic Games. (1976, Apr 11). Newsday (1940-)
- Weiner, J. (1980, Feb 10). The Past 12 Winter Olympics: 1924---Chamonix, France. Newsday (1940-)
- Schaap, D. (1988, Feb 07). Why the Winter Olympics?: The Games the Greeks Never Conceived--and In Which Two-Thirds Of the World Never Competes--Are Now Recognized For What They Are: The Victory Of Athletics Over Politics. Boston Globe (1960-)
- Liebenson, D. (1992, Feb 06). Why Wait?: Olympic-Watching Made Easy. Chicago Tribune (1963-1996)
- Goldberg, D. (1992, Apr 05). Changing World, Changing Lessons. The Washington Post (1974-)
- Keating, F. (1998, Feb 09). Remembers How Britons Once Shaped the Winter Olympics. The Guardian (1959-2003)
- Ice, Danger and Exhilaration: The Tremendous Speeds, Daring and Skills That Make the Winter Olympics a Unique Spectacle Are Part Of an Ancient Tradition. (1994, Feb 08). The Guardian (1959-2003)
- Steindorf, S. (2002, Feb 05). Schools Give Lessons a Five-Ring Spin. The Christian Science Monitor (1908-)
- Petersson, Bo, and Karina. Vamling. The Sochi Predicament : Contexts, Characteristics and Challenges of the Olympic Winter Games in 2014. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2013. e-book
- Shaw, Christopher A. Five Ring Circus Myths and Realities of the Olympic Games. Gabriola Island, B.C: New Society Publishers, 2008. e-book
- Vuic, Jason. The Sarajevo Olympics A History of the 1984 Winter Games. Amherst, [Massachusetts] ;: University of Massachusetts Press, 2015. e-book
- 1924WOlympics Poster, Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
- Special News Slide, Courtesy of the Gottesman Libraries (forthcoming)
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