The Olympic Games are seen as the pinnacle of sporting supremacy, and the perfect arena for athletes to flourish, thrive and showcase their individual and team abilities. In the same way, the Winter Olympics offer that platform for those who specialize in winter sports, things like skiing, ice skating, and curling. The Winter Olympics are a hugely important part of the sporting calendar and enjoyed by many people across the world.
Now, where you determine as being your favorite Winter Olympics will, of course, be entirely subjective. The beauty of sport is how much it can inspire and influence us as viewers, and there are few sporting events more inspirational than the Olympics and the Winter Olympics. So, without further fuss, here is our list of what we feel are the best Winter Olympics in history.
Salt Lake city- 2002
Salt Lake was a controversial selection at the time, but it makes our list for being one of the most fun Winter Olympics in memory. A lot of things went down at the 2002 games, and it was one of the most successful in terms of viewership and financial gain. There were also incidents that would be visited again in later years – Russia was accused of doping, and threatened to leave the games. We’ve subsequently discovered that this may well have been truer than we imagined at the time. This was also one of the best Winter Olympics for the U.S. – they came 3rd in the medals table for golds (1st in overall medal count).
Calgary – 1988
Calgary was an absolute beast of an Olympics, and the first time Canada got to host the Winter Games. Expectations were high for the host nation, but they had an incredibly poor games, finishing in 13th position in the medal table, and not picking up a single gold along the way. However, this is also the Games that brought the Winter Olympics much more mainstream attention and actually saved the Winter Olympics from being canceled. These Games were also iconic as being the platform for Eddie ‘The Eagle’ Edwards, and the Jamaican bobsled team. Both of these events would go onto become immortalized in popular culture.
Nagano – 1998
The Nagano Winter Olympics is often seen as the game-changer. We got the youngest ever Winter Olympic champion, in 15-year-old American figure skater Tara Lipinski.and we saw women’s ice hockey and snowboarding events introduced for the first time. Also, as a first, NHL players were allowed to compete in the Winter Olympics for the first time. There was also a flu epidemic that hit the Games, causing chaos left, right, and center. This made it one of the most eventful Winter Olympics in memory.
Vancouver – 2010
So, here it is, the best Winter Olympics of all time, in our opinion. Vancouver 2010, despite the mishaps of the opening ceremony, this Games was an absolute triumph. It was the Winter Olympics we always wanted, and one that rejuvenated interest in the Games. Canada, the host nation, had their best ever medal haul at these games, with 13 gold medals, including impressive double golds for the men’s and women’s ice hockey. There were also first-time golds for Belarus and Slovakia, in a Games that touched viewers around the world.
The Winter Olympics is often seen as a much more fast-paced, adrenaline-fueled spectacle than the Summer Olympics. There are fewer sports on offer, but the ones that are so exciting to watch, it more than makes up for it. No matter what aspect of the Games you enjoy, whether it be seeing your country top the medal board, or incidents and scandals from either players or whole countries, these countries have had the best Winter Olympics in history.