Olympic Summary

Yesterday I posted the last post, (at least for another four years), in my series on the Fascinating Names of Winter Olympic Host Cities. It was a fun, although sometimes frustrating, exercise, and along the way I learned a bunch, and came across a lot of fascinating names to write about. Did you know that …

Chamonix

Chamonix, France, hosted the very first Winter Olympic Games ever. This small town in a valley beside Mont Blanc, and a bunch of other mountains, (and I mean a bunch – the valley is surrounded), was “discovered” by modern tourists in 1741 when a pair of Englishmen showed up there and published their account of …

St. Moritz

St. Moritz, Switzerland, hosted both the 1928 and 1948 Winter Olympic Games. The first record we have of the town is around the years 1137-39 as ad sanctum Mauricium. St. Moritz is named for Saint Maurice, (Moritz is a form of Maurice), patron saint of, among other things, armies, armorers, clothmakers, dyers, and he is …

Garmisch-Partenkirchen

Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, host of the 1936 Winter Olympics, used to be two towns, Garmisch and Partenkirchen. This is probably not a surprise when looking at the name of the city. The two towns were combined by Hitler in 1935 in preparation for the 1936 games and have remained together to this day. We’ll look at …

Cortina d'Ampezzo

Cortina d’Ampezzo, an Italian city surrounded by the Dolomite mountains, hosted the 1956 Winter Olympic Games. Because of its location, Cortina d’Ampezzo has been part of both Austria and Italy, but since the end of the first world war it has been part of Italy. So, how did Cortina d’Ampezzo come to be called Cortina …

Squaw Valley

The smallest place in the world to ever host the Olympic Games, Squaw Valley is actually a ski resort, not a town, however because the resort is so popular, and it doesn’t seem like there’s a lot else in the area, the whole community is known as Squaw Valley, (the official name is Olympic Valley, …

Grenoble

Host of the 1968 Winter Olympic Games, Grenoble, France, is situated at the foot of the alps and the junction of the Drac and Isère rivers. To find the origins of the name Grenoble, we have to cast our gaze back through history. Grenoble is derived from the name Gratianopolis, latin for City of Gratian. …

Sapporo

Sapporo, Japan, hosted the 1972 Winter Olympic Games, the first winter games ever held in Asia. Many of us know the Sapporo brand of beer, which comes from the city of Sapporo, but how did the city get its name? Sapporo is in a Ishikari Plain, a wide flat plain in an otherwise mountainous region. …

Innsbruck

Innsbruck, Austria, host of the 1964 and 1976 Winter Olympic Games has a fairly straightforward name. You see, there’s a river, the river Inn, and there’s a bridge over the river. In Austria they speak German, and the German word for bridge is brücke, so, Innsbruck means, simply “Bridge over the Inn.” Innsbruck is at …