espn Sports schedule results venues history home



 ESPN Tools
Email story
Most sent
Print story

Monday, December 17, 2001
Updated: January 8, 9:33 PM ET
History of the Winter Games

Eric Heiden
In 1980, Eric Heiden won all five speedskating events, setting Olympic records in four and a world record in one.
Welcome to the Olympics history section
The Winter Olympics are a panaroma of dramatic moments from the first gold medal in the Winter Olympics in 1924, to Sonja Henie's salute to Adolf Hitler in '36, Jean Claude Killy's sweep of the alpine events in '68 and Tara Lipinski's stunning upset of Michelle Kwan in '98. Whether it's miracles on ice or wonders on snow, winter athletes have thrilled, titilated and inspired fans.
• Miracles on ice: 1960 | 1980

Check out the Olympics through the years:
1924 1928 1932 1936 1948 1952
1956 1960 1964 1968 1972 1976
1980 1984 1988 1992 1994 1998

We've picked some great Olympic moments, but it's up to you to pick the greatest. Vote in the poll on the left, and we'll post the results during the Games.
  Bonnie Blair -- five gold medals in speedskating
  Billy Fiske -- driver of the '32 gold medal bobsled team
  Peggy Fleming -- her gold revived U.S. figure skating
  Eric Heiden -- ripped up records in a tear on the ice
  Sonja Henie -- enthralled crowds and revolutionized her sport
  Bill Johnson -- the first American to win the downhill
  Jean-Claude Killy -- swept the alpine events in '68
  Franz Klammer -- clutch win in front of 60,000 screaming fans
  Hermann Maier -- shrugged off a crash to take gold days later
  Miracles on ice -- the 1960 and 1980 hockey teams

1924 Chamonix
They called it "International Winter Sports Week," but the Canadian hockey team called it a rout.

1928 St. Moritz
The world's first real global superstar was born, as 15-year-old Sonja Henie glided to the first of three consecutive golds.

1932 Lake Placid
After Eleanor Roosevelt hurtled down the bobsled course, the U.S. men dominated the speedskating events.

1936 Garmisch-Partenkirchen
Would the "Nazi Olympics" survive threats of a boycott?

1948 Sapporo
Dick Button redefined figure skating and bobsledder Max Houben gave hope to the young at heart.

1952 Oslo
A skate-wearing truck driver stole the show, and women on skis glided through the woods.

1956 Cortina d'Ampezzo
Toni Sailer owned the Alpine hills, and Finnish jumpers owned the Alpine air.

1960 Squaw Valley
Richard Nixon was running late, but it was a Frenchman who broke the speed limit.

1964 Innsbruck
France's Goitschel sisters skied fastest on the imported snow: the computers said so.

1968 Grenoble
Jean-Claude Killy and Peggy Fleming made the Winter Olympics sexy.

1972 Sapporo
Sapporo's hometown kids fly like Jonathan Livingston Seagull.

1976 Innsbruck
Franz Klammer stayed on his skis ... but just barely.

1980 Lake Placid
Two miraculous performances: Eric Heiden and the U.S. hockey team. Could morning in America be far behind?

1984 Sarajevo
Torvill and Dean's "Bolero" melted the ice at Sarajevo, and U.S. downhiller Bill Johnson walked the talk.

1988 Calgary
Tomba won a Ferrari. Witt won the battle of the Carmens.

1992 Albertville
The Berlin Wall had crumbled, but athletes from the former Soviet Union still looked invincible.

1994 Lillehammer
Johann Olav Koss was a Golden Butterfly, and Tonya Harding was a Tyrannosaurus Rex.

1998 Nagano
The "Herminator" turned the agony of defeat into the thrill of victory, twice.