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A Year: Day to Day Men: 25th of January, Solar Year 2018

The Solution: Alfredo… in the Library… with a Towel

January 25, 1924 marks the opening date of the first Winter Olympics held at Chamonix, in the French Alps.

In 1911, the IOC (International Olympic Committee) proposed the staging of a separate winter competition for the 1912 Stockholm Games, but Sweden, wanting to protect the popularity of the Nordic Games, declined. Germany planned a Winter Olympics to precede the 1916 Berlin Summer Games, but World War I forced the cancellation of both. Soon after the 1920 Olympics in Antwerp, Belgium, an agreement was reached with Scandinavians to stage the IOC-sanctioned International Winter Sports Week.

On January 25, 1924, the ‘first Winter Olympics’ took off in style at Chamonix in the French Alps. Spectators were thrilled by the ski jump and bobsled as well as 12 other events involving a total of six sports. The “International Winter Sports Week,” as it was known, was a great success. It was so popular among the 16 participating nations that, in 1925, the IOC formally created the Winter Olympics, retroactively making Chamonix the first. In 1928 the International Olympic Committee (IOC) officially designated the Winter Games, staged in St. Moritz, Switzerland, as the second Winter Olympics.

At the  Chamonix games, Scandinavians dominated the speed rinks and slopes, and Norway won the unofficial team competition with 17 medals. The United States came in third, winning its only gold medal with Charles Jewtraw’s victory in the 500-meter speed-skating event. Canada won another hockey gold, scoring 110 goals and allowing just three goals in five games. Of the nearly 300 athletes, only 13 were women, and they only competed in the figure-skating events.

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