The Winter Olympics are a much more recent addition to the Olympic Games which have an ancient history coming from Greece. The Vancouver Olympics of 2010 will be only the 21st time that the Winter Olympics are held. So where were the last twenty held? For those of you into such trivia, here's the list.

map of winter games

Image Credit Wikipedia

The Winter Olympics are also help once in four years just as its summer counterpart, and the very first time it was held was in France in 1924. The Chamonix Games were held from 25 January to 5 February. A total of 16 nations participated in the 16 events that were held. The total number of competitors was 258, out of which there were only 11 women.

The second Winter Olympics were hosted in 1928 by Switzerland. At the St. Moritz Games held from 11 February to 19 February the number of nations which participated went up to 25. However the number of events held came down to 14. Although the number of participants were almost double at 464, with the number of women increasing to 26.

The United States of America hosted the third games held in 1932. The Lake Placid Games saw action from 4 February to 15 February. The number of nations that participated dipped to 17 with some European nations dropping out. This saw the 14 events being contested by barely 252 participants. Although the ratio of women participants had gone up as 21 of them came to the games.

The fourth were hosted by Germany in 1936. The Garmisch-Partenkirchen Games were played from 6 February to 16 February. There were 28 nations which fielded teams and contested in the 17 events. There was a surge of 80 women participants in the total number of 646 participants.

The 1940 games of Sapporro, Japan and the 1944 games of Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy were cancelled thanks to World War II.

In 1948 the fifth games were hosted by Switzerland in St. Moritz again. Held from 30 January to 8 February the games saw 28 nations participating in the 22 events held. Total number of participants was 669 and 77 were women.

The sixth games were hosted by Norway in 1952. The Oslo Games saw 30 nations competing in 22 events from 14 February to 25 February. There were 694 participants and the women finally hit a century with the number of 109.

The seventh games in Italy in 1956 finally saw Cortina d'Ampezzo as hosts. 32 nations participated and the number of events increased to 24. The games were held from 26 January to 5 February. There were 821 total participants with 134 women.

The eighth games were hosted by United State in 1960. 30 nations took part in the Squaw Games from 18 February to 28 February. There were 27 events contested by 665 participants out of which 144 were women.

In 1964 the ninth winter games were hosted by Austria. The Innsbruck Games were held from 29 January to 9 February and 36 nations participated. There were 34 events for the 1091 participants to compete in. The number of women just missed their double century at 199.

The tenth games of 1968 were hosted by France. The Grenoble Games held from 6 February to 18 February were contested by 37 nations. The 35 events saw competition between 1158 contestants. The number of women increased to 211.

In 1972 the games finally came to Japan in their eleventh year. Sapporo Games were hosted from 3 February to 13 February. A total of 35 nations participated in the 35 events. There were 1006 participants of whom 205 were women.

The twelfth games held in 1976 were hosted by Austria again. The Innsbruck Games saw 37 countries contest in 37 events from 4 February to 15 February. Of the 1123 participants 231 were women.

In 1980 the thirteenth games were held in the United States. The Lake Placid Games were held from 13 February to 24 February. With 37 nations participating in the 38 events held. The number of participants were 1072 and 232 were women.

The fourteenth games were held in 1984 in Yugoslavia. The Sarajevo games were held from 8 to 19 February and were contested between 49 nations. There were 39 events. The total number of participants was 1272 of which 274 were women.

Canada first hosted the Winter Olympic Games in 1988 for the fifteenth games. The Calgary Games were played from 13 to 28 February amongst 57 nations. There events were increased to 46. There were 1423 participants of which 301 were women.

The sixteenth games were held in 1992 in France. The Albertville Games were hosted from 8 to 23 February. There were 1801 participants from 64 countries. The number of events hosted was 57. The number of women was 488.

The 1994 games were held in Norway bringing up the seventeenth winter games. This was the time when the Summer and Winter Games were spaced out two years apart. The Lillehammer Games were hosted from 12 to 27 February. 67 nations participated in the 61 events held. The 1737 participants included 522 women.

The eighteenth games were hosted by Japan in 1998. The Nagano Games took place from 7 to 22 February. 72 nations contested the 68 events that were held. The 2176 participants that competed had 787 women.

In 2002 the United States hosted the winter games in their nineteenth year. The Salt Lake City Games were attended by 77 nations and held from 8 to 24 February. There were 78 events for the 2399 participants to compete in. The number of women contestants went up to 886.

Italy hosted the last winter games in 2006 as they completed twenty years. The Turin Games were hosted from 10 to 26 February and were contested by a record 80 nations. The number of events also increased to 84. The total number of participants was 2508 of which 960 were women.

The twenty first of the Winter Olympic Games are being held in Vancouver, Canada from 12 to 28 February 2010. And we are all looking forward to the Opening Ceremony.

BTW the next games are to be hosted by Russia in Sochi in 2014 so book your tickets for 7 to 23 February.

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