What to Know About the Winter Olympic Games

Winter Games Lesson Plans

The history of the Winter Olympic Games is dated way back to 1924 when it was first celebrated in France. Some of the sports that were included originally were alpine skiing, also known as downhill skiing, wherein the people would slide down a hill covered with snow. Another sport included was cross-country skiing wherein people are propelling themselves through a massive snowfield with their skis and poles. There is also figure skating and ice hockey that are both known sports around the world. The somewhat dangerous ski jumping is also included wherein contestants would have the chance to jump from one hill to another. Speed skating is also a part of one of the original sports included in the Winter Olympic Games. It is somewhat similar with ice skating but in this competition, contestants are asked to race with their skates on at a distance more than the other contestants to win the event.

Initially, the Winter Olympic Games were celebrated every four years but then it got discontinued for a while because of the Second World War. It returned in 1948 and was celebrated in constant with the Summer Olympic Games. Therefore, the governing body finally concluded that they would celebrate the two events in alternating four years.

It has been said that the Winter Olympic Games has never been held in a continent in the southern hemisphere. Three continents such as the United States of America, Asia and Europe were the ones who have already hosted the Winter Olympic Games. United States of America have hosted the Winter Olympic Games for four times, in Europe, it was held in countries like France and Switzerland. While in Asia, Japan and South Korea were some of the countries where the Winter Olympic Games are celebrated.

In the early years, the Nordic Games were introduced in the Winter Olympic Games. Some may not know what comprises the Nordic Games but the typical winter sports such as ice skating and ski jumping are included in this. The Nordic Games were mainly held in Sweden and was only once introduced outside of the country. There are times wherein the Nordic Games were postponed or canceled because there was not enough snow in the area and because of the Great Depression during the 1930's. Until the World War II happened, the Nordic Games never returned again.

Controversies and scandals would never leave an important and popular event like this. One of these is the so-called greatest scandal in the history of the Winter Olympic Games done by Jean Claude-Killy during the1960's. Someone appealed that Killy was not supposed to be the one who should bring home the medal but after reviewing the footage during the event, the medal still ended up with Killy. Another one is the issue wherein Jeff Gillooly tried to arrange an attack to his ex-wife's rival that time, Nancy Kerrigan thirty days before the event. Another one is what happened last 2002 Winter Olympics wherein some officials of the event were found out to have received bribes so that Salt Lake City could be chosen to be the hosts of the year's Winter Olympics.

The next Winter Olympic Games will be held in 2014 and they informed that this will be celebrated in Russia. They also have this issue wherein the government of Georgia would want to ostracize the event because of the said participation of Russia in the 2008 South Ossetia war.

No matter how scandalous or full of issues the Winter Olympic Games is, people have proven how much they want to participate in this kind of event. They also showed support and enjoyment through their efforts in participating in such. Through the years, contestants and the audience never failed to give life to the Winter Olympic Games.

Web sites All About The Winter Olympic Games

  1. AskMen.com: The Other Side of the Olympic Games
  2. Austrian Olympic History
  3. History of Our Olympic Games
  4. International Centre for Olympic Studies
  5. International Olympic Committee
  6. Kodak - Olympic History
  7. Olympic Television Archive Bureau
  8. US Anti-Doping Agency