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History of Winter Sports until 1936

Korean Minjok Leadership Academy
International Program
Kim, Jaehee
Term Paper, AP European History Class, November 2008

Table of Contents

I. Introduction
II. History of Skiing
II.1 Early Skiing
II.2 Modern Skiing (17C-19C)
III. History of Bobsleigh
III.1 The Invention of Bobsleigh and the FIBT
III.2 The Change of Bobsleigh Events after the founding of FIBT
IV. History of Ice Hockey
IV.1 Early Ice Hockey
IV.2 The Foundation of Modern Ice Hockey
IV.3 The Beginning and Development of Professional Ice Hockey
IV.4 International Ice Hockey Federation
V. History of Ice Skating
V.1 History of Ice Skating
V.2 History of Ice Skating
V.3 History of Ice Skating
V.4 History of Ice Skating
V.5 History of Ice Skating
V.6 History of Ice Skating
V.7 History of Ice Skating
V.8 History of Ice Skating
V.9 History of Ice Skating
VI. The Nordic Games
VI.1 The First Games: 1901, Stockholm, Sweden
VI.2 The Winter Sports Week in Norway: 1903, Oslo, Norway
VI.3 The Second Games: 1905, Stockholm, Sweden
VI.4 The Third Games: 1909, Stockholm, Sweden
VI.5 The Fourth Games: 1913, Stockholm, Sweden
VI.6 The Fifth Games: 1917, Stockholm, Sweden
VI.7 The Sixth Games: 1922, Stockholm, Sweden
VI.8 VII.8. The Seventh Games: 1926, Stockholm, Sweden
VII. The Winter Olympics before World War II
VII.1 1924 Winter Olympics: Chamonix, France
VII.2 1928 Winter Olympics: St. Moritz, Switzerland
VII.3 1932 Winter Olympics: Lake Placid, New York, U.S
VII.4 1936 Winter Olympics: Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany
VIII. Conclusion

I. Introduction
            Winter sports, due to the restraints of natural environment, have always been retarded in its development compared to that of summer sports. Its required environmental factors such as snow or ice have caused the domination of Scandinavian countries in winter sports. Also, except for events that have initially been a means for survival, such as skiing or skating, most winter sports events were founded quite recently. However, the Nordic Games and the Winter Olympics contributed to the popularization and specialization of winter sports. The Nordic Games, although they had financial difficulties and were not organized so professionally, served as a prelude for the Winter Olympics. The sports events examined in detail in this paper are the ones selected in the first Winter Olympics: Skiing, Bobsledding, Ice Hockey, and Ice Skating. The Winter Olympics examined in this paper are those of until 1936, which is before the Second World War.

II. History of Skiing

II.1 Early Skiing
            The first proof of existence of skis is rock drawings 4500 to 5000 years old in Norway, which depict a man on skis holding a stick. The oldest skis, which are 8000 years old, were discovered in bogs, in Russia. It is believed that even before the first proper skis; skis were made from the bones of large animals and were attached to the boots using leather strips. Skiing began as a necessity and a means of survival and transportation, not as a form of recreation.
            Skiing developed into a somewhat complex activity that nevertheless hewed to the crude inefficiency of stiff, straight-sided skis provided with precarious toe-strap bindings and deployed "stick riding," an ancient and honorable technique of descending a slope like a witch on a broomstick - or a hockey player braking and steering with his stick.(1) Stick-riding meant braking by thrusting the tip of a long staff into the snow to the rear and leaning on it and turning by digging it to one side or the other. (2)
            Norwegian skiing met its climax after the appearance of the Telemark skiers, mountain farmers living on the Telemark plateau 80 km northwest of Oslo. The Telemarkers set off skiing's first quantum leap into controlled speed and discarded stick-riding. Telemark skiing marked the transition to dynamic control, changing the angle of the ski bottom on the snow.

II.2 Modern Skiing (17C-19C)
            Modern skiing was a means of warfare, as it is shown in Scandinavian history. In the 18th century, units of the Swedish Army were trained and competed on skis, and skis were used by Norwegian scouts to spy on enemies.
            Norway was the site of the development of modern skiing. Norwegian Sondre Norheim created the first stiff skis and bindings in the year 1850. With the increased stiffness of the bindings, the control and maneuverability of the skis increased allowing users to turn, twist and navigate easily.(3) The development of modern skiing took very little time from here on.

