Winter Olympics History: IV, Cancellations, V, VI & VII

By: Sean Sporman
By: Sean Sporman

The 22nd Winter Olympic Games continue in Sochi, Russia this week, and each day News 4 This Morning will be taking a look back at the Winter Olympiads of the past, leading up to Sochi.

Like the 1936 Summer Games, the 1936 Winter Olympics were hosted by Nazi Germany, in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. Alpine skiing was first contested in these games, in the form of the combined which included the downhill and slalom. Great Britain pulled off an upset by winning the Gold in Ice Hockey, leaving Canada with only the silver.

The 1940 and 1944 Winter Olympics were planned to be hosted by Japan and Italy respectively, but were canceled due to World War II.

The Winter Olympics would return in 1948 as they also returned to a previous host in St. Moritz, Switzerland. Due to the recent conflict, Japan and Germany were banned from this event. These games were historic for the United States as American Gretchen Fraser won the first ever medal for the United States in skiing. The US also won its first medals in figure skating. The 1948 Winter Games would also mark the final appearance of skeleton until 2002.

In 1952, athletes from Germany and Japan made their return to Winter Olympic competition in Oslo, Norway. These games also introduced the first cross-country skiing event for women, as well as the use of computers to calculate the scores in figure skating. Dick Button, who had competed in the 1948 Olympics as well for the United States, performed the first triple loop ever in international competition, winning him a gold medal.

The 1956 games were the first Olympics to be shown on television, although primarily to European audiences. These games were hosted in Cortina D'Ampezzo, Italy. The Soviet Union team made its debut in these games, with a dominating performance in hockey and the overall medal count. It was the 1956 Olympics that marked the last time that figure skating was competed outdoors.

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