Here are more fun facts on the Chamonix First Winter Olympics!
As you’ll have read in page 1, the IOC retrospectively awarded the title I Winter Olympic Games in 1925 a year after the games were completed. Why wasn’t it so named at the time?
Zinaja of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (carrying national
flag and with skis on his right shoulder) during the Opening ceremony of
the Winter Olympic Games in 1924 in Chamonix, France
Source: Wikipedia,Commons, own archive
It seems that when the first modern Olympics were being arranged, the organizers wanted winter sports as well, but there was disagreement as to the venues and events. In the meantime, from 1901 Sweden every 4 years, hosted the world’s first organized winter games. The successful Nordic Games were dominated by Sweden, Norway and Finland. The Scandinavians wanted to keep the games on an amateur basis and were critical at that time that the Olympics were not.
The compromise was the International Winter Sports Week in 1924 and so as to get the Scandinavians to attend, it was agreed it would not be called the Olympics.
The International Winter Sports Week, which went for 11 days from 25 January to 5 February 1924, was so successful, with 10,004 visitors, that the IOC in 1925 were happy to retrospectively rename the event the First Winter Olympic Games.
The medals awarded were retroactively Olympic medals.
Chamonix First Winter Olympics - Finish Speed Skater Clas Thunberg
The opening and closing ceremonies and a number of events were held at the Stade Olympique de Chamonix, which is an equestrian stadium in Chamonix, France.
During the Opening Ceremony of the First Winter Olympics, many of the athletes paraded with their equipment on their shoulders. According to the rules at that time, athletes were to parade in their sportswear and that included skis and hockey sticks as part of their equipment.
First Winter Olympics Medal
The very First Winter Olympic Medal was won by the American speed skater Charles Jewtraw in the 500 meters.
The Last Medal Awarded in 1974
The last medal was awarded to the American Anders Haugen for Bronze in the Ski Jump. Due to a scoring error, he wasn’t awarded the medal until 50 years later.
The Biggest Winners
The Scandinavians dominated the games, winning 27 of the total of 43 medals, with Norway – 17 medals and Finland 10 medals. They won all four Nordic events and 4 of the 5 speed skating races.
Canada won all its hockey games, beating
• Czechoslovakia 30–0
• Switzerland 33–0
• Sweden 22–0
• Great Britain 19–2
• with a final victory win against the US 6–1!
• 248 competitors
• 16 nations
• 11 female competitors and only in the figure skating events
• 10,004 paying visitors
A bobsleigh track was constructed at the foot of the glacier of the same name, for the 1924 Winter Olympics in Chamonix, France. It was named the La Piste de Bobsleigh des Pellerins (Pellerins Bobsleigh Track in (French)).
• Length: 1369.88 meters
• Descent: 156.29 meters
• No of Curves: 19
• Maximum speed reached: 115km/hr
• Located near the village of Les Pelerins
• The old Aiguille du Midi cable car was used to cart equipment up the track
• The track is no longer in use.
7 Sports, 16 Events:
• Speed skating (500m, 1500m, 5000m, 10,000m, combined)
• 4-man bobsled
• Military Parade/now the Biathlon
• Figure skating (men's, women's, pairs)
• Cross country Skiing (18k, 50k)
• Ski jumping
• Nordic combined skiing and jumping.
Although “Alpinisme” was not an event, Charles Granville Bruce was awarded a medal for leading the expedition to Mount Everest in 1922.
France has hosted 5 Olympic games.
• Paris 1900
• Paris 1924
• Chamonix 1924
• Grenoble 1968
• Albertville 1992.
Annecy France was a contender for the 2018 Winter Olympics, but this has been awarded to a Korean Ski Resort.
events leading up to and the Games of the Chamonix First Winter
Olympics is an amazing story of perseverance of the IOC and goodwill of
Return To Ski Chamonix: Home