III History of Bobsleigh

III.1 The Invention of Bobsleigh and the FIBT
            It has long been acknowledged that the home country of the bobsleigh was Switzerland, but a few years before the invention of the bobsleigh has been ascribed to a group of Englishmen in 1890, who added steering mechanism to the toboggan. In addition there are pictures from the early 1880s of boys at Harrow School hurtling down snowy slopes on toboggans tied together.
            The first bobsleigh club was founded in St. Moritz, Switzerland in 1897. By 1914 more than 100 natural-ice courses of varying degrees of sophistication could be found at winter resorts throughout alpine Europe. (4) The sport's governing body, the Federation Internationale de Bobsleigh et de Tobogganing (FIBT) was founded in 1923, and is based in Milan, Italy.

III.2 The Change of Bobsleigh Events after the founding of FIBT
            The Federation Internationale de Luge de Course (FIBT) was created in 1923 and was included in the International Olympic Committee the following year. In the first Winter Olympics in 1924, the four-man bobsled event took place. In 1930, the first FIBT World Championships took place as a four-man event in Caux-sur-Montreux, Switzerland. At the 1932 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, the two-man competition debuted. In 1935, the Internationaler Schlittensportsverband (ISSV - International Sled Sport Federation in German), a forerunner to the Federation Internationale de Luge de Course (FIL - International Luge Federation in French), was absorbed into the FIBT and a Section de Luge was created. (5)

IV. History of Ice Hockey

IV.1 Early Ice Hockey
            Until the mid-1980s, it was largely accepted that ice hockey was derived from English field hockey and Indian lacrosse and was spread throughout Canada by British soldiers in the mid-1800s. Then a mention of a hockey very similar to ice hockey turned up, played in the early 1800s in Nova Scotia by the Micmac Indians. It appeared to have been influenced by the Irish game of hurling. The name hockey has been attributed to the French word hoquet (shepherd's stick).
            European immigrants brought versions of hockey-like games to North America, just as hurling, shinney, and versions of field hockey played in England. The first recorded ice hockey games were played by British soldiers stationed in Kingston and Halifax during the mid 1850s, and in the early 1870s, the first known set of ice hockey rules was drawn up by students at Montreal's McGill University.(6) These rules established the number of players to per side as 9 and replaced the ball with a square puck. In 1877, two years after the first known game pre-announced between McGill and Victoria, McGill University formed the first organized ice hockey team and the Montreal Gazette published the first ice hockey rules (seven in all).

IV.2 The Foundation of Modern Ice Hockey
            Montreal was the center of the foundation of the modern game. The first ice hockey club, McGill University Hockey Club was founded in 1877, followed by the Montreal Victorias, founded in 1881. The first "world championship" of ice hockey was featured in Montreal's annual Winter Carnival in 1883 and the teams which competed at the Winter Carnival organized the Amateur Hockey Association of Canada (AHAC) league.
            By 1893, the hockey players from Winnipeg had incorporated cricket pads to goaltender¡¯s legs better. They also introduced the ¡°scoop¡± shot, later known as the wrist shot.
            The Ligue Internationale de Hockey sur Glace was founded in 1908 to govern international competitions, and the first European championships were won by Great Britain in 1910. (7) In the mid-20th century, the Ligue became the International Ice Hockey Federation

IV.3 The Beginning and Development of Professional Ice Hockey
            In 1825 Sir John Franklin wrote that "The game of hockey played on the ice was the morning sport" wile on Great Bear lake during one of his Arctic expeditions. (8) Hockey games were played for entertainment by British during the mid 1850s. The Amateur Hockey Association was the first to draw up organized hockey games.
            The first indoor rink had opened in 1859, at St. Urbain Street in Montreal, but it was not considered as the birthplace of professional ice hockey. The first ever recorded organized ice hockey match was on March 3, 1875. The match was played at the Victoria Skating Rink opened in 1862, which can be considered the birthplace of organized, professional hockey. The rink's ice surface dimensions also set the standards for today's North American ice hockey rinks. It was also the location of the first Stanley Cup playoff games in 1894 and the location of the founding of the first championship ice hockey league, the Amateur Hockey Association of Canada in 1886. (9)
            The match that marks the beginning of organized ice hockey was played between members of the Victoria Hockey Club. The match lays claim to this distinction because of several factors which establish its link to modern ice hockey: it featured two teams (nine players per side), goaltenders, a referee, a puck, a pre-determined set of rules, including a pre-determined length of time (60 minutes) with a recorded score. (10)
            By moving ice hockey game indoors, the smaller dimensions of the rink initiated a major change from the outdoor version of the game, limiting organized contests to a nine-man limit per team. Until that time, outdoor games had no prescribed number of players, the number being more or less the number that could fit on a frozen pond or river and often ranged in the dozens. (11) The nine-man per side rule lasted until the 1880s.
            The Stanley Cup is the oldest professional sports trophy in North America, and therefore is another symbol of professionalization of ice hockey. In 1888, the new Governor General of Canada, Lord Stanley of Preston attended the Montreal Winter Carnival and was impressed with hockey. In 1892, he made recognition for the best team in all of Canada, which is the Dominion Hockey Challenge Cup, which later became the Stanley Cup. In 1915, the two professional ice hockey organizations, the National Hockey Association (NHA) and the Pacific Coast Hockey Association (PCHA), reached a gentlemen's agreement in which their respective champions would face each other for the Stanley Cup.(12) After a series of league mergers and folds, it became the de facto championship trophy of the National Hockey League in 1926.(13)

