The history of the Winter Olympic Games 

When you turn on the TV to settle down and watch the Winter Olympics, you’re actually tuning into an event that has grown from small, humble beginnings, into the major sporting affair it is today. Alongside the Summer Olympic Games, the Winter Olympics pits sporting legends against one another, all in the name of winning that elusive gold medal for their country and being written into the history books.

History Of The Winter Olympic Games

The history of the Winter Olympic Games goes right back to 1924, when the first event was held in Chamonix, France. Attended by only 258 athletes from 16 countries, just five sporting disciplines were included – bobsleigh, curling, ice hockey, Nordic skiing (consisting of military patrol, cross-country skiing, Nordic combined, and ski jumping), and skating (consisting of figure skating and speed skating). This first edition of the Games was hugely popular, and was continued until 1936 when it was put on hold due to World War II. The Games resumed in 1948 and continued alongside the summer games until 1992 when a decision was made to alternate the summer and winter events. As they do now, each version is held every four years, with the winter version occurring two years after the summer version in a constant 4 year cycle.

History Of The Winter Olympic Games

Money began to pile into the Games as TV rights were sold and events were broadcast all over the globe, the Olympic flame fuelling the popularity of this world famous collection of athletes.

The history of the Winter Olympic Games has touched many countries and continents, with the USA having hosted the Games the most times, in 1932, 1960, 1980, and most recently in 2002. France comes next, not only having hosted the first Games, but also having hosted another two since then. Austria, Canada, Japan, Italy, Norway and Switzerland have all hosted the Games twice each, and Germany, Yugoslavia, and Russia have hosted it just the once, with Sochi, Russia being the most recent event.

The next episode will be in South Korea, in Pyeongchang, in February 2018. During the Games, viewers can look forward to all of their favourite events such as biathlon, bobsleigh, curling, skiing, ice hockey, luge, and skating, amongst many, many others. Over the years many events have been added, including more modern sports such as snowboarding and short track speed skating. Some of these sports were originally discontinued and then added again, such as curling and bobsleigh, which gained huge popularity from the Disney film Cool Running’s, and always pulls a huge audience with its high speeds and heavy tumbles.

History of the winter olympic games

One thing is for sure, the Winter Olympics are becoming as popular as its summer sibling, as more and more modern sports are added, and new superstars and childhood idols are born. XTM are extremely proud to have been the Australian team sponsor for the past 3 Olympics, and we’re looking forward to helping nurture many more stars of the future. May the Olympic flame continue to burn brightly!

You can read up on more about XTM’s alliance with the Olympic Winter Institute of Australia by visiting our Winter Olympic Alliance page.

Make sure you check out our range of Mens Ski Gear and Womens Ski Gear designed by Australia's best winter athletes!


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