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1928 Winter Olympics

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II Olympic Winter Games
Hugo Laubi's poster for the 1928 Winter Olympics
Host citySt. Moritz, Switzerland
Athletes464 (438 men, 26 women)
Events14 in 4 sports (8 disciplines)
Opening11 February 1928
Closing19 February 1928
Opened by
StadiumSt. Moritz Olympic Ice Rink

The 1928 Winter Olympics, officially known as the II Olympic Winter Games (French: IIes Jeux olympiques d'hiver; German: II. Olympische Winterspiele; Italian: II Giochi olimpici invernali; Romansh: II Gieus olimpics d'enviern) and commonly known as St. Moritz 1928 (French: Saint-Moritz 1928; Romansh: San Murezzan 1928), were an international winter multi-sport event that was celebrated from 11 to 19 February 1928 in St. Moritz, Switzerland.

The 1928 Games were the first true Winter Olympics to be held as a stand-alone event, not in conjunction with a Summer Olympics. The preceding 1924 Winter Games were retroactively renamed the inaugural Winter Olympics, although they had in fact been organised alongside the 1924 Summer Olympics in France. Before 1924, the winter events were included in the schedule of the Summer Games and there were no separate Winter Games. The 1928 Winter Games also replaced the now redundant Nordic Games, which had been held at varying intervals since early in the 20th century.

The hosts were challenged by fluctuating weather conditions; the opening ceremony was held in a blizzard, while warm weather conditions plagued sporting events throughout the rest of the Games.[1] The 10,000 metre speed-skating event was controversially abandoned and officially cancelled.[2] Filmed footage of the games exists in a silent, feature-length documentary, The White Stadium.


1928 St. Moritz venue
  • Sonja Henie of Norway returned to the Winter Olympics, having taken part in 1924 at the age of 11, and made history by winning the ladies' figure skating aged 15. She became the youngest Olympic champion in history (a distinction she held for 70 years),[3] and went on to defend her title at the next two Winter Olympics.
  • Norway's Ivar Ballangrud won the Olympic title in the 5,000-metre speed skating event, and Clas Thunberg of Finland won both the 500 m and the 1,500 m.
  • Norway finished at the top of the medal table with a total of six gold medals, four silver, and five bronze, totalling 15 medals. The United States finished second in the table with six medals overall.
  • Switzerland won a single bronze medal, the lowest medal haul by a host nation at any Olympic Games.
  • American Irving Jaffee was leading the 10,000-metre speed skating race, having outskated Norwegian defending world champion Bernt Evensen in their heat, when rising temperatures thawed the ice.[4] In a controversial ruling, the Norwegian referee cancelled the entire competition; the International Olympic Committee stepped in to reverse the referee's decision and awarded Jaffee the gold medal, but the International Skating Union later overruled the IOC and restored the ruling.[5] Evensen, for his part, stated publicly that Jaffee should be awarded the gold medal, but that did not happen.


Medals were awarded in 14 events contested in 4 sports (8 disciplines).

Demonstration sports[edit]


Participating nations[edit]

Athletes from 25 nations competed at these Games, up from 16 in 1924. Nations making their first appearance at the Winter Olympic Games were Argentina (first participation of a delegation coming from a country belonging to the Southern Hemisphere), Estonia, Germany, Japan, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, and Romania.

Participating National Olympic Committees

Number of athletes by National Olympic Committees[edit]

Medal count[edit]

  *   Host nation (Switzerland)

1 Norway64515
2 United States2226
3 Sweden2215
4 Finland2114
5 Canada1001
7 Austria0314
8 Belgium0011
 Great Britain0011
Totals (12 entries)14121541

Podium sweeps[edit]

Date Sport Event NOC Gold Silver Bronze
14 February Cross-country skiing Men's 50 kilometre  Sweden Per-Erik Hedlund Gustaf Jonsson Volger Andersson
17 February Cross-country skiing Men's 18 kilometre  Norway Johan Grøttumsbråten Ole Hegge Reidar Ødegaard
18 February Nordic combined Individual  Norway Johan Grøttumsbråten Hans Vinjarengen Jon Snersrud

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Findling, John E.; Pelle, Kimberly D. (2004). Encyclopedia of the Modern Olympic Movement. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press. p. 290. ISBN 0-313-32278-3.
  2. ^ "1928 Sankt Moritz Winter Games". Sports Reference LLC. Archived from the original on 17 April 2020. Retrieved 12 March 2009.
  3. ^ "St. Moritz 1928". International Olympic Committee. Retrieved 5 March 2010.
  4. ^ Horvitz, Peter S. (2007). The Big Book of Jewish Sports Heroes: An Illustrated Compendium of Sports History and The 150 Greatest Jewish Sports Stars. ISBN 9781561719075. Retrieved February 27, 2011.
  5. ^ Siegman, Joseph M. (September 15, 1906). The International Jewish Sports Hall ... ISBN 9781561710287. Retrieved February 27, 2011.

External links[edit]

External videos
video icon The St. Moritz 1948 Official Olympic Film on YouTube
Winter Olympics
Preceded by II Olympic Winter Games
St. Moritz

Succeeded by