IV.4 International Ice Hockey Federation
            The International Ice Hockey Federation was founded in 1908 at Paris, France as Ligue International de Hockey sur Glace. Representatives from Belgium, France, Great Britain and Switzerland signed the founding document and Bohemia (later Czechoslovakia) joined at the fifth member afterwards. Louis Magnus, a Frenchman, became the first president. The first congress was in Paris in 1908 and the second was in Chamonix, France, in 1909
            The General Congress is the highest legislative body and makes decisions about the rules of the game, and elects the president and the council. The IIHF President chairs all congresses and council meetings. The President represents the interests of the IIHF, is responsible for all of the decisions made in accordance with the federation's statutes, and also has the right to sign on behalf of the IIHF.

V History of Ice Skating

V.1 Early Ice Skating
            Although the beginning of ice skating is unclear, it has been discovered that humans in prehistoric times had already tried to speed across the ice on skates. Early skates were made from animal bones, which were cut until the surface was smooth enough. People moved forward by pushing forward with sticks. Remains of such skates were found at the bottom of a Swiss lake, dated to be from about 3000 years ago. There were similar discoveries made in Russia, Scandinavia, the Netherlands, Germany, and Great Britain.
            It is widely accepted that the birthplace of skating is the Netherlands and that it then spread to Anglo-Saxon countries. The first mention of ice skating is found in a book written by William Fitzstephen (d. 1191), a monk in Canterbury. Fitzstephen refers to sticks used during skating, as primitive ice skates did not have sharp gliding edges like modern ice skates.
            Adding steel edges to ice skates was invented by the Dutch in the 13th or 14th century. Around the same time period as steel edges were added, a table maker's apprentice produced a design that remains almost unaltered to this day. Movement on skates was now freer and more stable.
            Ice skating was widely popular for all classes of people in the Netherlands, as shown in many pictures by the "Old Masters". However, in other European countries, participation in ice skating was limited only to the members of the upper classes.

V.2 The Division of Ice Skating into Figure and Speed
            The first ice skating association was formed in Edinburgh in 1742, and the first instructional book of ice skating was published in London in 1772. The book was written by a British lieutenant, Robert Jones, and describes basic figure skating forms such as circles and figure eights. The book was written solely for men, as women did not normally ice skate in the late 18th century. It was with the publication of this manual that ice skating split into its two main branches, speed skating and figure skating.

V.3 The Development of Modern Figure Skating
            The founder of modern figure skating is known as Jackson Haines, an American. He is known as the first skater to incorporate ballet and dance movements into his skating, and the inventor of the sit spin and a shorter, curved blade for figure skating for easier turns. Haines attempted to spread his ice skating style in Europe, gaining success in Sweden and Austria. His performance led to the establishment of the Vienna School.
            The students of the Vienna School established the International Skating Union in 1892, the first international skating organization and one of the oldest sports associations. The union created the first codified set of figure skating rules.

