Winter is my favorite time of year. Although technically this is still fall the winter Olympics will take place in Suchi, Russia in February, 2014 just 100 days from today. This promises to be the biggest winter Olympics ever totaling 15 disciplines and 7 new Olympic sports. The seven added sports are Figure skating team event, Women’s ski jumping, Mixed relay biathlon, Ski half-pipe, Team relay luge, Ski slope style and Snowboard slope style. The traditional winter Olympic sports including; figure skating, speed skating, alpine skiing, cross country skiing, ski jumping and bobsleding are still available for competition.
Each Olympic Game promises to be more thrilling than the one before. Here is a look back at 10 interesting facts about the winter Olympics.
- The original Olympic Games were celebrated as a religious festival.
- The first winter Olympic Games were held in France in 1924.
- Norway has won 263 medals, the most in any winter Olympics.
- In 1988 the first Jamaican Bobsled team competed in Canada. They had little practice and had to borrow sleds from other countries. Although finishing in a crash they showed power and bravery. The four-man team of Devon Harris, Dudley Stokes, Michael White and Nelson Stokes was the inspiration of the movie Cool Runnings.
- Women did not compete in the Olympics until 1912. Only 11 women competed in the first winter Olympic Games.
- Vonetta Flowers was the first African American to win a Gold Medal in the Winter Olympics in 2002.
- The first and only athlete to win winter and summer Olympic Games medals in the same year, 1988, was Christa Luding-Rothenburger. She won in speed skating and cycling.
- The first person to win gold at a winter Olympics was an American, Charles Jewtraw. He won in the first event the 500 speed skating.
- The first winter Olympics was called The International Winter Sports Week that lasted 11 days.
- Sixteen nations competed in the first winter Olympic Games with 285 athletes.
Getting your children involved in winter sports may be just the thing to build self-confidence to prevent bullying or being a victim of bulling. Watching the games together is a great group or family event. The ice, snow and below freezing temperatures guarantees drama and excitement for the Olympiads as well as their viewers and fans from across the world.