Establishment of the Winter Olympics

Establishment of the Winter Olympics

As is common knowledge, the Olympic Games are divided into 2 parts; the Summer Olympics and the Winter Olympics. In the early years, the Summer and Winter games used to be held in one and the same year. However, in order to increase the level of smoothness in the preparation for the games, the Winter Olympics is now held 2 years after each of the Summer Olympics.

The first known winter-sports event to be held in the world was the Nordic Games, which were held in Sweden in the year 1901. Organized by General Viktor Gustaf Balck, the games were held once more in the years 1903 and 1905 and continued to take place till the year 1926, being held after a gap of four years each time. General Balck also happened to be a member of the International Olympic Committee and a close confidante of Baron Pierre de Coubertin. Balck tried a lot to include winter games in the Olympic program but was unsuccessful till the year 1908. The Summer Olympics of 1908 comprised of 4 figure skating events Madge Syers and Ulrich Salchow managed to bag the individual titles.

The 1920 Summer Olympics held in the city of Antwerp, Belgium, witnessed a separate week dedicated for winter sports like Ice Hockey and figure skating. It was also decided that France, which was hosting the next Olympics in 1924, would also host a separate 11-day long event for winter sports. The destination for this event would be Chamonix. These games were regarded as a success as 16 nations were represented in it. Finland and Norway dominated these games, winning a total of 28 medals put together. Therefore, they were officially named as the “First Winter Olympic Games”. The International Olympic Committee later went on to appoint St. Moritz in Switzerland as the destination of the next Winter Olympics, which were to be held in the year 1928.

 

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