Olympics rings

The Olympic logo.

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.

The Games

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
*V 1940 N/A N/A N/A
*VI 1944 N/A N/A N/A
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.

See also

  • 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.

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