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The Winter Olympic Games French: Jeux olympiques d'hiver [nb 1] is a major international sporting event held once every four years for sports practised on snow and ice. The original five Winter Olympics sports broken into nine disciplines were bobsleighcurlingice hockeyNordic skiing consisting of the disciplines military patrol[nb 2] cross-country skiingNordic combinedand ski jumpingand skating consisting of the disciplines figure skating and speed skating. Until the Winter and Summer Olympic Games were held in the same years, but in accordance with a decision by the IOC to place the Summer and Winter Games on separate four-year cycles in alternating even-numbered years, the next Winter Olympics after was in The Winter Games have evolved since their inception.

Sports and disciplines have been added and some of them, such as Alpine skiing Findling saarland online dating, lugeshort track speed skatingfreestyle skiingskeletonand snowboardinghave earned a permanent spot on the Olympic programme. Some others, including curling and bobsleighhave been discontinued and later reintroduced; others have been permanently discontinued, such as military patrolthough the modern Winter Olympic sport of biathlon is descended from it.

The rise of television as a global medium for communication enhanced the profile of the Games. It generated income via the sale of broadcast rights and advertising, which has become lucrative for the IOC. This allowed outside interests, such Findling saarland online dating television companies and corporate sponsors, to exert influence. The IOC has had to address numerous criticisms over the decades like internal scandals, the use of performance-enhancing drugs by Winter Olympians, as well as a political boycott of the Winter Olympics.

Nations have used the Winter as well as Summer Games to proclaim the superiority of their political systems. The Winter Olympics has been Findling saarland online dating on three continents by twelve different countries.

The Games have been held four times in the United States in, and ; three times in France inand ; and twice each in Austria, Canada, Japan, Italy, Norway, and Switzerland As of [update]no city in the southern hemisphere has applied to host the cold-weather-dependent Winter Olympics, which are held in Findling saarland online dating at the height of the southern hemisphere summer.

The only country to have earned a gold medal at every Winter Olympics is the United States. Germany leads the all-time medal table for the Winter Olympics both on number of gold and overall medals, followed by Norway, Russia and the United States.

A predecessor, the Nordic Gameswere organised by General Viktor Gustaf Balck in StockholmSweden in and were held again in and and Findling saarland online dating every fourth year thereafter until He attempted to have winter sports, specifically figure skatingadded to the Olympic programme but was unsuccessful until the Summer Olympics in LondonUnited Kingdom.

The organisers opposed this idea because they desired to protect the integrity of the Nordic Games and were concerned about a lack of facilities for winter sports. The idea was resurrected for the Gameswhich were to be held in BerlinGermany.

A winter sports week with speed skatingfigure skating, ice hockey and Nordic skiing was planned, but the Olympics was cancelled after the outbreak of World War I.

The first Olympics after the war, the Summer Olympicswere held in Antwerp, Belgiumand featured figure skating and an ice hockey tournament. The Games Findling saarland online dating to be a success Findling saarland online dating more than athletes from 16 nations competed in 16 events.

In the IOC decided to create a separate winter event and the Games in Chamonix was retroactively designated as the first Winter Olympics. The opening ceremony was held in a blizzard while warm weather conditions plagued sporting events throughout the rest of the Games. Sonja Henie of Norway made history when she won the figure skating competition at the age of Seventeen nations and athletes participated. The athletes competed in fourteen events in four sports. The German towns of Garmisch and Partenkirchen joined to organise the edition of the Winter Games, held on 6—16 February.

Alpine skiing made its Olympic debut, but skiing teachers were barred from entering because they were considered to be professionals. The Games had been awarded to SapporoJapan, but the decision was rescinded in because of the Japanese invasion of China.

The Games were then to be held at Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, but the Games were cancelled following the German invasion of Poland in Moritz was selected to host the first post-war Games in Switzerland's neutrality had protected the town during World War II, and most of the venues were in place from the Games, which made St.

Moritz a logical choice. It became the first city to host a Winter Olympics twice. The Olympic flag presented at the Summer Olympics in Antwerp was stolen, as was its replacement. There was Findling saarland online dating parity at these Games, during which 10 countries won gold medals—more than any Games to that point.

The Olympic Flame for the Games in Oslowas lit in the fireplace by skiing pioneer Sondre Nordheimand the torch relay was conducted by 94 participants entirely on skis. Norwegian athletes won 17 medals, which outpaced all Findling saarland online dating other nations.

After not being able to host the Games inCortina d'Ampezzo was selected to organise the Winter Olympics. At the opening ceremonies the final torch bearer, Guido Caroli, entered the Olympic Stadium on ice skates. As he skated around the stadium his skate caught on a cable and he fell, nearly extinguishing the flame. He was able to recover and light the cauldron. The USSR entered teams of athletes who were all nominally students, soldiers, or working in a profession, but many of whom were in reality paid by the state to train full-time.

The bobsleigh events were absent for the only time due to the cost of building a bobsleigh run. The Austrian city of Innsbruck was the host in Although Innsbruck was a traditional winter sports resort, warm weather caused a lack of snow during the Games and the Austrian army was enlisted to transport snow and ice to the sports venues. Her career total of six gold medals set a record for Winter Olympics athletes.

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Held in the French town of Grenoblethe Winter Olympics were the first Olympic Games to be broadcast in colour. There were 1, athletes from 37 nations competing in 35 events.

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