Ordino Arcalís Blog

Winter Olympic Sports

We are in the heart of another winter in the northern hemisphere and it’s the time of the year for the practice of winter Olympic sports, such as skiing, snowboarding, skating and more. Even when it’s cold outside and the snow is piling up, it’s still possible to get active, so you might be wondering what are the winter sports in the Olympics.

In this guide to Winter Olympics history, we’ll go through the full list of sports in the Winter Olympics and explain how winter sporting activities have changed over the years.

Ordino Arcalís Blog

List of winter sports in the Olympics

Let’s start off by going through the complete list of sports in the Winter Olympics. The list has changed and evolved over the years, as we’ll get to in the following section, but the current list of sports


 in the Winter Olympics is as follows:

  • Alpine skiing
  • Biathlon
  • Bobsleigh
  • Cross-country skiing
  • Curling
  • Figure skating
  • Freestyle skiing
  • Ice hockey
  • Luge
  • Nordic combined
  • Short track speed skating
  • Skeleton
  • Ski jumping
  • Ski mountaineering
  • Snowboarding
  • Speed skating

The above Winter Olympic sports list is made up of 16 sports and disciplines, all of which will be part of the set-up at the Winter Olympics 2026, to be held in Italy in Milan and Cortina d'Ampezzo.

Within each of the sports, there are different disciplines and within these there are various medal events.

To better understand what are the winter sports in the Olympics and the breakdown of these, let’s look at the example of skiing. This is broken down into disciplines, of which alpine skiing is one. Then, alpine skiing is further broken down to get the downhill, super G, giant slalom, slalom, alpine combined and mixed parallel slalom medal events.

The evolution of Winter Olympic sports

We have just gone through the modern list of sports in the Winter Olympics, however it’s important to note that this list hasn’t always been this way. In fact, looking at very recent Winter Olympics history, the last edition was Beijing 2022 and there were just 15 entries into the Winter Olympic sports list. It’s now up to 16 as ski mountaineering will debut at the Winter Olympics 2026.

Spooling back to the very beginning of the Winter Olympics, the very first official Winter Games in 1924, held in Chamonix in France, had just five sports and nine disciplines. The first five Winter Olympic sports were: Bobsleigh, Curling, Ice Hockey, Skating and Nordic Skiing.

Of course, over time the list grew and evolved and reached the current state of affairs, where we’ll have seven sports and 16 disciplines at the Winter Olympics 2026. Many people may think there will be more new sports and ask ‘What are the five new sports for the 2024 Olympics?’, but that question is referring to the Paris 2024 Summer Games, not the next Winter Olympics.

Here you can check out a list of sports in the Winter Olympics by year:

  • 1924 (Chamonix, France): 6 sports, 9 disciplines
  • 1928 (St. Moritz, Switzerland): 4 sports, 8 disciplines
  • 1932 (Lake Placid, USA): 4 sports, 7 disciplines
  • 1936 (Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany): 4 sports, 8 disciplines
  • 1948 (St. Moritz, Switzerland): 4 sports, 9 disciplines
  • 1952 (Oslo, Norway): 4 sports, 8 disciplines
  • 1956 (Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy): 4 sports, 8 disciplines
  • 1960 (Squaw Valley, USA): 4 sports, 8 disciplines
  • 1964 (Innsbruck, Austria): 6 sports, 10 disciplines
  • 1968 (Grenoble, France): 6 sports, 10 disciplines
  • 1972 (Sapporo, Japan): 6 sports, 10 disciplines
  • 1976 (Innsbruck, Austria): 6 sports, 10 disciplines
  • 1980 (Lake Placid, USA): 6 sports, 10 disciplines
  • 1984 (Sarajevo, Yugoslavia): 6 sports, 10 disciplines
  • 1988 (Calgary, Canada): 6 sports, 10 disciplines
  • 1992 (Albertville, France): 6 sports, 12 disciplines
  • 1994 (Lillehammer, Norway): 6 sports, 12 disciplines
  • 1998 (Nagano, Japan): 7 sports, 14 disciplines
  • 2002 (Salt Lake City, USA): 7 sports, 15 disciplines
  • 2006: (Turin, Italy): 7 sports, 15 disciplines
  • 2010: (Vancouver, Canada): 7 sports, 15 disciplines
  • 2014: (Sochi, Russia): 7 sports, 15 disciplines
  • 2018: (Pyeongchang, South Korea): 7 sports, 15 disciplines
  • 2022 (Beijing, China): 7 sports, 15 disciplines
  • 2026 (Milan & Cortina, Italy): 7 sports, 16 disciplines

Unforgettable moments in Winter Olympic sports history

With so many events, there have been so many unforgettable moments in Winter Olympic history. Logically, some of the most unforgettable have taken place in the most popular and top Winter Olympic sports, such as ice hockey and the ‘The Miracle on Ice’, when the USA’s men’s ice hockey team ended the dominance of the Soviet Union in 1980.

Another of the top Winter Olympic sports is figure skating and this has produced many moments of excellence, from Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean’s ‘Boléro’ routine in 1984 to Yuzuru Hanyu gold medal-winning performances in 2014 and 2018.

The cultural significance of Winter Olympic sports

Without a doubt, the Winter Olympics is a huge event in the sporting world, especially in the countries where winter sports are especially popular. For those keen to mark the next Winter Games in their calendars, and anyone wondering where are the 2024 Winter Olympics held, the next events to look out for are:

  • Youth Winter Olympics 2024: Gangwon, South Korea. January 19th to February 1st, 2024.
  • Winter Olympics 2026: Milan & Cortina, Italy. February 6th to February 22nd, 2026.