V.4 The Development of Figure Skating in the Early 20th Century
            Figure skating adopted a more athletic character through Ulrich Salchow, a Swede. His greatest achievement, besides winning the world championships ten times, is his development of ice skates with slightly serrated blades, giving enough traction on the ice to launch long jumps. The salchow jump, named after him, is still used prominently today.
            There was a generally higher performance in all sports, including figure skating. The largest public ice rink in the world, the Sportpalast in Berlin, opened in the 1910s. The new rink increased public interest in figure skating and the number of people who practiced the sport.
            The largest figure skating competitions were renewed after World War I, with the first taking place in 1922. The best-known figure skaters in this period were Sonja Henie from Norway and Karl Schäfer from Austria. Henie brought a new style to figure skating in both athletic practice and dress. Previously, female figure skaters had skated in bulky clothing and long skirts, but she broke the tradition with short knee-length skirts. In addition, her fluid and unlabored movements and overall elegance were considered to be a major advancement for figure skating. Schäfer won the European figure skating championship eight times, and the world championship seven times, in the period from 1929 to 1936.

V.5 The Development of Modern Speed Skating
            The invention of the all-iron blade by a Scotsman in 1592 contributed to the acceleration of the spread of speed skating. The sport went to North America, where a lighter, sharper, and longer all-steel blade was produced in 1850. In 1889, the Dutch organized the first world championship with skaters covering four distances - 500m, 1,500m, 5,000m and 10,000m.
            Canada's first recorded ice skating race took place on the St. Lawrence River in 1854 when three British army officers raced from Montr?al to Qu?bec City.(14) As speed skating became a regular feature of winter life, amateur associations were formed. In 1887, the first official championship was staged by the Amateur Skating Association of Canada; and in 1894 became the first non-European body to join the ISU. (15)
            Olympic speed skating, or long track as it is known today, made its debut at the first Winter Olympics in 1924 in Chamonix, France and it has been a highlight of the Games ever since.(16) Early Olympic competition was dominated by the Finns and Norwegians, but Americans provided stiff competition.
            The sport of short track speed skating originated in Canada and the United States in 1905, with the first known competition having taken place in 1909. By the 1920s and 1930s, it was gaining popularity in Great Britain, Japan, France, Belgium, and Australia.
            By the late 1930s, popular interest in speed skating began to decline as professional hockey diminished spectator appeal. The advent of WW2 also played a role on decreasing popularity of speed skating.

V.6 Early Commercialization and Development of Figure Skating as a Spectator Sport
            The largest public ice rink in the world, the Sportpalast in Berlin, opened in 1910. Built principally as an indoor ice rink for ice hockey and skating events, the Sportpalast was a sensation at the time of its opening in November 1920, and was at the time the largest such facility in the world.(17) The Sportpalast was also used as a meeting hall for various events. The new rink increased both the public interest in figure skating as well as the number of people who practiced the sport.(18)
            The Commercialization of Figure Skating was started in the US. In the early 20th century, Americans Irving Brokaw and George Browne helped formalize the style created by Haines by demonstrating it to American audiences. (19) Brokaw participated in the 1908 Olympics as the first American to represent the country at international competitions. Browne, who organized the first U.S. championships in 1914 for men, women, and pairs, wrote two important books on skating and was involved in the establishment of a national skating organization. (20)
            Canadian Louis Rubenstein was also a crucial figure in the development of figure skating. He organized the Amateur Skating Association of Canada (now Skate Canada) and the National Amateur Skating Association of the United States, an effort to formalize competitions and tests by establishing governing bodies for skating. They were the predecessors of the United States Figure Skating Association founded in 1921.
            Commercialization of figure skating through international championships was active, but commercialization by worldwide ice shows started after the Second World War.

V.7 Commercialization and Development of Figure Skating through Ice Shows
            Ice shows are professional skating spectacles that combine the colorful movement of huge casts of skaters with all the arts of the theatre - brilliant lighting, elaborate costumes, special musical scores and choreography, and careful direction. (21)
            One of the earliest ice shows was called Flirting in St. Moritz, which was staged in 1915 at the Hippodrome in New York City. It created a sensation in New York City and ran for 300 days, inspiring The Frozen Warning (1916), the first motion picture centered on skating. Another pioneer ice show, Ice Follies, was first produced in 1936 by Oscar Johnson, Edward Shipstad, and Roy Shipstad.(22) In 30 years it played to more than 60 million people.

V.8 The International Skating Union
            The ISU was founded in 1892 and is the oldest governing international winter sport federation. With the emergence of international competitions, skating clubs, and national associations, the skating community felt the necessity to establish international standards to govern skating. In 1892, the Dutch association called for a meeting of representatives of countries participating in international ice skating competitions, creating the ISU. The fifteen delegates present at the time established concrete rules and laid down foundations for international competitions. Canada was added as a member in 1894, expanding the ISU¡¯s horizons to outside Europe.

