Winter Olympic Games
The Winter Olympics are held every 4 years and include both ice and snow sports: from the best known such as alpine or acrobatic skiing or ice hockey to less common ones such as bobsleigh or the Nordic combined, something totally unknown for the general public of a country like ours plagued with sun and good weather.
The current Beijing 2022 Games, officially known as the XXIV Winter Olympics, are the first Winter Olympics held in China and the first since 2008 to be held in a communist state. The Closing Ceremony will be at the National Stadium in Beijing on February 20, although they have been held since last February 4 at three Olympic venues: Beijing, Yanqing and Zhangjiakou. These are the third consecutive Olympic Games held in Asia, after Pyeongchang (2018) and Tokyo (2020).
If we focus on the beginning of this winter modality of the Olympic Games, its origin dates back to the Congress of the International Olympic Committee in 1921, which accepted a proposal to include in the organization of the 1924 Paris Olympic Games the celebration of a “International Winter Sports Week”, with the sponsorship of the IOC. That week was finally held in Chamonix (France) in 1924, and its duration was extended until the following February 5. It was a complete success due to the wide international repercussion it had and the attendance of more than 10.000 spectators. At the IOC meeting held in Lisbon two years later, it was decided to consider this sporting event as the first Winter Olympic Games, highlighting the Finnish skater Clas Thunberg as the top medalist, with five medals (three of them gold), followed by the Norwegian Thorleif Haug, with two gold. By teams, the Canadian hockey player stood out. From 1924 the games were held every four years until the Second World War, which paralyzed the entire world, until its restoration in Sankt Moritz in 1948.
Until 1992 the Games were held every four years in the same year as the Summer Olympics, however, and due to the growth of the Summer Olympics and all the intense activity that revolves around the organization of an event like this, the IOC decided to alternate the calendar and separated both. This is why the alternation can be strange chronologically speaking, but the last Winter Games along with the Summer Games were held in Albertville 1992 and the following ones were held in Lillehmmer in 1994. From that date they are held with two years Of diference.
While the summer games have suffered numerous boycotts throughout history, the winter games have only been boycotted by a single national Olympic committee: Taiwan decided not to attend the 1980 Lake Placid Games to show his disagreement that China could participate in these for the first time since 1952. China would do so under the name of the People's Republic of China and under the Chinese flag and anthem. Until then Taiwan had been competing under the same name, flag and anthem.
On this occasion, and by allowing their access, Taiwan was forced to change its name to be able to participate, becoming Chinese Taipei, and thus forcing it to also change its anthem and flag. Despite this, Taiwan rejected these conditions and its athletes presented themselves in the Olympic village under the name of the People's Republic of China, which meant that they were not accepted. The Taiwanese delegation decided to leave the games just before the opening ceremony.
More than 3000 athletes are participating in the current Olympic Games in 15 disciplines and 109 sporting events. under the motto “shared future for all humanity”, China hosts these games in the face of the diplomatic boycott by many countries due to the denunciations of human rights violations that revolve around the Asian country (countries such as the USA, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia or Japan have decided not to send their diplomatic delegations).
We are witnessing the celebration of the first Winter Olympic Games without snow, which has involved a millionaire investment to provide the spaces with artificial snow.