The first Winter Olympic Games opened on this day in 1924 in Chamonix, France.
Inspired by the ancient Greek games, the Olympics were revived in 1896 in the form of the Summer Games.
While the Winter Games have fewer events than the Summer Games, its popularity has been increasing. Athletes currently compete in 15 winter sports.
There have been many memorable moments over the years, including “The miracle on Ice” in the 1980 Lake Placid Games with the USA beating the Soviet Union in hockey; Italian Alberto Tomba’s five medal winning performances in alpine skiing in three games; The British ice dancing pair Torvill and Dean achieving perfection at Sarajevo in 1984, and so on.
Cumulatively, Norway won the most in each medal category: gold, silver and bronze. The USA is second in overall medal count.
The upcoming Beijing Winter Olympics will be the 24th games of the Winter Olympiad.
This Homann map of the French and Italian Alps from 1720 also shows two other Winter Olympic cities: Grenoble (1968), and Turin (2006).
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: Antique Maps & Fun Facts here on Loveland Beacon.