2024 will be Olympics year in Chamonix, with the famous French ski resort first celebrating their own hosting of the very first Winter Olympics in January next year, and then seeing the Olympic Flame pass through later in the spring, en route to next summer’s Paris Games.
There is also a third reason to celebrate as 2024 also marks 100 years since the creation of the International Ski Federation (FIS), which also happened in in Chamonix 1924.
The original Winter Games saw just over 250 athletes from 16 nations compete in 6 sports between 25th January and 5th February 1924. Although downhill skiing had been growing in popularity since the late 19th century, there was no skiing for the first few Winter Olympics, other than ski jumping.
Instead the competitions were in curling, ice hockey, figure and speed skating and various versions of cross country skiing including Nordic combined (cross country and ski jumping) and what was called “Military patrol” an early version of biathlon.
Great Britain brought the largest contingent of any country with 44 athletes and finished 6th in the medal table with a gold, silver and two bronze medals. Norway topped the table with its 14 athletes winning 17 medals between them.
Chamonix will stage two exhibitions in memory of the original Games. “The Invention of the Olympic Winter Games” at the Maison de la Mémoire et du Patrimoine in Chamonix from early December 2023 until March 2025. A second exhibition “Champions at the Olympic Games” will run from 2 December 2023 to 4 March 2024 at the Maison de village in Argentière. An anniversary book on the 1924 Olympiad will also be published in English in December 2023.
Events in celebration of the Games will include 25th January 2024, 100 years after the opening ceremony of Chamonix 1924 and on 16th March 2024 an official and popular ceremony in recognition of the 100th anniversary of the 1st Olympic Winter Games.
Chamonix’s long connection with competitive winter sport will also see the Kandahar Alpine Ski World Cup with Downhill and Slalom races take place on the 3rd and 4th February 2024, within the precise centenary period of the 1924 Games.
Later in the year “Olympic Day” will be marked with the Olympic flame coming to Chamonix on June 23rd 2024 on its way to Paris.
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