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Chamonix - Birthplace of the Winter Olympics

Winter Olympics ChamonixAlmost 91 years to the day, the first ever Winter Olympics were inaugurated in a blaze of glory in the resort of Chamonix, home to some of our most exclusive portfolio of luxury chalets.

 

The event kicked off on January 25, 1924, and was held in conjunction with the 1924 Summer Olympics, which were held that year in Paris.

 

Crowds of more than five thousand flocked to the resort, which had by then gained quite a name for itself as a leading ski station, to watch as the athletes swore their oath of amateurism to Monsieur Gaston Vidal, France’s then under-secretary of state for physical education.

 

The athletes --- of which there were a total of 258 from 16 nations --- then marched in teams in a parade from Chamonix’s Town Hall to the Olympics ice-skating ring, not far from where some of our luxury chalets are now located.

 

Charlie JewtrawThe first of the 18 events held over the 11 day competition was the 500-metre speed skiing contest, which was won by an American athlete called Charlie Jewtraw. Other events included a four-man bobsleigh contest, figure skating, cross country skiing and ski jumping, all held on the very same slopes which are favored by our clients staying in our chalets in Chamonix.

 

The biggest winners of the first Winter Olympics were Finland and Norway, who between them won 28 out of the 43 medals. Further down the medals board were the United States and Great Britain, who won four each, whilst France scooped three and Canada, just one medal.

 

Intriguingly one of America’s medals was not awarded until 50 years after the event had taken place, to Norwegian-born American ski jumper Anders Haugen. Haugen was said to have come fourth in the ski jumping event, held on a run close to where some of our most luxurious chalets in Chamonix are now located. However, Haugen was awarded a bronze medal in 1974 at the age of 83 after a Nordic ski historian discovered that a mathematical scoring error meant he had actually got third place.

 

Posted in our Services - Tuesday, 22 January 2013 11:20