Winter Olympics History

Salt Lake City Campaign

Salt Lake City's quest to host the Olympic Winter Games spanned three decades. During that time the city grew in size and in experience to host international competitions. The following is a summary of Salt Lake City's involvement in the Olympic movement.

January 1966
Salt Lake City is chosen as the USA candidate city to host the 1972 Olympic Winter Games, but in April the IOC chooses Sapporo, Japan as host for the 1972 Olympic Winter Games.
December 1967
Salt Lake City again seeks to be the USA candidate city for the 1976 Olympic Winter Games. Salt Lake City competes against Denver, Colorado; Seattle, Washington; and Lake Placid, New York. Denver is chosen.
January 1973
Denver withdraws and the United States Olympic Committee unanimously names Salt Lake City as the replacement candidate for the 1976 Olympic Winter Games. In February 1973, the IOC chooses Innsbruck, Austria to host the 1976 Olympic Winter Games.
June 1985
Salt Lake City competes against Anchorage, Alaska; Reno, Nevada; and Lake Placid, New York, to become the USOC's candidate city for the 1992 and 1994 Olympic Winter Games. Anchorage is chosen the USA candidate but loses to Albertville, France for the 1992 Games and to Lillehammer, Norway for the 1994 Games.
June 1989
Salt Lake City is named USA candidate city for the 1998 Olympic Winter Games, but in 1991 the IOC names Nagano, Japan to host the 1998 Olympic Winter Games. In a field that also included Jaca, Spain; Ostersund, Sweden; and Aosta, Italy, Salt Lake City lost by a 46 to 42 final vote to Nagano.
November 1991
The USOC ratifies Salt Lake City as the USA candidate to host the Olympic Winter Games of 2002. The governor of Utah and mayor of Salt Lake City prepare a memorandum specifying that the Salt Lake Olympic Bid Committee will become the Salt Lake Organizing Committee if the Games are awarded to the Utah capital.
March 1994
Deadline is closed by IOC for cities applying to host the Olympic Winter Games of 2002. The cities applying for the Games are Alma Ata, Kazakistan; Graz, Austria; Jaca, Spain; Ostersund, Sweden; Poprad, Slovakia; Quebec City, Canada; Salt Lake City, Utah, USA; Sion, Switzerland; Sochi, Russia; and Tarvisio, Italy.
January 23-24 1995
Salt Lake City is selected by the IOC as one of four finalist cities to host the Olympic Winter Games of 2002. Other finalist cities are Quebec, Canada; Sion, Switzerland; and Ostersund, Sweden.
June 16, 1995
Salt Lake City is named host city of the Olympic Winter Games of 2002 at the 104th IOC Session in Budapest, Hungary in the first ballot vote. Salt Lake City recieved 54 votes, followed by Sion and Ostersund with 14 votes each. Quebec recieved seven votes.
February 8-24, 2002
Salt Lake City staged the first-ever Olympic Winter Games of the 21st Century!

The earliest recorded Olympic Games were held in ancient Greece at Olympia in 776 BC - a four-year tradition that continued for a thousand years.

The modern Olympic movement started in 1894 when French educator Pierre de Coubertin assembled a group of sport and philosophy leaders from around the world for the International Athletics Congress. The group, which later became the International Olympic Committee (IOC), unanimously decided to revive the ancient Games. In 1896, the first modern Olympic Games were held in Athens, Greece, its land of origin.

Olympic Winter Games History Table

The first Olympic Winter Games in Chamonix, France were held in conjunction with the 1924 Olympic Games in Paris. Sixteen countries attended with 258 competitors in 16 medal events.
The IOC altered its charter to create a separate Olympic Winter Games.
The Games staged in Saint Moritz, Switzerland, were formally designated the second Olympic Winter Games. From 1928, the Olympic Winter Games were held every four years in the same calendar year as the Olympic Games.

Lake Placid hosted the first Olympic Games in the United States.
Garmisch-Partenkirchen Games
[Games interrupted by World War 2.]

