Olympic Games

  • 193

    1936 Olympics

    Garmish-Partenkirchen Winter Games
    Alpine skiing events are held for the first time, but ski instructors are barred as being professionals. This leads to an Austrian and Swiss boycott, and to the decision not to have skiing events in the 1940 Games.
    Canada finally loses an ice hockey match, as Great Britain takes the gold. Only a complete stickler would point out that almost all of the British players lived in Canada.
  • 394

    394 AD Olympics

    Roman Emperor Theodosius I abolishes the Games, as part of a series of reforms against pagan practices
  • Jan 1, 720

    720 BC olympics

    The second ever Olympic games
  • Jan 1, 776

    776 BC olympics

    The First Olympic Games in Athens
  • 1886 Olympics

    Athens Games
    The first modern Olympic Games. 14 countries are represented by about 245 men, competing in 43 events.
    No women compete, as de Coubertin feels that their inclusion would be "impractical, uninteresting, unaesthetic, and incorrect."
  • 1894 Olympics

    At the urging of Baron Pierre de Coubertin, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is founded.
  • 1896 Olympics

    Athens Games
    The first modern Olympic Games. 14 countries are represented by about 245 men, competing in 43 events.
    No women compete, as de Coubertin feels that their inclusion would be "impractical, uninteresting, unaesthetic, and incorrect."
  • 1900 Olympics

    Paris Games
    The second modern Games are overshadowed by, and incorporated into, the Paris Exposition. 1,319 men from 26 countries compete in 75 events, although it's not entirely clear—even to some of the participants—which events are actually part of the Olympics.
    Eleven women are allowed to compete in lawn tennis and golf.
  • 1904 Olympics

    St. Louis Games
    Only 13 countries show up.
    Fred Lorz rides in a car for eleven miles during the marathon, but is briefly taken as being the winner anyway.
  • 1906 Olympics

    Intercalated Games
    The first, last, and only Intercalated Games are held in Athens, as the Greeks plan to hold interim Games between Olympics every four years. While these bolster the Olympics' flagging reputation, medals won here are considered unofficial by the IOC.
  • 1908 Olympics

    London Games
    The 1906 eruption of Mt. Vesuvius requires the Games to move from Rome to London. For the first time, athletes march into the stadium behind their nations' flags. There are more than 2,000 competitors in more than 100 events.
  • 1912 Olympics

    Stockholm Games
    American Jim Thorpe dominates the Games, taking the gold in the pentathlon and decathlon.
    Finland begins its domination of long-distance running events, as Hannes Kolehmainen picks up three gold medals and a silver.
    Women compete in swimming events for the first time, but none of them are from America, which bars its female athletes from competing in events without long skirts.
  • 1916 Olympics

    Games cancelled due to World War I.
  • 1920 Olympics

    Antwerp Games
    The Olympic flag is introduced, as is the Olympic oath.
    Germany, Austria, Bulgaria, Hungary, and Turkey are not invited, having been on the wrong side of the Great War.
    Distance runner Paavo Nurmi wins three medals for Finland.
    Figure-skating events are held for the second time, and ice hockey for the first.
    Philip Noel-Baker of Great Britain takes the silver in the 1500-meter dash; he later becomes the only Olympian ever to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
  • 1924 Olympics

    Chamonix Winter Games
    The "International Winter Sports Week" takes place in Chamonix, and is dominated by the Scandanavians. Two years later, this is retroactively given the status of the first Olympic Winter Games.
    Due to an error in computing the scores, American Anders Haugen is placed in fourth in ski jumping, behind Norway's Thorleif Haug. This is discovered in 1974, and Haugen is awarded the bronze in a special ceremony.
  • 1928 Olympics

    Amsterdam Games
    The Olympic flame is introduced.
    Germany returns.
    Paavo Nurmi picks up three more medals, including one gold.
    Women compete in track and field events for the first time; however, so many collapse at the end of the 800-meter race that the event is banned until 1960.
    Luigina Giavotti becomes the youngest medalist of all time, helping the Italian gymnastics team pick up a silver at 11 years and 302 days old.
  • 1932 Olympics

    Los Angeles Games
    Paavo Nurmi is barred from the Los Angeles Games, on grounds that, on a trip to a German meet, he had claimed too much money in travel expenses.
    There is no soccer event.
    Babe Didrikson picks up gold medals in hurdles and javelin. She would have tied for a gold in the high-jump, but her jumping style is ruled illegal.
  • 1936 Olympics

    Garmish-Partenkirchen Winter Games
    Alpine skiing events are held for the first time, but ski instructors are barred as being professionals. This leads to an Austrian and Swiss boycott, and to the decision not to have skiing events in the 1940 Games.
    Canada finally loses an ice hockey match, as Great Britain takes the gold. Only a complete stickler would point out that almost all of the British players lived in Canada.
  • 1940 Olimpics

    Olimpics cancelled because world war ll
  • 1944 Olimpics

    Olimpics canceled because of warld war ll
  • 1948 Olympics

    St. Moritz Winter Games
    Held for a second time in St. Moritz, Switzerland, as that city was untouched by the war.
    Men and women each have three alpine skiing events.
    The American Olympic Committee sends a hockey team, as does the American Hockey Association; the IOC bars either from being considered for a medal.
  • 1952 Olympics

    Oslo Winter Games
    The Olympic torch is lit in the fireplace of skiing pioneer Sondre Norheim, and relayed by 94 skiers to the Games in Oslo.
    28-year-old Norwegian truck driver Hjalmar Andersen wins three speed-skating gold medals, setting Olympic records in two of the events.
    The Canadian ice hockey team wins their seventh gold medal in eight Olympics; it will be fifty years before they win another.
  • 1956 Olympics