V.9 The Elfstedentocht
            The Elfstedentocht is a speed skating competition and leisure skating tour held irregularly in the province of Friesland, Netherlands, over a distance of almost 200 km. It took the last winner 6 hours 49 minutes to complete the race, which is open to anybody who wants to compete. The tour is conducted on frozen canals, rivers, and lakes between eleven Frisian cities. The cities are Leeuwarden, Sneek, IJlst, Sloten, Staveren, Hindeloopen, Workum, Bolsward, Harlingen, Franeker, Dokkum, and Leeuwarden again.
            The Elfstedentocht was already part of Frisian tradition, when in 1890, Pim Mulier conceived the idea of an organized tour, which was first held in 1909. (24) After the first race, the Association of The Frisian Eleven Cities was established to take care of the organization. The tour has been held 15 times since 1909 - only in years when the ice is thick enough. The race has always been a major event in the Netherlands because of the often cold weather and harsh conditions, which attracted many spectators.

VI. The Nordic Games
            The Nordic Games was nominally international, but only one of the eight Nordic Games that were held were outside Sweden. The Nordic Games was a Swedish phenomenon, and the majority of the competitors were from Sweden. The early games were held by the Swedish Tourist Association in purpose to draw attention and tourism to Sweden.
            The Nordic Games was the first international multi-sport event that focused on winter sports and was held at varying intervals between 1901 and 1926. Victor Balck, who was a member of the Sweden's Central Association for the Promotion of Sports, was a precursor to the modern Winter Olympic Games. Viktor Balck was also one of the five original members of the International Olympic Committee. The success of the modern Winter Olympic Games was a contributing factor to the discontinuation of the Nordic Games in the 1920s.
            After 1928, the driving force of the event disappeared with the death of Balck. The Games for 1930 was cancelled due to the lack of snow, and that for 1934 was never held due to the Great Depression. The event was to be restarted in 1942, but World War II intervened, and the Games never resurfaced. The Nordic Games remain as an important part in the history of international winter sports even though it did not develop much, since it paved the way for the Olympic Winter Games

VI.1 The First Games : 1901, Stockholm, Sweden
            The ski program of the first Nordic Games was opened with a ski orienteering relay for three-man teams between Falun and Stockholm, 240 km. Finland dominated cross-country, and ski jumping was won by the Norwegian Arild Nyqvist. The Swedish Trotting Society organized trotting races on ice. Military features were clear in the first Games, such as long distance riding between Enkoping and Stockholm, and ski-joring between Uppsala and Stockholm.
            In the first Games, sports officials in the Nordic countries discussed whether the Games should be a regular event. They agreed on that the Games should be regularly held, but with no final decision on the intervals. The sports officials wanted the Games based entirely on a national Scandinavian foundation, with the rest of the world to be invited to take part in the competitions. The organizing committee was very satisfied with the Games and Balck mentioned the Games as "the biggest contribution so far to the development of Swedish sports." However, the Nordic Games caused a loss of 102,8625 Swedish crowns. Luckily the situation was saved by guarantee foundation.
            The great, genuine interest in sports among members of the Royal family naturally gave the Nordic Games a high status from the outset.(25)

VI.2 The Winter Sports Week in Norway : 1903, Oslo, Norway
            Sweden's Central Society for the Promotion Sports wished to have the Games staged in Christiania, but the Norwegians had no plan of going under the lead of Sweden. The Norwegians claimed that Sweden did not have the economical capacity to organize such a sports event. Finally, the Nordic Winter Sports Week was held in Christiania. The program included bandy, equestrian, skating, and skiing.

VI.3 The Second Games : 1905, Stockholm, Sweden
            The greatest threat to the Second Nordic Games was the lack of snow in Stockholm. Competitions on ice were held as planned, but the ski races were held further north in Östersund. John Wikander won the European speed skating title, and Norwegians dominated cross-country skiing.
            Politics had found its way into the Nordic Games in 1905. Norwegian aspirations for independence became obvious. Norwegian sports authorities withdrew from the Games due to the 'most serious depression' in Norway. (26)

