By Steve Kovacs (Introduction by Chuck Gibson)

LOVELAND, OH (January 25, 2024) – Today’s edition of Fun with Maps takes us to the first Winter Olympics held 100 years ago.

Winter Gold

The modern Summer Olympic Games date to 1886, with the Greeks holding the first Olympics in 776 BC. 

The first Winter Game was opened on January 25, 1924, 100 years ago, in Chamonix, France, located very near where France, Italy and Switzerland meet.

The games have evolved with some interesting twists.  Figure skating was held at the Summer Games in 1908 and 1920, so predating the Winter Games.  Curling is not all that new – it was held in 1924 and reintroduced in 1998.

The US held the most Games at four, but Norway leads the medal count followed by the US.  Three cities held the games twice – St. Moritz, Switzerland, Innsbruck, Austria and Lake Placid.  Cortina, Italy should have but their repeat was cancelled due to WW2; however, they will earn the repeat title in 2026 when they will cohost with Milan.

This map of the Savoy region, where Chamonix is located is by Ortelius from 1602.  North is to the left.

Savoy region, where Chamonix is located – Circa 1602 (Credit Steve Kovacs)

Steve Kovacs and his wife Theresa reside in Loveland, Ohio where they raised their two children. He is a passionate collector of antique maps.

Visit his antique map boutique world-on-paper online. Watch for his daily feature Steve Kovacs: Fun with Maps here on Loveland Beacon.