Fun facts about the Winter Olympics

Front and back sides of the 2014 Sochi Winter Games gold medal.

Front and back sides of the 2014 Sochi Winter Games gold medal.

Test your knowledge about the Winter Olympics and learn some fun facts to impress your friends and family.

Is this the first time Russia is hosting the Winter Games?

The 2014 Sochi Olympic Winter Games will be the first time that the Russian Federation has hosted the Winter Games. The Soviet Union hosted the 1980 Summer Games in Moscow.

Who are the mascots for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games?

The Hare, the Polar Bear, and the Leopard have been chosen as the official mascots of the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games. The decision was made by the Russian public following a live television show. The leopard received 28 per cent of the votes, while the polar bear won 18 per cent, and the hare 16 per cent. A Ray of Light and a Snowflake were selected by a jury of Paralympians to be the mascots of the Paralympic Games.

We all know that the fourth place finisher does not get a medal. What do fourth place finishers at the Olympics receive?

The first eight athletes in each event receive a diploma from the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The first three finishers receive both a medal and a diploma.

When and where were the first Winter Olympic Games held?

The Winter Olympics were first held in 1924 in Chamonix, France. The modern Summer Olympics began in Athens in 1896.

Approximately how many medals have been made for the Sochi Olympic Games?

The IOC website states that approximately 1,300 medals have been made and they feature the official name of the Games engraved in Russian, English and French on the rim.

The Olympic motto is Citius, Altius, Fortius. What does that mean?

It means Faster, Higher, Stronger. Pierre de Coubertin, considered the father of the modern Olympic Games, proposed it in 1894 after hearing the words said by Dominican priest Henri Didon years earlier.

What winter sport made its Olympic debut at the Summer Games?

Ice hockey made its Olympic debut at the 1920 Summer Olympics in Antwerp, Belgium. The first Winter Olympics didn’t take place until 1924.

Which country has won the most gold medals at the Winter Games since they began?

Norway leads the international pack with a total of 313 medals through the 2010 Winter Olympic Games.

How many medals did Canada win at the 2010 Winter Games?

Canada was third overall with a total of 26 medals won at the 2010 Winter Games. Canada won the most gold medals with a record 14, raising the stakes for Sochi.

Where will the next Winter Games take place?

In 2018, the Winter Games will be held in Pyeongchang, South Korea. The next Summer Olympics will take place in Rio de Janiero, Brazil in 2016.