Winter Olympic games

Article

May 29, 2022

Winter Olympic Games is a multi-sport event held every four years, bringing together modalities of winter sports played on ice and snow, being one of the maximum events of the Olympic Movement, alongside the Summer Olympic Games. The first world-wide competition to bring together winter sports was the International Week of Winter Sports, held in 1924 in the French city of Chamonix. Only two years later, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) decided to give the status of Olympic Games to that competition, which would happen regularly. In the beginning, the Summer and Winter Games were assigned to the same country to be held in the same year. It was like this until the fourth edition, in Germany, in 1936 (the year in which Berlin hosted the Summer Games and Garmisch-Partenkirchen hosted the Winter Games). After two editions canceled because of the Second World War (Sapporo 1940 and Cortina d'Ampezzo 1944), the Games were held by different countries, but continued to take place in the same year. In 1986, the IOC decided to intersperse the Summer and Winter Games, always held in even-numbered years. Thus, the 1992 Albertville Games were succeeded by the 1994 Lillehammer Games. The Winter Games have undergone significant changes since their inception. The rise of television as a global medium of communication has raised the profile of the Games. An income stream was also created, through the sale of broadcasting and advertising rights, which became profitable for the IOC. This allowed outside interests such as television companies and sponsors to influence the Games. The IOC had to respond to various criticisms and internal scandals, as well as the use of performance-enhancing substances by athletes. There was a political boycott of the Winter Olympics. Nations have also used the Winter Games to show the supposed superiority of their political systems. The United States has hosted the Games four times, more than any other country. Then comes France, with three editions. In total, ten countries have already hosted the Winter Games. The last edition took place in the South Korean resort of Pyeongchang, between February 9 and 25, 2018. The next edition is scheduled for the period from February 4 to 22, 2022 in the city of Beijing, capital of China, which will become the first city to host both the Summer and Winter Olympic Games.

History

Early years

The first international multi-sport event for winter sports was the Nordic Games held in Sweden in 1901. Originally organized by General Viktor Gustaf Balck, the Nordic Games were held again in 1903 and 1905, then every four years, and thereafter until 1926. Balck was a founding member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and a close friend of Olympic Games founder Pierre de Coubertin. He strove for winter sports, specifically figure skating, to be included in the Olympic program. Balck was not successful until the 1908 Summer Olympics in London, UK, featured four figure skating events, in which Ulrich Salchow (ten times world champion) and Madge Syers won the individual titles. Later, Italian Eugenio Brunetta d'Usseaux proposed that the IOC organize a winter sports week as part of the 1912 Summer Olympics in Stockholm, Sweden. Organizers opposed this idea, as they wished to protect the integrity of the Nordic Games, and were concerned about the lack of winter sports facilities. The idea was revived for the 1916 Games, which were to be held in Berlin, Germany. A week of winter sports with speed skating, figure skating, ice hockey and Nordic skiing was planned, but the Jo