VI.4 The Third Games : 1909, Stockholm, Sweden
            The Swedes "hit back" on the Norwegians; Norwegian sports men were not invited to the games. Speed skating attracted many foreign countries such as Austria, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, and Russia. In figure skating, Sweden¡¯s Ulrich Salchow won world title number eight. Finland dominated cross-country skiing again, and the Swedish Einar Olsson won ski jumping. The long distance ski race was restricted to soldiers. Despite large crowds, there was again a financial loss of 6,400 Swedish crowns, which was covered by a guarantee foundation set up after the 1905 Games.
            The Nordic Games was proved to be an event of great importance outside the Nordic countries. The IOC also noticed the Nordic Games, and Sweden¡¯s Central Society for the Promotion of Sports was awarded the 1908 Olympic Cup for having taken the iniative to so many vital sporting undertakings. (27) The Nordic Games was considered as the most appropriate complement to the Olympics as they mainly embraced winter sports. Coubertin emphasized the Nordic Games as a model when the IOC was deciding the host city for the Games of the 5th Olympiad.
            When the IOC announced that no winter sports were planned for the 1912 Olympics as the Nordic Games were to be held in 1913, Balck declared that he was ready to prepare a winter sports program in the 1912 Olympics. At the 1911 IOC Session in Budapest, it was suggested that the Nordic Games be accepted as the winter part of the 1912 Olympics. There was a heated discussion on the independence of the Nordic Games. After voting, it was decided that the 1913 Games could not be part of the Games of the 5th Olympiad.

VI.5 The Fourth Games: 1913, Stockholm, Sweden
            The Olympic Stadium in Stockholm was used for the Nordic Games, so there was an arena with large spectator capacity. The lack of snow and high temperatures caused problems again. A ski race for women was included for the first time with two female teams.

VI.6 The Fifth Games: 1917, Stockholm, Sweden
            Held during World War I, the 1917 Games were limited to participants from the Nordic countries: Norway in skiing and speed skating, a Danish bandy team and a Finnish woman in figure skating.(28) Skeleton was staged on a course laid on the premises of Skansen, the open air museum in central Stockholm.

VI.7 The Sixth Games: 1922, Stockholm, Sweden
            The Games planned for 1921 were postponed one year in order to have ¡°suitable intervals between the Games and the Olympics.¡± A decision in the planning was the removal of fencing and swimming. This was obviously an attempt to appease the IOC, and with the hope that the Olympic Movement in return should refrain from giving Olympic status to yet further winter sports. (After figure skating in 1908, ice hockey also joined the 1920 Olympic program in Antwerpen.) (29) The 1922 Games were called "The Arctic Games" because of the cold weather. More than 235 foreign countries participated, and it was the first time WWI enemies were able to meet in sports after the war. Sledge sports such as bobsleigh, skeleton, and sledge racing provided more variety to the event.

VI.8 The Seventh Games: 1926, Stockholm, Sweden
            In 1926, the Nordic Games were called "The Swedish Winter Olympics." Sonja Henie, the 13-year-old Norwegian girl placed second in the World figure skating championship Poor showing by the host country and severe cold meant few spectators at most venues, and after the Games, Torsten Tegner, the leading Swedish sports journalist, noted: "They [the Nordic Games] have a taste of an epoch that has become out of date." (30)
            On May 6th, 1926, the IOC decided to name the Semaine international des sports d¡¯hiver in Chamonix in 1924 the 1st Olympic Winter Games. The IOC¡¯s intervention in the winter sports arena and the decision of the International Ski Federation to introduce separate world events caused the loss of justification of the Nordic Games. The 1930 Games were cancelled due to lack of snow and cold weather. With no international sports events during WW2, the Games planned for 1942 were never resumed.

VII. The Winter Olympics before World War II

VII.1 1924 Winter Olympics: Chamonix, France
            The only winter sports in the Olympics were skating and ice hockey, which were part of the Summer Games of 1908 and 1920. Due to objections by the Scandinavian countries that felt a Winter Olympics would detract from their Nordic Games, the Chamonix Games were originally called "International Winter Sports Week". In 1926, during the 25th Session of the IOC in Lisbon, the Chamonix Sports Week was given the name of Olympic Winter Games.
            Chamonix was the host of the first Winter Olympic Games, which was called the "White Olympics". The Games were opened with athletes marching from Chamonix to the Olympic skating rink, led by the French Blue Devil Marching Band. It consisted of five sports: Nordic skiing, figure skating, speed skating, hockey, and bobsledding. Norwegian athletes medaled in 12 of the 14 events, more than any other nation. The two events Norway did not win a medal were ice hockey and bobsledding, which were won by a Canadian and Swiss team each.
            American Charles Jewtraw won the men¡¯s 500m speed skating competition and became the first Olympic Winter Games gold medalist. Clas Thunberg, a Finnish speed skater, amazed the crowd with five medals, a record not broken for 56 years. Canada won the men¡¯s ice hockey competition with a score of 110-3. In women¡¯s figure skating, Herma Planck-Szabo of Austria won, but the 8th and last place finisher later became the greatest women's figure skater ever, Sonja Henie, who was 11 years at the time of the Chamonix Winter Olympics.
            Although the Games were successful despite the huge absence of Germany and the Soviet Union, they ran into financial difficulty. The costs are estimated at 3 million francs, but gate receipts were no more than 250,000 francs. The shortfall was eventually underwritten by the village of Chamonix, the Haute-Savoie department, and the French government.

