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  • News | Chamonix 1924

    Switzerland land military patrol gold

    The “military patrol” competition which took place in Chamonix on 30 January 1924 can be regarded as a forerunner of the modern biathlon. The cross-country skiing and rifle shooting elements were similar, but the difference was that it also contained a “patrol” component, where four-man teams, which had to include one officer, embarked on a 30km ski race as a unit. At the conclusion of the race the teams – minus the officer – took part in a shooting contest in which 30-second time bonuses could be gained for every target hit.
    30 Jan 1924 | Chamonix 1924, Biathlon, Switzerland, Olympic News
  • News | Chamonix 1924

    Szabo lights up the ice

    Born in Vienna (AUT) on 22 February 1902, Herma Szabo had figure skating in her blood. She was the daughter of Christa Von Szabo, herself a two-time world champion in pair skating, and niece of Eduard Engelmann Jr., a three-time European men’s singles champion and the man behind the 1909 construction of the world’s first open-air artificial ice rink. Not surprisingly, she learned to skate from an early age. After showing great promise on the ice, she went on to fulfil her potential by amassing five consecutive individual gold medals at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships between 1922 and 1926, as well as two pairs titles with Ludwig Wrede (AUT) in 1925 and 1927.
    30 Jan 1924 | Chamonix 1924, Figure Skating, Austria, Olympic News
  • News | Chamonix 1924

    Skutnabb sparks to life in the 10,000m

    Julius Skutnabb, a Helsinki fireman, was one of two big stars defending the colours of Finland at the Chamonix Games in the speed skating events, the other being the all-conquering Clas Thunberg. Together, the pair consistently outstripped the contingent of Norwegian medal hopefuls in the four distances and in the all-round competition.
    27 Jan 1924 | Chamonix 1924, Speed Skating, Finland, Olympic News
  • News | Chamonix 1924

    Larsen delivers medal bonanza for Norway

    Boasting six medals from two Olympic Games, Norwegian Roald Larsen is one of just five male speed skaters to have achieved such a feat. He also shares, with Rintje Ritsma, (NED) the distinction of appearing on six podiums without ever winning a gold medal. In Larsen’s case, the reason for this was the relentlessly impressive form of Finland’s Clas Thunberg, who, like Larson, secured five top-three finishes at Chamonix 1924.
    27 Jan 1924 | Chamonix 1924, Speed Skating, Norway, Olympic News
  • News | Chamonix 1924

    Thunberg racks up speed skating podiums

    As one of the most high-profile participants present at Chamonix 1924, Speed skater Clas Thunberg lived up to his pre-competition billing by collecting five medals (three golds, a silver and a bronze) – more than any other athlete.
    27 Jan 1924 | Chamonix 1924, Speed Skating, Olympic News, Finland
  • News | Chamonix 1924

    Jewtraw becomes first-ever Winter Games champion

    As the winner of the 500m speed skating competition on the morning of Saturday 26 January, Charles Jewtraw (USA) had the honour of becoming the first gold medallist of the Olympic Winter Games. Jewtraw was a native of Lake Placid, the American village renowned for its frozen lakes, which would itself host two Winter Games, in 1932 and 1980.
    26 Jan 1924 | Chamonix 1924, Speed skiing, United States of America, Olympic News
  • News | Chamonix 1924

    Chamonix Games take shape

    Over the course of just one year, a variety of Olympic facilities were built along the banks of the Arve, the river that carves its way through Chamonix Valley. The circular Olympic rink, which would also serve as the stadium for the Opening Ceremony, had a 27,660m2 skating surface installed, featuring a racing track and a curling sheet, which required prior construction of a concrete flood wall to support the embankment that was preventing the river from bursting its banks. The water pipes were then modified so that a thin layer of water could be sprayed onto the icy surface.
    25 Jan 1924 | Chamonix 1924, Olympic News
  • News | Chamonix 1924

    Birth of the Olympic Winter Games

    Events held on ice, such as figure skating (at London 1908 and Antwerp 1920) and ice hockey (at Antwerp 1920) had already featured at the Games prior to 1924, but IOC President Pierre de Coubertin was a strong advocate for integrating as many winter sports as possible in the Olympic programme, arguing that they should enjoy the same standing as summer sports.
    25 Jan 1924 | Chamonix 1924, Olympic News
  • News | Chamonix 1924

    Let the Games begin!

    On 25 January 1924, on the morning of the Opening Ceremony, there was an immense feeling of collective relief, as, after several days of rain, during which the newly built ice rink had at times resembled a pond, local temperatures finally dropped, bringing the freezing weather that the organisers had prayed for. To top things off, the sun even made an appearance, illuminating the entire valley and encouraging a huge number of sport enthusiasts from the town and surrounding areas to attend the opening.
    25 Jan 1924 | Chamonix 1924, Opening Ceremony, Olympic News
  • News | Stockholm 1912

    Swedes praised for “most effective games yet”

    “On looking back at the Olympic Games of Stockholm it is easily seen that they were much more comprehensive than they had ever been expected to become,” reads the Official Report’s conclusion to the event. Stockholm 1912 had certainly been the biggest Olympic Games yet. In total, 3,282 athletes had taken part – representing 27 different countries – while 487 official foreign representatives had visited the event and some 280 international journalists had been present to cover it.
    27 Jul 1912 | Stockholm 1912, Olympic News
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