In 1986 the IOC had voted to alter the Olympic schedule so that the Summer and Winter Games would be held in different years. To make the adjustment, the Winter Games in Lillehammer were held just two years after the previous Winter Games in Albertville. In what would become a pattern, Canada posted its best-ever Winter Games medal total with 13, including three gold.
Nagano won the right to host the 1998 Olympic Winter Games by just four votes over Salt Lake City, bringing the winter spectacle to Japan for the second time. Canada again bettered its best ever Winter Games medal total, bringing home 15, including six gold.
After losing a close vote for the 1998 Olympic Winter Games, Salt Lake City was the runaway winner for 2002. Canada once again set a national record for Winter Olympic medals with 17, including seven gold. One of the biggest stories of the Games was Canada’s return to ice hockey prominence as both the men’s and women’s teams won gold.
Canada sent its largest ever Winter Olympic team of 222 athletes to the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi and captured 25 medals to make it the country’s most successful Winter Games ever on foreign soil. Among the highlights were a Canadian record of four double podiums (all in freestyle skiing), including a trio of gold-silver finishes in men’s moguls, ladies’ moguls and ladies’ ski cross.
Although short track speed skating was being practiced in Europe at the end of the 19th century, the sport became really popular in Canada and the United States in the early 1900s. Short track speed skating takes place on a 111.12m oval. Strategy and racing tactics are very important as the winner is not necessarily the fastest skater, but sometimes the smartest skater.
Long track speed skating is considered to be the fastest human-powered sport in the sport, with skaters reaching speeds of more than 60 km/hr. The origins of skating can be traced back to the 13th century when animal bones were filed, shaped and strapped to footwear to facilitate travel on frozen canals in the Netherlands.
Americans have been at the forefront of snowboard’s evolution since Vern Wicklund’s first attempt at a snowboard-like sled in 1939. Surfing’s influence on the sport would continue later in the decade when the prototype for the modern snowboard was created using the model of a short surfboard.