Winter Olympics trivia: Fun facts about the Winter Games

Winter Olympics trivia: Fun facts about the Winter Games

The XXII (22nd) Winter Olympiad officially commences with the Opening Ceremonies in Sochi, Russia on February 7. The games will run until the Closing Ceremonies on February 23. In between, the world will watch athletes reach new heights on the snow and the ice.

How much do you know about the Winter Games?  Test your knowledge of Winter Olympics trivia and learn some new fun facts that will impress your friends and family. The first part is a video quiz and below that are 16 questions and answers about the Winter Olympic, one for each day of the games in Sochi.

1. We all know that the fourth place finisher does not get a medal, but he/she does not go home empty handed. What do fourth place finishers at the Olympics receive?

The first eight athletes in each event receive a diploma from the IOC. The first three finishers receive both a medal and a diploma.

2. When and where were the first Winter Olympic games held?

The Winter Olympics were first held in 1924 in Chamonix, France. The modern Summer Olympics began in Athens in 1896.

3. Approximately how many medals have been made for the Sochi Olympic games?Medals2

The IOC website says approximately 1,300 have been made and they feature the official name of the Games engraved in Russian, English and French on the rim.

4. The Olympic motto is "Citius, Altius, Fortius." What does that mean in English?

It means "Faster, Higher, Stronger." Pierre de Coubertin, considered the father of the modern Olympic games, proposed it in 1894 after hearing the words said by Dominican priest Henri Didon years earlier.

Related Content: 9 Facts about Sochi, Russia

5. Which American city has hosted the Winter Olympics twice?

Lake Placid, in 1932 and 1980.

The U.S. also hosted the Winter Games in 1960 in Squaw Valley and in 2002 in Salt Lake City.

6. Which country has won the most gold medals at the Winter Games since they began?

Norway leads the international pack with a total of 313 medals through the 2010 Winter Olympics. The U.S. is second with 274. Check out the All-Time Winter Medal Standings by Country, 1924-2010 here.

7. Which athlete has won the most Winter Olympic medals? How many?bjorn

Bjørn Dæhlie
He won 8 gold medals and 4 silver medals as a cross-country skiier for Norway, giving him the record for both the most medals won and the most gold medals won.

Update: As of 2/8, Ole Einar Bjoerndalen tied him when he earned a gold in the biathlon, his 12th medal overall.

8. Who is the most decorated American Winter Olympian?

Short track speed skater Apolo Ohno won the most medals for the U.S. A. at the Winter Games with a total of eight: two gold, two silver, and four bronze. Bonnie Blair is the most decorated female American Winter Olympian.

9. What four indoor sports are part of the Winter Olympics?

Chicago curler and Olympian Ann Swisshelm (Andrew A. Nelles / Chicago Tribune)

Chicago curler and Olympian Ann Swisshelm (Andrew A. Nelles / Chicago Tribune)

Curling, figuring skating, speed skating (including short track speed skating), and ice hockey.

10. What was the last year that the Winter Games and Summer Games were held in the same year? Can you name those 2 cities?

1992, when the Summer Games were in Barcelona, Spain and the Winter Games were in Albertville, France. The next Winter Olympics were held in 1994 Lillehammer, Norway

11. How high are the walls of the halfpipe for the Halfpipe Snowboarding event?

Rosa Khutor Extreme Park, site of the Halfpipe competitions in Sochi, Russia.

Rosa Khutor Extreme Park, site of the Halfpipe competitions at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

22 feet. The halfpipe will also be used for Ski Halfpipe for the first time this Olympics.

12. Who was the youngest individual Olympic champion at the Winter Games?

American figure skater Tara Lipinski brought home the gold at age 15 at the 1998 games in Nagano, Japan. You can see her talk about the experience on The Huffington Post here.

13. Who was the oldest Winter Olympic medalist?

The oldest competitor to win a medal is British curler Robin Walsh in 1924.
InfoPlease notes, though, "The oldest man to receive a Winter Olympics medal is 83-year-old Anders Haugen. The Norwegian-American actually received his ski jump bronze medal 50 years after he competed in 1924 when a scoring error was discovered in 1974."

nbcsochi14. How many hours of coverage does NBC plan to air of the events in Sochi on both television and online?

The NBC Media Guide says 1539+ hours of coverage across six NBCUniversal platforms – NBC, NBCSN, CNBC, MSNBC, USA Network and NBC Olympics.com, which is "more than Vancouver and Torino combined."

15. What event has been an Olympic sport for men since the start of the Winter Games and will allow women to go for the gold for the first time in Sochi?

Ski jump.  However, the Nordic Combined competition, which is both ski jumping and cross-country skiing, both of which women compete in, remains a male-only event.

Related content: Women's ski jumping in the Olympics taught my daughter important life lessons

16. Where will the 2018 Winter Olympics be held?P_Logo_BIG

PyeongChang, South Korea.  It will be the first time the Winter Games are held in South Korea. The country hosted the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul in 1988.

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