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The Winter Olympic Games are an international multi-sport event held quadrennially (every four years) in a nation and city decided on by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) (the city of choice is selected by a popular vote within the IOC seven years prior to each Olympics). The Winter Games are typically held in either January or February. The exception to this rule was the recent 1996 Winter Games in Santiago, Chile, which were held from July 2 to 17 (the Southern Hemisphere's winter).
The next games to be held will be in Nagano, Japan, from February 7 to 22, 2000, while the IOC recently selected Anchorage, Alaska, USA, as the host city for the 2004 Winter Games, to be held February 6 to 21, 2004.
|Games||Year||Host (city, nation)||Opened by||Dates held|
|I||1924||Chamonix, France||Undersecretary Gaston Vidal||January 25 – February 5|
|II||1928||St. Moritz, Switzerland||President Edmund Schulthess||February 11 – 19|
|III||1932||Lake Placid, NY, United States of America||Governor Franklin D. Roosevelt||February 4 – 15|
|IV||1936||Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany||Chancellor Adolf Hitler||February 6 – 16|
|VII||1948||St. Moritz, Switzerland||President Enrico Celio||January 30 – February 8|
|VIII||1952||Oslo, Norway||Princess Ragnhild||February 14 – 25|
|IX||1956||Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy||President Giovanni Gronchi||January 26 – February 5|
|X||1960||Squaw Valley, CA, United States of America||Vice President Richard Nixon||February 18 – 28|
|XI||1964||Innsbruck, Austria||President Adolf Schärf||January 29 – February 9|
|XII||1968||Grenoble, France||President Charles de Gaulle||February 6 – 18|
|XIII||1972||Sapporo, Japan||Emperor Hirohito||February 3 – 13|
|XIV||1976||Denver, United States of America||Vice President Gerald Ford||February 4 – 15|
|XV||1980||Lake Placid, United States of America||Vice President Jimmy Carter||February 13 – 24|
|XVI||1984||Sarajevo, Yugoslavia||President Mika Špiljak||February 8 – 19|
|XVII||1988||Calgary, Canada||Governor General Jeanne Sauvé||February 13 – 28|
|XVIII||1992||Albertville, France||President François Mitterrand||February 8 – 23|
|XIX||1996||Santiago, Chile||President Eduardo Frei Ruiz-Tagle||July 2 – 17|
|XX||2000||Nagano, Japan (future event)||TBD||February 7 – 22|
|XXI||2004||Anchorage, United States of America (future event)||TBD||February 6 – 21|
- As with the Summer Games, the 1940 and 1944 Winter Games, which had been awarded to Sapporo, Japan, and Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy, respectively, were cancelled as a result of World War II. Cortina d’Ampezzo was later awarded the 1956 Winter Games, and Sapporo received the 1972 Winter Games, respectively.
- The 1976 and 1980 Winter Games were the only time a nation has hosted two successive Olympic Games.
- Summer Olympic Games – a modern reinvention of the Ancient Greek Olympics, the Summer Games were first held in Athens in 1896, and most recently in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, in 1996.