VII.2 1928 Winter Olympics: St. Moritz, Switzerland
            The Swiss were able to host the Games since Holland backed out. St. Moritz in Switzerland is a famous tourist resort, and it functioned as the host to the second Winter Olympic Games. Due to the enormous success of the First Winter Olympics, the St. Moritz Games attracted an 84% increase in the number of participants and a double of female athletes. The Föhn, the warm wind that sweeps the Swiss mountains from the south, caused a poor start in invoking mild temperatures.
            In the 1928 Winter Games, Germany was allowed to participate for the first time in any Olympic competition after the WW1, and the Soviet Union was still absent. The Germans won one bronze medal. A new event, the skeleton sled, was upgraded from a demonstration sport and added to the program. Teams in the four-man bobsled competition had an option to include a fifth member, which all agreed to.
            Clas Thunberg who was almost 35 won two gold medals. The Norwegian Sonja Henie, who had become 15, won her first Olympic gold medal. The US bobsled team took both gold and silver in the five-man competition. The Canadians dominated in hockey, winning the gold medal without allowing a goal. The 10,000 speed skating race was canceled due to high temperatures and thaw. The Norwegians won the most medals (15 medals) just as they did in Chamonix.

VII.3 1932 Winter Olympics: Lake Placid, New York, U.S
            Lake Placid was a ski station among the Adirondacks in New York. The dominance of the Norwegian cross-country skiers was shaken in the Third Winter Games. The Lake Placid Winter Olympics included the debut of the two-man bobsled event and three demonstration sports: women¡¯s speed skating, dog-sled racing and curling.
            The Lake Placid Games was a historical event. From the opening ceremony, the British contingent¡¯s flag was carried by a woman, first in Olympic history. The Americans won the four-man bobsled, and team member Eddie Eagan became the first and only man to win both a Summer and Winter Olympic medal. Eagan had won the light heavyweight boxing gold medal in 1920.
            The speed skating events were unique in that they did not follow the traditional European format of paired races, but rather group starts, heats, and elimination, much like track events.(31) The organizers imposed new rules, which caused loud protests and eventually caused the withdrawal of Clas Thunberg. The absence of Clas Thunberg made way for the overwhelming American success of Jack Shea and Irving Jaffee.
            Sonja Henie continued her domination of female figure skating. However, two-time defending Olympic men¡¯s figure skating gold medalist Gillis Grafstrom finished second to 22-year-old Austrian Karl Schäfer. Figure skating competitions took place indoors for the first time. Canada's domination of ice hockey was shaking. The final between US and Canada ended in a tie after three overtimes; Canada was decided winner because of a better goal average. The US won the most medals, with 12.

VII.4 1936 Winter Olympics: Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany
            Germany was finally entrusted with the organization of the fourth Winter Olympics when the world federation finally certified the peace with Germany, the aggressor of the First World War. Most notable nations except for the Soviet Union participated in the Games. The Olympic Flame burned at the Winter Olympics for the first time, and there were 106 thousand paying spectators and record participation for the first German Olympics.
            In the 4th Winter Olympics, alpine skiing was introduced. The alpine event was combined alpine and downhill event for men and women, won by Germans Franz Pfnur and Chrisl Cranz. The performance of 16-year-old Norwegian Laila Schou Nilsen, who held every speed-skating record for distances between 500m and 5,000m, was quite notable. Due to the exclusion of women's speed skating from the Olympics, she chose to instead compete in the combined downhill, which she won.(32) However, no medals were awarded at the time for success in individual races.
            Sonja Henie won her third and final gold medal and the Scandinavians dominated the Nordic events. Britain won the men¡¯s hockey competition, but it should be noted that the team was largely made up of Anglo-Canadians. Norway returned to the top of the medals table with 15 medals.

