Progression of Winter Olympics

Winter Olympics

The Winter Olympics is a multi-sport event that takes place every four years. The Winter Olympics began at the 1924 Games in Chamonix, France, and have been held every four years since. The Games have been hosted in 15 different countries and cities.

Winter Olympics

The Winter Olympics is a multi-sport event held every four years. It began in 1924 and is held in different locations around the world. The first Winter Olympics was held in Chamonix, France. It wasn’t until 1998 that the games were hosted outside of Europe or North America for the first time in Nagano, Japan.

First Winter Olympics in 1924

The first Winter Olympics were held in 1924 in Chamonix, France. The first Paralympics were held in 1976, and the first Winter Youth Olympic Games were held in 2012 in Innsbruck, Austria.

1948 Winter Olympics in St. Moritz, Switzerland

The 1948 Winter Olympics were held in St. Moritz, Switzerland, from February 11 to February 25. This was the first time that a Winter Games was held in Switzerland. Also, the only time that St. Moritz hosted these games (the city has since been chosen as host for both Summer and Winter Olympics). The stadium used for ice hockey during these games was called Stadion bobrun (Bob Run Stadium).

The opening ceremony took place on February 12th, with fireworks lighting up Mount Glatz, towering over the town below them

1956 Winter Olympics in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy

The 1956 Winter Olympics were held in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy. This was the first time a European country hosted these games. Also, the first time the event was held outside of North America. The host city chose to hold its events at an altitude above 2,000 meters (6,560 feet) to take advantage of its natural snowpack for skiing and snowboarding competitions.

1968 Winter Olympics in Grenoble, France

The 1968 Winter Olympics were the first winter games to be held in France and the first Olympic Games to be held in Europe outside of the Alps. The city of Grenoble hosted these games, which took place between January 25 and February 8, 1968.

The French had previously hosted an Olympics back in 1924 when they held their Summer Games in Paris.

1972 Winter Olympics in Sapporo, Japan

The 1972 Winter Olympics in Sapporo, Japan, were the first to be held in Asia. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) chose the host city on May 26, 1966, after rejecting a rival bid from Salt Lake City.

The city of Sapporo was established as the capital of Hokkaido Prefecture on May 1st, 1868, by order of Emperor Meiji. It became Japan’s first modern city with electricity and streetcar service when it opened its doors to foreign trade in 1876.

1976 Winter Olympics in Innsbruck, Austria

Innsbruck, Austria, was the first city to host the Winter Olympics in the southern hemisphere and the first time an Alpine country hosted.

The 1976 games saw many firsts for the Olympics. They were held in a non-European country for the first time when Innsbruck hosted them. They were also the first Winter Games where East and West Germany competed as one nation (they would reunite as such at their next Olympic appearance in 1988). Most importantly, however, these games were notable because they marked another milestone for women’s participation in sports. For example, figure skating was open only to men until 1976. Dorothy Hamill became one of two women who competed against each other during competition rounds and won!

1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, New York, United States (withdrew)

The 1980 Winter Olympics, officially known as the XIII Olympic Winter Games, was a winter multi-sport event that took place from February 13 to February 24, 1980, in Lake Placid. The host city was chosen in 1973 over Denver, Colorado, and Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy, by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) at its 74th session in Baden Baden, West Germany.

1984 Winter Olympics in Sarajevo, Yugoslavia (withdrew)

Sarajevo was the first city to host the Winter Olympics twice. The first time was in 1984, and the second time was in 1984. Sarajevo is also the only city to have ever hosted both summer and winter Olympic games.

The 1984 Winter Olympics were held from January 14-27th, with figure skating taking place at Mount Trebevic Stadium on February 1st (which means it’s still winter!).

1988 Calgary Games (the first Calgary-hosted event)

The 1988 Winter Olympics were held in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, from February 13 to February 28. The Soviet Union and East Germany boycotted the games, leaving 64 nations competing for medals. Calgary was chosen as the host city in 1981 after being selected over Falun, Sweden, by a vote of 7-4.

