Past Winter Olympic Games

  • Last Updated: February 5 2014, 0:13 GMT

A brief look back at all the previous Winter Olympic Games, which began in Chamonix way back in 1924.

  • Alberto Tomba was one of the stars of the 1988 Games
  • The USA celebrate their 'miracle on ice' against the Soviet Union 

1924 CHAMONIX: A total of 258 athletes from 16 nations took part in the inaugural Winter Games and the first medal was won by the American Charles Jewtraw in the 500m speed-skating. Sweden's Gilles Grafstrom became the first and only athlete to successfully defend his Summer Games title at a Winter Olympics when he won the men's figure skating.

1928 ST MORITZ: Sonja Henie won her first of three consecutive gold medals in the women's figure skating, making her the youngest woman to win a gold medal - a record she would hold for 70 years. Having finished last on her Winter Olympic debut at the age of 11, Norwegian figure skater Sonja Henie returned at the age of 15 to claim the first of three consecutive gold medals. Gilles Grafstrom won his third straight men's figure skating title, having previously triumphed in 1924 and the 1920 Antwerp Summer Games.

1932 LAKE PLACID: The Lake Placid Games took place in trying economic times and the global austerity was reflected in the low-key hosting of the event. American Billy Fiske won his second straight four-man gold, and his crew included Eddie Eagan, who became the first man to win golds at both Summer and Winter Games having won the light-heavyweight boxing title in Antwerp 12 years earlier.

1936 GARMISCH: Officially opened by Adolf Hitler, the 1936 Garmisch Games were considered a tune-up by the ruling Nazi Party for the imminent Summer Games in Berlin. Sonja Henie won her third straight figure skating gold, announcing after the Games that it would be her last as she was turning professional.

1948 ST MORITZ: After a 12-year break due to the outbreak of World War Two, the Winter Olympics returned to St Moritz for the second time. American Dick Button won the men's figure skating competition, becoming the first man to complete a double axel in competition. American John Heaton won his second skeleton medal, 20 years after winning his first at the age of 19.


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1952 OSLO: Four years after completing the first competitive double axel, Dick Button made more history en route to reclaiming his title, as he executed the first triple loop during his routine. The six-strong Great Britain team wore black armbands at the opening ceremony to mark the death four days earlier of King George VI.

1956 CORTINA D'AMPEZZO: Austria's Toni Sailer became the first man to win all three alpine events in a single Games, taking all three golds by huge margins, including one of 6.2 seconds in the giant-slalom. The Games marked the debut of the Soviet Union, which would go on to win more golds than any other nation.

1960 SQUAW VALLEY: Such was the tight budget of the Squaw Valley Games that a bobsleigh run was not built after only nine team indicated their intention to compete. A further controversy over the definition of amateurism, particularly in relation to the Soviet ice hockey team, was eased when the United States won a surprise gold medal, beating the Soviets 3-2 in the medal round.

1964 INNSBRUCK: Soviet speed-skater Lydia Skoblikova was the undisputed star of the Innsbruck Games, sweeping the board to become the first athlete to win four gold medals at a single Winter Olympics. But the Innsbruck Games were shrouded in sadness following the deaths of Australian skiier Ross Milne and British luger Kazimierz Kay-Skrzypeski in training runs in the week prior to the Games.

1968 GRENOBLE: French great Jean-Claude Killy won gold in downhill, giant-slalom and slalom disciplines although his win in the latter was shrouded in one of the Games' great controversies. Austrian rival Karl Schranz was allowed a re-run after claiming a mysterious 'man in black' had crossed his path during his slalom run, forcing him to take evasive action. Given a re-start, Schranz beat Killy's time, but was subsequently disqualified, enabling Killy to make history.

1972 SAPPORO: The Sapporo Games were hit by controversy over professionalism, with Karl Schranz banned due to an endorsement deal, while Canada refused to send an ice hockey team because it protested at the effective professionalism of rivals from Eastern Bloc nations. Ski jumper Yukio Kasaya won the hosts' first Winter Games gold.

1976 GRENOBLE: Grenoble saw the emergence of greats like men's downhill racer Franz Klammer and US figure skater Dorothy Hamill. Klammer produced a magnificent performance to beat overall reigning champion Bernhard Russi and clinch gold for the host nation by 0.33 seconds.

1980 LAKE PLACID: The second Lake Placid Winter Games started under the shadow of politics when the United States announced days before the opening ceremony that they would boycott the 1980 Summer Games in Moscow. The Games saw the so-called 'Miracle On Ice' when a young American ice hockey team denied the Soviet Union a fifth consecutive gold medal.

1984: SARAJEVO: A streak of perfect sixes created the most indelible memory of the Sarajevo Games as British ice dance duo Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean mesmerised the judges with their performance to Ravel's Bolero. The judges also fell for a beautiful East German teenager called Katarina Witt, who beat fancied Rosalynn Sumners to the ladies' singles title.

1988 CALGARY: The Calgary Games were synonymous with big stars and wacky no-hopers. Italian skier Alberto Tomba, Finnish ski jumper Matti Nykanen and German figure skater Katarina Witt were the undoubted stars while the crowds were also thrilled by the exploits of Eddie 'The Eagle' Edwards and the Jamaican bobsleigh team.

1992 ALBERTVILLE: The collapse of the USSR led to six former Soviet states combining to form a unified team. Norwegian cross-country skiier Bjorn Daehlie won three golds while Finnish ski-jumper Toni Nieminen won two golds and one bronze medal at the age of just 16.

1994 LILLEHAMMER: The Lillehammer Games were the first Winter Games not to be held in the same year as their summer equivalent. Its build-up was hit by the revelation that the bodyguard of figure skater Tonya Harding had attacked rival Nancy Kerrigan with an iron bar prior to the US trials. Both skaters competed in the Games, crowd favourite Kerrigan claiming silver while Harding finished eighth.


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1998 NAGANO: Bjorn Daehlie's status as the greatest cross-country skiier of all-time was further enhanced in Nagano, where the Norwegian won three more gold medals, taking his career tally to a record eight. A relaxation of professional rules allowed NHL stars to compete in the ice hockey competition for the first time. Surprisingly, it was the Czech Republic who claimed the gold medal.

2002 SALT LAKE CITY: The Games were hit by a figure skating scandal, which saw Canadian pair Jamie Sale and David Pelletier awarded silver despite an apparently flawless programme, behind Russians Yelena Berezhnaya and Anton Sikharulidze.

2006 TURIN: The Turin Games were synonymous with disappointment - home hero Giorgio Rocca straddled the second gate of the men's slalom and was disqualified, while American snowboarder Lindsay Jacobellis crashed yards from the finish line in the women's snowboard-cross and missed out on gold as a result.

2010 VANCOUVER: The Vancouver Games were tainted by the tragic death of Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili, following a crash in training prior to the opening ceremony. Norwegian cross-country skier Marit Bjoergen topped the medal standings with five, including three golds, while there were four medals for her compatriot Petter Northug in the men's event.


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