1st Winter Olympics

Einar Landvik, Nordic skiier from Norway, competes in the first-ever Winter Olympics in Chamonix, France, 1924
Einar Landvik, Nordic skiier from Norway, competes in the first-ever Winter Olympics in Chamonix, France, 1924

Historical Context

The Winter Olympics are now a major international event, in many ways just as popular as the Summer Olympics, but it didn't start out this way. In 1924, the French Olympic committee organised the 'International Winter Sports Week' to be held in Chamonix, southern France, in the same year as the Summer Olympics in Paris.

There were only a few events at this Olympics; including bobsleigh, curling, ice hockey and various versions of Nordic skiing. Despite the small nature of the event, it was considered a big success by the International Olympic Committee, who retroactively designated it the first Winter Olympics.

Norway won the most Gold medals, with 4, for a tally of 17 overall. The practice of holding the Winter Olympics in the same year as the Summer Olympics would continue until 1992, when they were moved to alternating even-numbered years.

Photo Info


Photographer: Agence Rol
Location taken: Chamonix, France

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Related Events

  • 1924-01-25 1st Winter Olympic Games open in Chamonix, France
  • 1924-01-26 American skater Charles Jewtraw claims the first ever Winter Olympic gold medal; wins 500m speed skating event in 44.0s at the Chamonix Games in France
  • 1924-01-26 Clas Thunberg of Finland claims his first of 4 gold medals when he wins the 5,000m speed skating in 2:20.8 at the Chamonix Winter Olympics
  • 1924-01-27 Clas Thunberg of Finland claims 3 gold medals in one day when he wins the 1,500m, 10,000m and all-round speed skating events at the Chamonix Winter Olympics; won 5,000m the day before
  • 1924-01-29 Swiss team of Denis Vaucher (C), Alfred Aufdenblatten, Antoine Julen & Alfons Julen win the military patrol gold medal at the Chamonix Winter Olympics; first version of the biathlon
  • 1924-01-30 Gillis Grafström of Sweden wins men's figure skating gold medal at the Chamonix Winter Olympics; first to successfully defend his Summer Olympic title (1920) at the Winter Games
  • 1924-01-30 Great Britain clinch inaugural Olympic curling gold medal with a 46-4 win over France at the Chamonix Games
  • 1924-01-30 Norway’s Thorleif Haug claims first of 3 gold medals at the Chamonix Winter Olympics; wins 50k cross country in a Norwegian sweep of the medals; also 18k and Nordic combined champion
  • 1924-01-31 Herma Szabo of Austria wins the ladies figure skating gold medal at the Chamonix Winter Olympics; only women's event at the Games
  • 1924-01-31 Austrians Helene Engelmann & Alfred Berger win the pairs skating gold medal at the Chamonix Winter Olympics; beat Finnish pair Ludowika Jakobsson & Walter Jakobsson by just 0.39 points
  • 1924-02-02 Norway’s Thorleif Haug takes the cross-country double at the Chamonix Winter Olympics when he wins the 18k event; Haug also 50k gold medalist
  • 1924-02-03 Canada beats United States, 6-1 to retain the Olympic ice hockey gold medal (won at 1920 Summer Games) at the Chamonix Games; Canadian LW Harry Watson top scores with 46 points
  • 1924-02-03 Switzerland claims the inaugural Olympic bobsleigh gold medal at the Chamonix Games, ahead of Great Britain and Belgium
  • 1924-02-04 Norway sweeps the medals in the Nordic combined event at the inaugural Chamonix Winter Olympics; Thorleif Haug wins his 3rd gold of the Games ahead of team mates Thoralf Strømstad & Johan Grøttumsbråten
  • 1924-02-04 Jacob Tullin Thams of Norway wins ski jumping gold at the Chamonix Winter Olympics; in 1936 he earns a silver medal in sailing at Berlin Summer Games
  • 1924-02-05 1st Winter Olympic Games close at Chamonix, France

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