The Games have been held every four years since 1920, except for 1942 (due to World War II) and 1946 (when they were canceled due to lack of funds).

1992 Albertville Games (the first Albertville-hosted event)

The 1992 Winter Olympics were held in Albertville, France, the first time a European city hosted an Olympic Games. The 1992 Summer Olympics was held in Barcelona, so no Summer Olympics existed in 1991. The 1988 Winter Olympics had been held in Calgary, and so there was no Winter Olympics in 1989 either.

This made it the first time that a European country had hosted an event after having hosted another one less than 10 years earlier (and therefore avoiding any possible negative comparisons between their previous efforts versus those of other nations). It also meant that these were the first ever Winter Games held entirely within Europe. Before this point, all but two had been held outside of Europe: 1924 Chamonix/Paris & 1968 Grenoble/Annecy (France); 1956 Cortina d’Ampezzo (Italy).

1994 Lillehammer Games (the first Lillehammer-hosted event)

The Lillehammer Games were the first Winter Olympics to be held in Norway. They took place between 15 and 25 February 1994, with 2,176 athletes from 57 countries competing in 98 events across 15 sports. The Games were notable for a number of reasons: they were the first time that women’s hockey had been included in the Olympic program; they were also the first time that all five Nordic countries (Denmark/Faroe Islands, Finland/Åland Islands, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden) competed as part of a unified team under one flag rather than competing separately under their own national flags; this unified team would later become known as Team Europe at future Winter Olympics events.

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1998 Nagano Games (the first Nagano-hosted event)

The 1998 Winter Olympics were the first to be held in Asia. The city of Nagano, Japan, was chosen as the host city over Salt Lake City, Utah, and Östersund, Sweden.

The Games were held between February 7 and February 22, 1998; a total of 2272 athletes took part (1429 men and 943 women), representing 72 National Olympic Committees (NOCs). The sports played were alpine skiing: downhill, combined. Biathlon: 12 km sprint. Cross-country skiing: 10 km freestyle mass start. Figure skating: singles short program/free skating & pairs short program/free skating. Freestyle skiing moguls (men & women). Ice hockey – men’s tournament final games only. Luge singles competition run 2 only if necessary due to weather conditions or lack thereof. Nordic combined individual large hill/10km cross country event.

2002 Salt Lake City Games (the first Salt Lake City-hosted event)

The 2002 WO were held in Salt Lake City from February 8 to 24, 2002. The games were the first Winter Olympics to be held in the United States since 1932. They marked the return of the Winter Games to their birthplace after a lapse of 52 years. Salt Lake City was selected as the host city on May 18, 1995, while they beat out Sofia (Bulgaria), Östersund (Sweden), Jaca (Spain), and Aosta Valley Region Italy.

The 2002 Winter Olympic Games were notable for being one of only three times that not all current International Olympic Committee members have competed at any given edition of these games (the others being the 1976 Summer Olympics boycotts). This was due solely because China chose not to participate because its selection process was linked with its own National Games. However, this would later change when Beijing hosted the 2022 Winter Olympics instead

2006 Turin Games (the first Turin-hosted event)

The 2006 Turin Games were the first WO to be held in Italy. They were also the first Winter Olympics in Europe since 1992. Also, the first Winter Games to be held in a “warm” country. Finally, they were notable for being the first time an athlete lit the flame instead of a dignitary or politician.

The opening ceremony featured performers dressed as ancient Romans. They reenacted scenes from Roman history before unveiling an image of Mount Vesuvius erupting with fireworks shooting outwards toward spectators seated around it. This was followed by an aerial display of skiers performing acrobatics while suspended from wires above the ice rink surface.

2010 Vancouver Games (the first Vancouver-hosted event)

The 2010 WOs were held in Vancouver, Canada. The country won the most medals overall and also won the most gold medals. It was also the first time that a non-European or Asian country hosted an Olympic event with winter sports.


The Winter Olympics are a time for the world to come together and celebrate the beauty of winter sports. The first WO was held in 1924 in France. They have been held every four years since then. Except for two occasions when there were no games due to World War II (1940 & 1944).