EXPLAINER - The Winter Games are a new kind of Olympics

BEIJING (AP), -- Athens hosted the first modern Olympics in 1896. However, the first Winter Olympics took place in Chamonix (France) in 1924.

EXPLAINER - The Winter Games are a new kind of Olympics

Calvin Coolidge, the American president at that time, was killed by Vladimir Lenin in the newly formed Soviet Union. The average American car cost $300.

The Winter and Summer Olympics existed simultaneously from 1924 to 1992. The Winter Games were held in Albertville, France in 1992, and followed by the Summer Games at Barcelona in 1993.

Then, there was change.

An Olympics is held every two years since 1994. The 1994 Winter Olympics were held in Lillehammer (Norway), followed by the 1996 Summer Games in Atlanta. Nagano, Japan was the next host of the 1998 Winter Games. This pattern was broken when the Tokyo Summer Games 2020 were postponed to 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Six months after Tokyo's closure, the Beijing Winter Games will open on Friday. They will be followed in Paris by the Summer Olympics 2024. Here's how things turned out.


Bill Mallon, an Olympic historian, suggests that the International Olympic Committee was seeking more revenue. He says that the IOC thought they could increase sponsorship revenue by promoting the Games more.

The Olympics were kept in the public eye every two years, which coincided with the growing commercialization and professionalization. This trend was highlighted when the American Dream Team, a professional basketball team, became the headline stars of Barcelona.


Beijing is unlikely to host both the Summer and Winter Olympics. It has the smallest tradition in winter sports of all the Winter Olympic hosts.

Beijing was not a realistic possibility for 2022, until six European countries dropped out due to political or cost reasons. In referendums, Switzerland and Germany both said "no". The IOC had to make a choice between Beijing or Almaty, Kazakhstan.

Mallon wrote to The Associated Press that Montreal, Canada, was the host of the 1976 Summer Olympics. However, it failed to land the Winter Olympics several times.

Montreal submitted bids to the Winter Olympics in 1936, 1937, 1944, 1956, and 1946. Montreal was second in 1936 and 1944, as well as 1956. It tried to host both the 1944 and 1956 Games. Quebec City, located near Montreal, also submitted a bid to host the 2002 Winter Olympics.


Beijing Winter Olympics will host approximately 2,900 athletes representing 90 national Olympic committees. Six months ago, 11,000 athletes came from just over 200 countries to the Tokyo Olympics.

Winter Olympics: Full coverage

The organizers state that there won't be any fans from overseas and only a few "selected" fans in the local area, just like Tokyo.

The Winter and Summer Olympics are both held over 17 days. This means that there are fewer events at the Winter Olympics.

The Winter Games were only 12 days long in 1980, when Lake Placid, New York was the "Miracle on Ice".

The Winter Olympics have been held twice at three venues: Innsbruck (Austria), St. Moritz (Switzerland), and Lake Placid (1932-1980). Cortina D'Ampezzo, an Italian ski resort, will host its second Winter Olympics in 2026. It previously hosted the Winter Olympics in 1956.

Sapporo in Japan, the site of the 1972 Winter Olympics is a strong contender for 2030. The IOC has yet to announce when its decision will be made.

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