The Winter Olympics
The Winter Olympic Games happen once every four years for sports that take place on snow or ice. The first ever games were held in Chaminoux, France in 1942 and there were 5 sports: bobsleigh, curling, ice-hockey, skiing and skating. Skiing and skating, are broken down into different categories such as cross-country skiing or ski jumping.
Eddie 'the Eagle' Edwards is a famous British ski jumper who competed in the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary. The spectators, who were watching from the stand and on T.V., loved Eddie because he was an underdog. He had taught himself to ski and he didn't even own a pair of skis - he borrowed them! Eddie the Eagle didn't make it to the winner's podium, he actually came last. But they made a film his adventures on the ski jump.
Skating is another popular Winter Olympic sport. It takes places on an ice rink. Speed skaters have to skate very fast whereas figure skating is more artistic, it's like dancing on ice. Michelle Kwan is a famous American figure skater who won a bronze medal at the games in Salt Lake City in 2002. She also won a silver medal at the Nagano Winter Olympics in 1998. Kwan never won a gold medal at the Olympics but she is the winner of 5 World Championships.
But winning isn’t everything, just making it to the Olympic games is something to celebrate. These days there are more than 5 sports at the games. New ones like snowboarding and luge have been added over the years. The games have taken place in 11 countries and three continents, but they have never been held in the southern hemisphere. This is probably because the Winter Olympics are usually held in February, which is the height of summer in the southern hemisphere.