The 23rd Winter Olympics will run February 9 through February 25, 2018, in Pyeongchang, South Korea. To help you get ready for the big event, here are some fun facts for you to enjoy:
(1) Norway is #1
Since the first Winter Olympics were held in 1924, Norway has won more Winter Olympic medals (329) than any other country.
(2) Hockey Domination
During the 1924 Winter Olympics, Canada won the hockey gold medal by outscoring its five opponents by a combined total of 110-3!
(3) Olympic Animals
Skijoring, a sport in which horses pull people on skis, was a demonstration sport in the 1928 Olympics. Dog sled racing was a demonstration sport in the 1932 Winter Olympics.
(4) Three in a Row
Norwegian Sonja Henie (1912-1969) won three consecutive gold medals in women’s figure skating from 1928 to 1936. Katarina Witt (1965-…) of East Germany is the only other woman to win two gold medals in women’s figure skating (1984 and 1988).
(5) Beefiest Bobsled
In 1952, Germany won gold medals in the two-man and four-man bobsled events because their bobsledders were much heavier than the bobsledders from other countries. After the games, a rule change limited the weights of crew and sleds for future Olympics.
(6) Some Prefer the Cold!
From 1976 to 1988, Liechtenstein won nine Winter Olympics medals, all in alpine skiing. Liechtenstein is the only country to have won medals in the Winter Olympics without ever winning a Summer Olympics medal.
(7) First and Only to Win Five
In 1980, American Eric Heiden (1958-…) became the first athlete to win five individual gold medals in one Olympics when he won all five men’s speed-skating races. No other athlete has ever won five gold medals at a single Winter Olympics.
(8) Miracle On Ice
Also in 1980, the United States hockey team defeated the heavily favored Soviet Union team 4-3 in one of the greatest upsets in Olympic history. The United States team would go on to win the gold medal.
(9) Warm-Weather Bobsledders
A bobsledding team from Jamaica competed in the 1988 Winter Olympics. In 2018, Nigeria will send the first bobsledding team from an African country.
(10) Lucky 13
In 2014, Norwegian biathlon star Ole Einar Bjørndalen (1974-…) won two medals at the Winter Olympics, bringing his career total to 13, an individual record for the Winter Games.