Let the Winter Olympics begin

On January 25, 1924, the opening ceremonies of the first modern winter Olympic Games, originally called ‘Winter Sports Week’ were held in Chamonix, France.

The Olympic committee was formed in 1921. There were 258 athletes participating in the games ,11 were women and 247 were men.  The games were witnessed by 10,000 paying spectators. The opening ceremony featured athletes carrying equipment such as skis and hockey sticks. Since then teams started having uniforms made to help the delegation represent the motherland.

Athletes competed in a variety of sports. They were bobsleigh, cross country skiing, curling, figure skating, ice hockey, Nordic Combined, ski jumping and speed skating.

American 500 meter speed skater, Charles Jewtraw was the first to win a competition in the winter Olympics. Clas Thunberg won five medals in speed skating, more than anybody else in the games. Three of them were gold. Team Canada took gold in hockey by scoring 122 goals and only letting three pucks in the net.

Medal counts per country:

Norway-17;Britain-4;USA-4;Switzerland-3;Austria-2;France-2;Sweden-2;Belgium-1

Numerous traditions have been added to the opening ceremonies. One addition to the games was the ceremonial lighting of the Olympic Flame, first done in 1936 in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Bavaria.

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