I Olympic Winter Games
Winter sporting events began to enjoy a growing popularity in the early part of the 20th century.
Figure skating was the first winter sport to be included in the Olympic Games in 1908 in London. Both figure skating and ice hockey were included as full-fledged events at the 1920 Olympic Games in Antwerp, Belgium. Their success gave new stimulus to the advocates of a proper Olympic Winter Games, and when the members of the International Olympic Committee met the following year, they passed a motion to endorse a separate winter competition, despite vocal opposition. James G. Merrick, the IOC member from Canada, was credited with winning support with a stirring speech favoring the French proposal.
On January 25, 1924 nearly 300 athletes gathered at Chamonix, at the foot of Mont Blanc on the French slopes for what was called the International Winter Sports Week. The IOC had stopped short of calling the games the Winter Olympics. Among the athletes in Chamonix were a dozen Canadians: one speed skater, two figure skaters and the nine men who made up the Toronto Granites hockey team. The Granites won their first four games, outscoring their opponents 104 to 2. In the gold medal game against the United States, Canada’s Harry Watson scored three goals and the Canadian team went on to win 6-1, retaining the title it won at the 1920 Summer Games.
These White games were marked by intense cold weather, as low as minus 25 degrees.
Olympic Oath (athletes)
Camille Mandrillon (military patrol)
Olympic Oath (officials)
Lighting Olympic Cauldron
Gaston Vidal (Under Secretary of State)