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Interesting Sports Facts

Facts about the Winter Olympic Games
Winter Olympic Games Facts

Check out our fun Winter Olympic Games facts for kids. Learn which countries have been the most successful at the Winter Olympics, which athletes have won a medal at both the Summer and Winter Olympics, how the Jamaican bobsleigh team inspired a movie and much more.

 


  • Following the success of the Summer Olympics the first Winter Olympic Games were held in 1924, in Chamonix, France.

  • The United States has hosted the Winter Olympics a record four times. Lake Placid in 1932 and 1980, Squaw Valley in 1960, and Salt Lake City in 2002.

  • No country in the Southern Hemisphere has ever hosted a Winter Olympics.

  • The Winter Olympics were held in the same year as the Summer Olympics until 1992. The Winter Olympics were then held just two years later in 1994 so the events could begin separate four-year cycles (two years apart).

  • Before the Winter Olympics began in 1924, ice figure skating was part of the Summer Olympics in 1908 and again in 1920 (along with ice hockey).

  • Twelve countries have sent athletes to every Winter Olympics: Austria, Canada, Finland, France, Great Britain, Hungary, Italy, Norway, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland and the United States.

  • Six of those countries have won a medal at every games: Austria, Canada, Finland, Norway, Sweden and the US.

  • Norway has won the most gold (118), the most silver (111), the most bronze (100) and the most total medals (329) of any nation at the Winter Olympics (as of 2014, after the Sochi games).

  • The 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi saw a record number of 2,800 participants, from a record 88 countries, competing in 7 sports over a record 98 events.

  • Four athletes have won medals at the Summer and Winter Olympic: Eddie Eagan (USA), Jacob Tullin Thams (Norway), Christa Luding-Rothenburger (East Germany), and Clara Hughes (Canada).

  • American Eddie Eagan is the only person in history to have won a gold medal at both the Winter and Summer Olympics. Light-heavyweight boxing gold at Antwerp in 1920 and gold in the four-man bobsled team at Lake Placid in 1932.

  • Before the start of the 2014 Games in Sochi, the Olympic torch traveled the longest distance in history to some amazing places, including the North Pole, the bottom of Lake Baikal (the world’s deepest lake), the top of Mount Elbrus (Europe's highest mountain), and even into outer space.

  • Walt Disney was chairman of the opening and closing ceremonies at the 1960 Winter Olympics in Squaw Valley, California. His opening ceremony included 5,000 entertainers, the release of 2,000 pigeons, and a military gun salute.

  • The movie 'Cool Runnings' is inspired by the true Olympic story of the Jamaican national bobsleigh team who debuted at the 1988 Winter Games in Alberta, Canada, and came into the games as underdogs.

  • Military patrol was in the 1924 Winter Games and was a demonstration sport in 3 other Games. Athletes (often military units) competed in cross-country skiing, ski mountaineering and rifle shooting. The event was later to become the Biathlon.

 
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