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Here’s a bit of Olympic trivia for you–

Olympic Charter, Rule # 6 states: “Only those sports which are practiced on snow or ice are considered as winter sports.”

Did you know that? I didn’t.  I mean, I assumed most of the sports of the Winter Olympics were in some way affiliated with snow or ice, but I never actually thought about it that way.  I saw that rule and had to think long and hard–are there any sports in the Winter Olympics that didn’t involve snow or ice?  I couldn’t come up with one.  Glad to have this chart to peruse–thanks to the New York Times columnist Ben Schott–which tells me all the sports, from then and now and other fun facts and figures:

Notable:

  • The first Olympics had an event called “Military Patrol” which, thanks to a little bit of Googling and Wikipedia referencing, was more of a demonstration event and after 36 years became what we know as the Biathlon.
  • The games at the highest altitude were the 8th Olympic Games in Squaw Valley, CA in 1960, at 1880 feet.
  • The United States won the most medals –12– of all the 17 teams  when they  hosted the third Olympics in Lake Placid, NY in 1932.
  • The first Winter Olympic Games in Chamonix, France hosted 258 athletes competing in 9 disciplines — The 21st Olympiad in Vancouver, Canada will host over 2500 athletes competing in 15 disciplines.

The New York Times has a great page devoted to the 2010 Winter Olympics here, with stories on different sports, athletes, gear, and all kinds of interactive media including an event tracker and videos of the downhill course at Whistler.

FYI coverage of the the Opening Ceremonies begins tonight at 7:30pm EST on NBC.

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