The first Winter Olympics were held in Chamonix, France, from January 25 to February 4 1924. Already at previous Olympics a number of winter sports was practiced, especially figure skating speed skating and ice hockey, but for great winter sports like ice skating and skiing was 1924 debut.
The first Winter Games were modest in scope. Athletes from sixteen different countries took part, chasing a total of only sixteen gold medals. Fifteen men, one for women. Notable matches were military patrol, a kind of forerunner of the biathlon, which was won by the Swiss. Also curling was on the program, initially as a demonstration sport. In 2006, given the retrospective recognition medals won in 1924, and since then apply them as the official medals. Home country France it was isolated moderate with only three bronze, Norway won the country rankings for Finland. Below is a list of the best performances of 1924.
The American skater Charles Jewtraw is not necessarily a legend. However, he did win the first-ever gold medal at the first Olympic Winsterspelen. On January 26 he skated the 500 meters in just 44 seconds. That was 0.2 seconds faster than the Norwegian Oskar Olsen and 0.8 seconds faster than Clas Thunberg. Jewtraw was during this tournament still eighth in the 1500 meters and thirteenth in the 5000 meters. At home in the US, he hung up his skates immediately on the willows.
The gold medal won Gilles Grafström in Chamonix, was second after his victory in Antwerp in the same discipline. Thus he became the first Olympian who won both the Summer and Winter Games gold. Grafström was a particularly elegant skater who scored many points especially because he interpreted the music so great. The Swede extended the gold in 1928 and in 1932 he clashed during the match against a photographer, but nevertheless took silver.
Although Clas Thunberg in 1924 was already 30 years old, his hegemony began just two years earlier, with his first European Championship. Chamonix Thunberg won medals in all four distances: gold in the 1500 meter and 5000 meter, silver in the 10,000 meters and bronze in the 500 meters. In 1924 also made an allround standings, and of course gold medal also went to the Finn.
Canada was the first Olympic ice hockey champion in 1920, but in 1924 the supremacy was much clearer. Canada had no real national team until 1963, but was for each tournament or series of matches each named a top club team to team Canada. Chamonix was successively won by Czechoslovakia, Sweden, Switzerland, Britain, the United States and Sweden again. Best player of the team was Harry Watson, a big guy who nevertheless had a very good stick technique. Watson participated in five of the six games and made 36 goals. His best performance was eleven goals against Czechoslovakia and even thirteen against Switzerland.
In 1924, cross-country skiing a new discipline introduced by the Winter Olympics. Until then, the traditional Holmenkollen Ski Festival in Norway had been the most important event in the ski world. Thorleif Haugh won the 50 kilometer cross country on this festival from 1918 to 1924, except for 1922. He also was the big favorite for this distance in Chamonix. With two minutes ahead of his compatriot Thoralf Stromstad he made that favorit entirely true. Also on the shorter distance of 18 kilometers Haugh was unapproachable. Haugh did in Chamonix also participate in ski jumping, where he initially won the bronze. Only in 1974 was awarded an error in the scoring, leaving the American Anders Haugen was awarded the bronze. Haugh already died in 1934 of pulmonary edema and delivered the bronze so posthumously. It had no influence on his gold medal he received for the Nordic Combined.
Finland prevailed in 1924 in the skating arena, although it was especially Clas Thunberg who excelled. On the longest distance, 10 kilometers, Thunberg and Julius Skutnabb were linked. That was not mad; both Finns had won all the gold and silver in the 5 kilometer. It was strange that won Skutnabb. After the race Thunberg gave immediately that he had overcome his countryman, provided that he himself enough about loved to clinch the gold-medal round. That happened: Skutnabb won gold, and ended with that performance also third in the all-round standings. Between the two Finns won the Norwegian Roald Larsen silver in this discipline.