The 1924 Winter Olympics, officially known as the I Olympic Winter Games (French: Les Iers Jeux olympiques d'hiver), were a winter multi-sport event which was held in 1924 in Chamonix, France. Originally called Semaine Internationale des Sports d'Hiver ("International Winter Sports Week") and held in association with the 1924 Summer Olympics, the sports competitions were held at the foot of Mont Blanc in Chamonix, and Haute-Savoie, France between January 25 and February 5, 1924. The Games were organized by the French Olympic Committee, and were in retrospect designated by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as the I Olympic Winter Games.
The tradition of holding the Winter Olympics in the same year as the Summer Olympics would continue until 1992, after which the current practice of holding a Winter Olympics in the second year after each Summer Olympics began.
Although Figure Skating had been an Olympic event in both London and Antwerp, and Ice Hockey had been an event in Antwerp, the winter sports had always been limited by the season. In 1921, at the convention of the IOC in Lausanne, there was a call for equality for winter sports, and after much discussion it was decided to organize an "international week of winter sport" in 1924 in Chamonix.
The first gold medal awarded in the Olympic Winter games was won by Charles Jewtraw of the United States in the 500-meter speed skate.
Sonja Henie, at just eleven years old, skates in the ladies' figure skating competition. Although she finishes last, she becomes popular with fans, and will take the gold at the next three Winter Olympics.
Finding himself in a unique situation, the figure skater Gillis Grafström is the first one ever to successfully defend his Summer Olympics title at the Winter Olympics.
The Canadian ice-hockey team finished their qualifying round with 3 wins, scoring a total of 85 goals against Switzerland, Czechoslovakia, and Sweden without surrendering even a single goal against.
Finding themselves in the same situation Gillis Grafström, the Canadian ice-hockey team is the last ever to successfully defend its Summer Olympics title at the Winter Olympics. Canada would dominate ice hockey in early Olympic competition, winning six of the first seven gold medals awarded.
At the closing of the games a prize was awarded for a sport that did not lend itself very well for tournaments: Pierre de Coubertin presented a prize for 'alpinisme' (mountaineering) to Charles Granville Bruce, the leader of the expedition that tried to climb Mount Everest in 1922.
For the first time in the history of the modern Olympics, the host country, in this case, France, failed to win any gold medals, finishing with three bronze medals. This feat would later occur at the next Winter Olympics in St. Moritz where Switzerland won only a single bronze medal, the lowest ever output by a host nation at an Olympics. Later host nations to finish without gold medals included Canada at the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal and 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary and Yugoslavia at the 1984 Winter Olympics in Sarajevo.
In 1925, the IOC decided to organize Olympic Winter Games every four years, independent of the Olympic Games proper, and recognized the International Winter Sports Week as the first Olympic Winter games in retrospect.
In 1974 the final individual medal of Chamonix 1924 was presented. Anders Haugen, who until then had been recorded as finishing fourth in the ski jumping event, received a bronze medal. After fifty years an error had been discovered in the score of Thorleif Haug.
In 2006, the IOC retroactively awarded medals to the 1924 curling teams. The IOC decided that curling was officially part of the program, after the Glasgow Herald newspaper filed a claim on behalf of the families of the team.
Medals were awarded in 16 events contested in 5 sports (9 disciplines). Many sources do not list curling and the military patrol, or list them as demonstration events. However, no such designation was made in 1924. In February 2006 the International Olympic Committee (IOC) ruled that curling was a full part of the Olympic program, and have included the medals awarded in the official count. Bobsleigh (1) ()
Curling (1) ()
Ice hockey (1) ()
Figure skating (3) ()
Speed skating (5) ()
Nordic skiing ()
Military patrol (1) ()
Cross-country skiing (2) ()
Nordic combined (1) ()
Ski jumping (1) ()
La Piste de Bobsleigh des Pellerins – Bobsleigh
Le Tremplin Olympique du Mont – Ski jumping, Nordic combined (ski jumping)
Stade Olympique de Chamonix – Cross-country skiing, Curling, Figure skating, Ice hockey, Military patrol, Nordic combined (cross-country skiing), and Speed skating
Athletes from 16 nations competed in the first Winter Olympic Games. Germany was banned from competing in the games, and instead hosted a series of games called Deutsche Kampfspiele. Estonian speed skater Christfried Burmeister was also in the list of participants but the message about his withdrawal wasn't sent to the organizers.