    Cortina d'Ampezzo Winter Games
    The Soviets break Canada's gold-medal monopoly in ice hockey, and win more medals than anybody else.
    Toni Sailer of Austria becomes the first skier to sweep all three Alpine events.
    The U.S. sweep five of the six medals in individual figure skating, the lone exception being Austria's Ingrid Wendl's bronze.
  • 1960 Olympics

    Squaw Valley Winter Games
    The only Winter Games ever not to include bobsledding, as the organizing committee refuses to build an expensive bobsled run for the mere nine nations that would use it.
    Walt Disney is in charge of pageantry, including the Opening and Closing Ceremonies.
    Sweden's Klas Lestander wins the first-ever biathlon, combining cross-country skiing and shooting.
    The U.S. ice hockey team wins the gold for the first time, upsetting both the Canadian and Soviet teams.
  • 1964 Olympics

    Innsbruck Winter Games
    Unfavorable weather conditions require the Austrian army to carry ice and snow from higher elevations.
    Because of its policy of apartheid, South Africa is barred from the Olympics; it won't be invited back until 1992.
    Luge is added for the first time, but a cloud hangs over it after a British luger dies in the course of a practice run a week before competition.
    The U.S.S.R. again leads with 25 medals; the United States' six medals put it in eighth place.
  • 1968 Olympics

    Grenoble Winter Games
    East and West Germany compete on separate teams for the first time.
    Sex tests and drug tests are introduced.
    Norway wins the most medals (14) for the first time, coming in one ahead of the Soviets.
    Peggy Fleming wins America's only gold medal, in figure skating.
    France's Jean-Claude Killy sweeps all three Alpine events, after some controversy surrounding the disqualification of Austria's Karl Schranz in the slalom.
    The Soviets win the gold in hockey again.
  • 1972 Olympics

    Sapporo Winter Games
    Retiring IOC president Avery Brundage threatens to disqualify 40 Alpine skiers for taking money from ski product manufacturers. He ultimately makes an example of just one skier, barring Austrian Karl Schranz.
  • 1976 Olympics

    Innsbruck Winter Games
    These were originally planned for Denver, but Colorado residents voted against spending money on them.
    Ice dancing makes its debut.
    Austrian Franz Klammer gets the gold in downhill skiing.
    The Russian hockey team wins its fourth straight gold medal.
    America's Dorothy Hamill and Britain's John Curry win golds in figure skating.
    The U.S.S.R. and East Germany rank first and second, while the United States moves up to a distant third-place tie.
  • 1980 Olympics

    Lake Placid Winter Games
    The first to use artificial snow.
    American Eric Heiden wins all five speed skating events, the first time that's ever been done.
    The U.S. wins only one more gold medal, and the U.S.S.R. and the East Germans once again dominate the field...
    ...but the Americans hardly care. That sixth gold medal, in ice hockey, is summed up by six words from Al Michaels: "Do you believe in miracles? Yes!"
  • 1984 Olympics

    Sarajevo Winter Games
    The first to be held in a socialist country.
    49 nations attend, 12 more than the previous record for the Winter Games.
    As usual, the Soviets and East Germans end up on top; the U.S.S.R. has more medals overall (25-24), but the East Germans have more gold medals (9-6).
    The Soviets regain top honors in hockey, while the U.S. fails to qualify for the medal round.
  • 1988 Olympics

    Calgary Winter Games
    The Winter Games are spread over 16 days for the first time.
    East German figure skater Katarina Witt defends her title, while American Brian Boitano gets the gold in the men's event.
    Alberto "La Bomba" Tomba of Italy wins the men's slalom and giant slalom. In the women's events, Vreni Schneider does the same.
    Loveable loser Eddie "the Eagle" Edwards comes in dead last in the 70-meter and 90-meter jumps, and is welcomed home by hundreds of fans in London.
  • 1992 Olympics

    Albertville Winter Games
    Germany has reunited and the Soviet Union has broken up. In spite of the accompanying turmoil, the German team and Unified team of former Soviet states remain at the top of the rankings.
    Norway sweeps the men's cross-country skiing events, thanks to Vegard Ulvang and Bjorn Daehlie.
  • 1996 Olympics

    Atlanta Games
    Muhammad Ali lights the cauldron at the start of the Centennial Games. 179 nations participate; 79 win medals.
    A pipe bomb in Centennial Olympic Park kills one person and injures 111, but the Games go on.
    America's Michael Johnson wins both the 200m and 400m races; France's Marie-José Perec does the same.
    Carl Lewis gets his ninth gold medal by winning the long jump.
  • 2000 Olympics

    Sydney Games
    10,651 athletes (4,069 of them women) from 199 nations participate; the only nation excluded is Afghanistan.
    North and South Korea enter the stadium under one flag.
    Australian Aboriginal Cathy Freeman lights the cauldron at the start of the game, and goes on to win the 400m race.
    British rower Steven Redgrave becomes the first athlete to win gold medals in five consecutive Olympics.
    The U.S. softball team defends its title; Michael Johnson does the same in the 400m race.
  • 2004 Olympics

    Athens Games
    The Games return to Greece.
  • 2008 Olympics

    Beijing Summer Games
    Human rights activists and government officials propose boycotting the 2008 Olympics in Beijing due to China's economic and military connections to Sudan, where more than 200,000 people have died and 2.5 million have been displaced by the civil war.
    Concern about Beijing hosting the summer Olympics resurfaced in March 2008 after Chinese police violently cracked down on protests by ethnic Tibetans and Buddhist monks in Lhasa, Tibet. In April, protests by human rights group