The curious thing about the first Winter Olympics was that athletes and spectators never knew they were at the first Winter Olympics.
The first Winter Games were held in 1924 in Chamonix, France, but they were originally called “Winter Sports Week.” It wasn’t until two years later that the International Olympic Committee retroactively recognized the event as the first Winter Olympics.
Team USA speedskater Charles Jewtraw earned the first Winter Olympic medal by winning the 500m speedskating event, one of four medals the United States took home from the Chamonix Games.
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Norway, the all-time leader in medals at the Winter Olympics, earned the most medals at the 1924 Winter Games with 17, including four gold medals.
Sixteen countries took part in the first Winter Games, which included 16 events. Only military patrol, a cross-country skiing event that included ski mountaineering and rifle shooting, is no longer an Olympic discipline although its rules are similar to those of the biathlon.
However, it wasn’t the first time that winter events were held at the Olympics. Ice hockey was previously a part of the 1920 Olympics in Antwerp while figure skating debuted at the 1908 London Games.
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