[Games interrupted by World War 2.]
Saint Moritz hosted the Olympic Winter Games after a 12-year break. Twenty-eight countries represented by 669 athletes attended; Japan and Germany were not invited to compete. Gretchen Fraser won the first US gold medal in Alpine Skiing.
Oslo Olympic Winter Games. Norwegian national hero and future Utah resident Stein Eriksen won a gold and silver medal in Alpine Skiing.

Cortina d' Ampezzo Olympic Winter Games. The Soviet Union made its Olympic Winter Games debut and was the most successful country, claiming 16 medals, including a gold in Ice Hockey competition.
Squaw Valley Olympic Winter Games. American television carried live coverage of the Games for the first time, and the opening ceremonies were managed by Walt Disney. Thirty nations sent athletes to Squaw Valley, including South Africa, which made its first Olympic Winter Games appearance. Squaw Valley was the debut of the Biathlon and the staging of Speed Skating events for female contestants, with Helga Haase (Germany) capturing the first gold medal in the sport, winning the 500-meter race.
Innsbruck Olympic Winter Games. William Kidd and Jimmie Heuga won the first US men's medals in Alpine Skiing.

Grenoble Olympic Winter Games.
The Sapporo Games were the first Olympic Winter Games to be held in an Asian country.
Innsbruck Olympic Winter Games. SLOC Managing Director of Sport Cathy Priestner Allinger won a silver medal in 500-meter Speed Skating.

Lake Placid Olympic Winter Games. The 1980 Games marked the second time this small, upstate New York town hosted the Olympic Winter Games. Organizers used artificial snow - an Olympic first.
Sarajevo Olympic Winter Games. SLOC Project Manager for Speed Skating Nick Thometz competed in his first of three Olympic Winter Games, finishing fourth in 1,000-meter Speed Skating.
IOC officials, in response to concerns over the increasing cost and logistic complications of the Games, voted to alter the schedule so Winter and Summer Games were each held quadrennially, alternating in even-numbered years.

Calgary Olympic Winter Games. SLOC Project Manager for Biathlon Lyle Nelson carried the US flag at the Opening Ceremonies.
Lillehammer Olympic Winter Games. SLOC Project Manager for Short Track Speed Skating Andy Gabel, a four-time Olympian, won a silver medal as part of the Short Track Speed Skating relay team.
Nagano Olympic Winter Games.

Chronology of the Olympic Winter Games

No. Year Host City Nations Events Sports Athletes

I (1) 1924 Chamonix, France 16 13 5 294
II (2) 1928 St. Moritz, Switzerland 25 13 6 393
III (3) 1932 Lake Placid, New York, USA 17 14 5 307
IV (4) 1936 Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany 28 17 5 756
V (5) 1948 St. Moritz, Switzerland 28 24 6 713
VI (6) 1952 Oslo, Norway 30 22 5 732
VII (7) 1956 Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy 32 24 5 819
VIII (8) 1960 Squaw Valley, California, USA 30 27 5 648
IX (9) 1964 Innsbruck, Austria 36 34 7 933
X (10) 1968 Grenoble, France 37 35 7 1,293
XI (11) 1972 Sapporo, Japan 36 35 7 1,128
XII (12) 1976 Innsbruck, Austria 37 37 7 1,261
XIII (13) 1980 Lake Placid, New York, USA 37 39 7 1,283
XIV (14) 1984 Sarajevo, Yugoslavia 49 40 7 1,490
XV (15) 1988 Calgary, Canada 57 46 7 1,634
XVI (16) 1992 Albertville, France 64 57 7 1,801
XVII (17) 1994 Lillehammer, Norway 67 61 7 1,844
XVIII (18) 1998 Nagano, Japan 72 68 7 2,339
XIX (19) 2002 Salt Lake City, Utah, USA 77 78 7 2, 399

Information courtesy of the Utah Athletic Foundation

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