You don’t even have to be a sports fanatic to look forward to the Olympics every couple of years with excitement, when many of us are glued to our screens watching the best of the best athletes compete in the Olympics. summer or winter. With the diversity of sports, the emotional stories of some of the best athletes representing their country, and genuine physical prowess and courage demonstrated in every event, the Olympic Games are almost as captivating and exciting for viewers around the world as they can be. ‘to be. for athletes striving to compete there.
The Summer and Winter Olympics are woven into the fabric of our culture and are memorable events each time they take place. Although each iteration of the Olympics only occurs once every four years, the Summer and Winter Olympics are held on a staggered cycle, which means we see one of the versions of the Olympics approximately every two years. However, there are many differences between the Summer Olympics and the Winter Olympics, from the obvious, such as the specific sports contested, to the smallest, such as the number of nations represented. Curious to know more about the differences between the Summer and Winter Olympics? Keep reading for our fun comparison of the Summer and Winter Olympics.
When did the Summer Olympics and Winter Olympics begin?
The first Summer Olympics were held in Athens in 1894, with 42 events across nine sports and less than 250 competitors, all of them male. The first Winter Olympics were not held until 1924. Previously, ice sports like ice hockey and figure skating were included in the Summer Olympics. For example, figure skating made its debut at the 1908 Summer Olympics in London, while ice hockey was first contested in 1920. Once the Winter Olympics officially started in 1924, all winter sports were permanently transferred to the Winter Olympics.
To date, 29 Summer Olympics have been held in 23 different cities. There have been 23 Winter Olympics held in 20 different cities, and the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing will be the 24th Winter Olympics.
The Summer and Winter Olympics are each held once every four years. Until 1992, the Summer Olympics and the Winter Olympics were actually held in the same year, but the International Olympic Committee decided to keep the four-year cycles but stagger the Summer Olympics and winter. As such, the subsequent Winter Olympics were held in 1994. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo have been postponed to 2021. Winter games are usually held in February of their scheduled year, while the Summer Olympics are held in August of their scheduled year.
The first Summer Olympics had only nine sports, 10 disciplines and 43 events. Sports included athletics, cycling (road and track disciplines), fencing, gymnastics, shooting, swimming, tennis, weight lifting and wrestling. However, the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo featured 339 events in 33 different sports, covering a total of 50 disciplines. New sports debuted including karate, sport climbing, surfing and skateboard and baseball and softball were brought back. There were also new disciplines like 3×3 basketball and BMX freestyle.
The 2024 Summer Olympics will feature 32 sports. Karate, baseball and softball, which were contested at the 2020 Summer Olympics, will be axed and breakdancing will debut. Sports will include archery, badminton, basketball (including 3×3 basketball), beach volleyball, breakdancing, boxing, canoeing/kayaking, rock climbing, cycling (disciplines include track, road, BMX and mountain), diving, horse riding (dressage, eventing and show jumping), fencing, field hockey, golf, gymnastics, handball, judo, modern pentathlon, skateboarding ( called roller sport), rowing, rugby 7, sailing (and windsurfing as a discipline), shooting, football, swimming, surfing, synchronized swimming, table tennis, taekwondo, tennis, athletics, triathlon, indoor volleyball , water polo, weightlifting and wrestling.
The first Winter Olympics in 1924 featured five sports with nine disciplines: bobsleigh, curling, ice hockey, Nordic skiing and skating. Nordic skiing included military patrol, cross-country skiing, Nordic combined and ski jumping, and skating included figure skating and speed skating.
Even today, there are only seven sports and 15 disciplines in the Winter Olympics. Sports and their disciplines include biathlon, bobsleigh (bobsleigh and skeleton), curling, ice hockey, luge, skating (figure skating, short track speed skating, speed skating) and skiing (ski alpine, cross-country skiing, freestyle skiing). , Nordic combined skiing, ski jumping and snowboarding). At the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, a record 109 events will be held across these 15 disciplines.
How many countries participate in the Summer and Winter Olympics?
Athletes from 16 different nations participated in the first Olympic Winter Games in 1924. For the Olympic Winter Games 2022, athletes from 88 National Olympic Committees qualified. Haiti and Saudi Arabia are set to make their Winter Olympic debuts.
Athletes from 14 different nations participated in the first Summer Olympics in 1894 in Athens. This has increased significantly, so that 11,483 athletes representing 206 National Olympic Committees competed in the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
There have been slightly more occurrences and sites of the Summer Olympics than the Winter Olympics simply because the Summer Olympics predates the Winter Olympics. The location of the Winter Olympics is also more geographically confined, as it must be cold enough to have snow and ice in February, which limits locations to the northern hemisphere. Thus, only 12 countries spread over three continents have have hosted the Winter Olympics: United States, France, Austria, Canada, Japan, Italy, Norway, Switzerland, Germany, Russia, South Korea and soon China.
In contrast, nineteen different countries across five continents have hosted the Summer Olympics. Countries include USA, Britain, Greece, France, Germany, Australia, Japan, Sweden, Belgium, Canada, Netherlands, Finland, Italy , Mexico, the Soviet Union, South Korea, Spain, China and Brazil.