Curling, Figure Skating, Ice Hockey, Snowboarding, and Ski Jumping — oh my! I don't know about you, but I am an Olymp-addict — and I can never get enough of the Winter Olympic Games!
Here are some fun, crazy, and intriguing facts about the Winter Olympics.
1. The very first Winter Olympic Games was held in 1924 in Chamonix, France
Officially called the "I Olympic Winter Games", or Les Iers Jeux olympiques d'hiver in French, the competitions were held at the foot of the famous Mont Blanc and Haute-Savoie between January 25 and February 5, 1924. It was held in the same year as the Summer Olympic Games, which continued until 1992.
2. There are 15 official Winter Olympic sports
There are multiple events within each category, but there are only 15 main events. They are:
- Alpine Skiing
- Cross Country Skiing
- Figure Skating
- Freestyle Skiing
- Ice hockey
- Nordic Combined
- Short Track Speed Skating
- Ski Jumping
- Speed Skating
3. Norway has won the most medals of ANY other country at the Winter Games
There are 10 countries that rise to the top as having the most medals, they are:
- Norway: 329
- United States: 282
- Germany: 228
- Austria: 218
- Soviet Union: 194
- Canada: 170
- Finland: 161
- Sweden: 144
- Switzerland: 138
- Russia: 124
4. The Winter Games held in Nagano in 1998 were interrupted because of too much snow!
5. The Olympic medals are always designed by the host country and represent cultural elements of the country
According to the Olympic website, the medals for the 2018 Winter Olympics "range in weight from 586 grams for the gold medal to 493 grams for the bronze... They are the work of celebrated South Korean designer Lee Suk-woo, who incorporated Hangeul – the Korean alphabet and the foundation of Korean culture – into their design through a series of consonants symbolising the effort of athletes from around the world, who will come together as one to compete at PyeongChang 2018. In total, 259 sets of the medals have been made."
6. Runners do not actually pass the torch
It's true! During the torch relay, runners do not actually pass the torch that they are carrying. Only the flame is passed and each runner is allowed to keep their torch!
7. The wall's of the halfpipe in Halfpipe Snowboarding are 22 feet high!
8. The most expensive Olympic Games cost $51 billion
At $51 billion, the 2014 Sochi Olympics are the most expensive Olympics (summer or winter) EVER.
9. There is NO talking in the bobsled during a race
10. The five rings of the Olympic flag symbolize the five significant continents
The rings are interconnected to symbolize the friendships created during international competition, The colors were chosen because at least one of them appears on the flag of every country in the world!
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