10 Surprising Facts about the Winter Olympics

After a long 4 years since PyeongChang, the Winter Olympic Games are back!

Since 1924, the Winter Olympics have brought together athletes from all across the world. This year, over 2,800 athletes will compete on a global stage for a chance to bring home one of the 327 coveted gold, silver, or bronze medals.

This has already been a historic Olympics, with Haiti and Saudi Arabia each making their first appearance at the Winter Games. As we continue to cheer on Team USA, we’ve curated 10 fun Winter Olympics facts that shed a little light on the Games!

 

10 Fun Facts about the Beijing 2022 Olympics

1. Beijing is the first city in the world to have hosted both the Summer and Winter games.

A few of the venues from the 2008 Summer Olympic Games will be repurposed for this year’s Winter Games. For example, the Water Cube swimming venue has been renamed the Ice Cube, and will host events such as curling.

Beijing is the first city to host both the Summer and Winter Games

 

2. Of the top 10 countries with the most Olympic medals, the winningest color is red.

Every country’s flag includes at least 1 of the colors of the Olympic Rings (blue, black, red, yellow, and green).

Red was by far the most represented color, with 9 of 10 top medal-winning countries having red in their flag. Blue was the next most popular color at 4 of 10, followed by yellow (3 of 10) and Black (1 of 10). No top 10 winningest country has green in their country’s flag.

 

3. Norway is the winningest country at the Winter Games, having won 368 medals.

The country has won 132 gold, 125 silver, and 111 bronze medals throughout the games. The United States is in 2nd place, bringing home 305 medals. While only competing in 12 Winter Games as a country, Germany rounds out the top 3 with 240 medals.

Winter Olympics medal count

 

4. Speaking of Norway, the winningest Winter Olympian is Norwegian skier Marit Bjørgen.

Nicknamed “Iron Lady,” Marit has won 15 medals over 5 winter Olympic Games: 8 gold, four silvers, and 3 bronze.

The top 3 most decorated Winter Olympic medalists are all from Norway. The most decorated US Winter Olympian in Apolo Ohno, who has earned 8 medals.

Bonus fact: Did you know that Norway’s population is 5 times smaller than that of Texas?

Most decorated Winter Olympians

 

5. Team USA is comprised of athletes from 31 states.

The highest count of athletes come from California (29), Colorado (23), and Minnesota (23).

Map of Team USA Athletes

 

 

6. On average, curling stones weigh 42 pounds.

That’s the equivalent of 4 gallons of paint. Curling stones are made of rare granite, and the granite used to make Olympic curling stones are found only in 2 places in the entire world.

Related: Colorado Curling Facility Implements Upper Hand to Manage their Business

Curling stones weigh 42 pounds

 

7. The average speed of an Olympic downhill skier is 80 mph.

That’s nearly twice the speed of the average skier, who will typically reach speeds of 20-40 miles per hour. Take a look at some of the speediest Winter Olympic sports. The fastest Winter Olympics sports is luge, where athletes travel at speeds of around 90 miles per hour down a track.

Olympic skiers travel at speeds of 80 mph

 

8. The force that Shaun White feels going around the curve of the half pipe is about 2.7x his own weight.

This means that as he is flying through the air, he has to carry not only his own body weight, but also an additional 2.7x that, just to pull himself through a turn.

 

9. The 2022 Winter Olympic Games are the first to rely solely on artificial snow.

It will take an estimated 49 million gallons of water to create enough snow for the games (which equates to around 1.2 million cubic meters of snow)

It will take an estimated 49 million gallons of water to produce enough snow for the Olympics

 

10. Beijing 2022 is the most gender balanced Olympics to date.

At the first Winter Olympic Games, held in 1924, 16 countries gathered to celebrate the inaugural Winter Games. Of those athletes, only 4.3% were female. Today, that number has grown to over 2,800 athletes across 91 countries, 45% of which are female.

45% of 2022 Olympic athletes are female

 

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Courtney Kerr
Courtney Kerr
Courtney serves as Marketing Manager at Upper Hand.

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