VIII. Conclusion
            Skiing and skating are two events that were developed even in the prehistoric times as a means of survival, but ice hockey and bobsledding both starts within 100 years the beginning of the 20th century. In this paper, I have covered the brief history of 4 sports events; how they were founded, developed, and what kind of associations were organized to protect and spread these sports. Ice hockey and figure skating were actively commercialized and developed into professional spectator sports. Television ice shows and worldwide competitions opened by organizations such as the International Skating Union played a large role in commercialization of ice skating. The Nordic Games played the role of bringing the disintegrated competitions together. During the Nordic Games and the Olympics, there was a substantial development in the standardization and specialization of game rules and types of events
            The Winter Olympics and the Nordic Games played a large role in inspiring large participation in winter sports. Before the Nordic Games, winter sports organizations were founded mostly only in Northern countries, such as Canada or the Scandinavian Countries. Even though the Nordic Games did not develop much and were always in a state of financial difficulties, they remain a very interesting and important chapter in the history of international winter sports. The Games in Sweden paved the way for the Olympic Winter Games. The Winter Olympics up to 1936 are those before the Second World War, and these early Olympics were not affected much by political interests or propaganda, concentrating only on the true nature of winter sports itself.
            Winter sports and the two types of large competitions also played the role of bringing many countries together. Germany, the country who was responsible for the first World War, was given the opportunity to run the Olympics once and develop cordial relationships with other countries. Winter sports, even though not as much as summer sports, have contributed to bringing people together in competitions, regardless of circumstances, and the two sports events contributed to combining separate developments of winter sports together.


1.      ¡°A Short History of Alpine Skiing¡±, Skiing heritage
2.      Ibid.
3.      ¡°History of Skiing¡±, Ezine Articles
4.      Bobsleigh Canada Skeleton
5.      ¡°F?d?ration Internationale de Bobsleigh et de Tobogganing¡±, from Wikipedia.
6.      ¡°Ice Hockey¡±, from Wikipedia
7.      Ibid.
8.      Ibid.
9.      ¡°Victoria Skating Rink¡±, from Wikipedia
10.      Ibid.
11.      Ibid.
12.      ¡°Stanley Cup¡±, from Wikipedia
13.      Ibid.
14.      ¡°About Speed Skating¡±, from Speed Skating Canada
15.      Ibid.
16.      Ibid.
17.      ¡°Berlin Sportpalast¡±, from Wikipedia
18.      Ibid.
19.      ¡°figure skating¡±, Britannica Online Encyclopedia
20.      Ibid.
21.      Ibid.
22.      Ibid.
23.      ¡°Holiday On Ice¡±, from Wikipedia
24.      ¡°Elfstedentocht¡±, from Wikipedia
25.      "The Nordic Games: Precursor to the Olympic Winter Games¡±, by Ake Jonsson
26.      Ibid.
27.      Ibid.
28.      Ibid.
29.      Ibid.
30.      Ibid.
31.      ¡°1932 Winter Olympics¡±, from
32.      ¡°1936 Winter Olympics¡±, from


Note : websites quoted below were visited in December 2008.
1.      Article: History of Skiing, Wikipedia
2.      Skiing History, BellaOnline, Joe Collvins
3.      A Short History of Alpine Skiing, Skiing Heritage
4.      Article: Nordic Games, at Nationmaster
5.      The Nordic Games: Precursor to the Olympic Winter Games, by Ake Jonsson,
6.      History of Bobsleigh, British Bobsleigh Association
7.      Bobsleigh History, Bobsleigh Canada Skeleton,
8.      1924 Chamonix Winter Games, at
9.      Winter Olympic Games, at
10.      Ice Hockey and How the Game is Played - Origins and, from AthleticScholarships
11.      The History of Ice Hockey¡±, from Hockey Heritage North,
12.      History of the Olympics, by Lee Duk Boon, published from Taegun
13.      History of Western Sports, by Kim Sang Soon, published from BaTang
14.      Article : History of Figure Skating, from Wikipedia
15.      History, International Skating Union Official Site,8510,4844-130844-132152-20256-74409-custom-item,00.html
16.      Article : Stanley Cup, from Wikipedia,
17.      Article : figure skating, from Britannica Online Encyclopedia,
18.      Article : ice shows, from Britannica Online Encyclopedia,
19.      Article: ¡°Holiday On Ice¡±, from Wikipedia
20.      Article: Elfstedentocht, from Wikipedia

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