The first Winter Olympic Games took place in Chamonix, France in 1924 with sixteen nations and five sports. This year in Torino (or Turin in English) Italy, February 10 to February 26, there will more than 2500 athletes from eighty-five countries competing in fifteen sports.
Infoplease presents a fun mixture of Olympic history, news, biography, trivia, quizzes, crosswords and scandal. "The Summer Games may have it all over the Winter Games when it comes to history, pageantry, and worldwide television ratings, but the Winter Olympics dominate when it comes to good old-fashioned controversy and deliciously irresistible scandal." Are you old enough to remember Tonya and Nancy? Scandal aside, don't leave without trying your hand at least one of the six Olympic quizzes or four crossword puzzles.
NBC is the official Olympics television network, and is the go-to site for schedules, results and medal counts. But reasons to visit extend way beyond stats, because this terrific site is full of human interest stories, athlete bios, and some awesome first-person sports games. The games are a bit slow to load (and require Internet Explorer) but if you can make over these hurdles, the snowboard, giant slalom, and bobsleigh races are my game picks of the week. Registration isn't required to play, but if you do, you can post your scores on the board, and qualify for prizes.
The five interlacing rings of blue, yellow, black, green, and red became the official Olympic logo in 1913. "The Olympic rings represent the union of the five continents and the meeting of athletes throughout the world at the Olympic Games. However, contrary to a popular misconception, the colors themselves do not represent any single continent. The colors were chosen because at least one of these colors is found in the flag of every nation." Brimming with historical tidbits, this concise site is great place to find answers to your Olympic questions.
The 2001 fourth grade class at Pocantico Hills School in Sleepy Hollow, New York created a fabulous Winter Olympics site that was recently updated to include the 2006 Torino games. The students studied the Winter Olympics, and created two slide shows: one about the history of the winter games, and other about the winter sports. My favorite clicks are the Olympic Cyberhunts with fill-in the blank questions and URLs to explore for answers. Another fun section is Activities, where you'll find links to dozens of online Olympic games.
My favorite clicks at the official site for the U.S. Olympic Team are the athlete bios, ten-question athlete interviews, screensavers and videos. Other cool clicks are the links to individual team sites, such as the USAHockey.com and USFSA,org (home of the U.S. Figure Skating Association.) Unfortunately the kids section wasn't updated for the 2006, and had a lot of broken links at the time of my visit.