The Games of the XXXI Olympiad will be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on August 5, 2016, through August 21, 2016. With a record number of countries participating in a record number of sports, countries like Kosovo and South Sudan will compete for the first time. More than 10,500 athletes are scheduled to compete for 306 sets of medals. As the first South American and Portuguese-speaking host country, Brazil will host the Rio 2016 summer games during their winter season.
(More about Mormon Olympians in Rio)
From the coast of the Black Sea to the Krasnaya Poyana mountains, the XXII Olympic Winter Games held in Sochi, Russia, introduced 12 new Olympic events. With 88 countries competing, countries like Tonga and Zimbabwe attended the Winter Olympics for the first time. Totaling 2780 athletes competing in 98 events, a record level of athletes flocked to Sochi, Russia, to compete in winter events. Three Mormon athletes received medals in their events: Noelle Pikus-Pace won silver in the women’s skeleton, Torah Bright won silver in the women’s snowboard halfpipe, and Chris Fogt won bronze as the brakeman on 2-man sled.
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Held in London, England, the Summer Olympics were held at the Olympic Park in east London. Featuring 26 sports in 34 different venues, the Games also included a four-year Cultural Olympiad. The United States of America flew to the top of the medal count, with 103 total medals and 46 gold medals. China came in second place on the medal count, with 88 total medals and 38 gold medals.
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From the Opening Ceremony to the Closing Ceremony, and from the snow to the ice, the Vancouver Olympics provided a platform for the world’s athletes to showcase their very best. It was the best winter Olympics ever for the U.S.A., but Canada garnered the most gold medals in Vancouver, Canada. The U.S. took the most medals overall with 37. Mormon athletes fared well, with the dangerously fast bobsled run creating a huge challenge (leading to one death—a Russian competitor). Torah Bright took gold for the snowboard half-pipe for Australia, and a Mormon took a bronze medal home, too. (Read more…)
Held in Beijing, China, the Beijing Olympics featured 28 sports and over 300 events. For some of these events, this is the final year they will be included in the Olympics. Sports that will be retired include softball—which features several LDS athletes—and baseball. New this year was the addition of allowing women to participate in the 3000m steeplechase. In addition, BMX (a bicycling event) was added to the list for both men and women. Two fencing events were added for women and a marathon swimming event was added for both genders.
Learn more about the Beijing Olympics.
The Games held in Turin, Italy, featured 84 medal events in 15 disciplines grouped over 7 sports. Events that made an Olympic debut in Turin included mass start biathlon, team sprint cross country skiing, snowboard cross and team pursuit speedskating. The classical men’s 50 km and women’s 30 km distances, which were held at the previous Winter Games in 2002, were not held in these Games, as these events were alternated with freestyle events of the same distances; in fact, most of the cross country skiing events at the Torino Games involved different distances from those in Salt Lake City.
(More about Mormon Olympians in Turin)
The 2004 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XXVIII Olympiad, were held in Athens, Greece, over a period of 17 days from August 13 to August 29, 2004. Planners expected 10,500 athletes (in fact 11,099 competed) and 5,501 team officials from 202 countries. Athens 2004 marked the first time since the 1996 Summer Olympics that all countries with a National Olympic Committee were in attendance. There were a total of 301 medal events from 28 different sports.
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The 2002 Winter Olympics, officially known as the XIX Olympic Winter Games, were held in 2002 in Salt Lake City, Utah, United States. Other candidate cities were: Quebec City, Quebec, Canada; Sion, Switzerland; and Östersund, Sweden. Salt Lake City was selected as the host city on June 16, 1995 at the 104th IOC Session in Budapest. Olympic venues were scattered around Salt Lake City, as well as in the mountains at Park City, Ogden, Provo and West Valley City. Athletes were housed in the Olympic Village at the University of Utah.
(More about Mormon Olympians in Salt Lake City)
The 2000 Summer Olympics or the Millennium Games, officially known as the Games of the XXVII Olympiad, were the Summer Olympic Games held in 2000 in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. The Opening Ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games was described by IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch as the most beautiful ceremony he had ever seen. Held on the evening of Friday 15th September 2000, the Opening Ceremony represented everything Australian, from sea creatures and flora/fauna to lawn mowers and other Australian cultural icons.
(More about Mormon Olympians in Sydney)