Winter Olympic Games
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Winter Olympic Games
the largest international combined winter sports competition. The Winter Olympic Games take place once every four years, the same year as the regular Olympics. The first Winter Olympics were held in Chamonix, France, in 1924; the second, in Saint Moritz, Switzerland (1928); the third, in Lake Placid, USA (1932); the fourth, in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany (1936); the fifth, in Saint Moritz (1948); the sixth, in Oslo, Norway (1952); the seventh, in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy (1956); the eighth, in Squaw Valley, California, USA (I960); the ninth, in Innsbruck, Austria (1964); the tenth, in Grenoble, France (1968); and the 11th, in Sapporo, Japan (1972).
The Winter Olympics program, which has undergone several changes during the history of the games, includes competition in the biathlon (individual competitions and 4 x 7.5 km relay races with shooting), Alpine skiing (downhill, slalom, and giant slalom), bobsledding, luge, Nordic skiing (cross-country races, ski jumping, and Nordic combined—a 15-km race and ski jumping), speed skating, figure skating, and ice hockey.
Norwegian and Soviet athletes haye had the greatest successes at the Winter Olympics. Since 1956, Soviet athletes have taken part in all events of the Winter Olympics program, with the exception of bobsledding and, until 1972, luge. At the seventh through llth Winter Olympics, Soviet athletes won 38 gold, 26 silver, and 27 bronze medals. Among the winners at the Winter Olympics have been 91 Soviet athletes, including L. P. Skoblikova (six gold medals) and E. R. Grishin (four gold medals) in speed skating; K. S. Boiarskikh, G. A. Kulakova (three gold medals each) and V. P. Vedenin (two gold medals) in skiing; V. F. Mamatov and A. I. Tikhonov in the biathlon; and L. E. Belousova and O. A. Protopopov in figure skating (two gold medals each). The Soviet ice hockey team has been a four-time Winter Olympics champion; three of those times the team has included the hockey players V. S. Davydov, V. R. Kuz’kin, A. P. Pagulin, and A. V. Firsov; and twice the players V. V. Aleksandrov, V. I. Vikulov, O. A. Zaitsev, V. V. Zimin, V. S. Konovalenko, B. A. Maiorov, E. D. Mishakov, I. A. Romishevskii, and V. I. Starshinov.
K. A. ANDRIANOV and V. I. SAVVIN