Hrvatska posta issued a stamp to celebrate XXII Olympic Winter Games in Sochi.
First Winter Olympic Games were held at the foot of Mont Blanca, in the French village Chamonix, on 25 January 1924 with the participation of 240 sportsmen and 11 sportswomen from 16 countries. The gathering took place under the title: International Winter Sports Week; there were 10 sports and 16 disciplines.
The opening was exceptionally picturesque because the participants were carrying their requisites – ski, skates, sticks… There was no Olympic fire or high invitees. The honour of being the first winner went to American Charles Jewtraw in the 500 m speed skate.
However, the heroes of the Games were the last participants in the 50 km cross-country skiing. The last measured result was 6 hours, 14 minutes and 32 seconds, at freezing cold windy weather and among the last ones was a Croat Dusan Zinaja.
The success of these Games was enormous. There were more than 10 thousand tickets sold; those who also bought the poster are rich today, since only 5000 posters were printed.
In the meantime the Winter Olympic Games have greatly developed. Each host did his best to add something new, the number of sports and disciplines increased over years and the Winter Olympic Games became a mirror of the world's development.
Winter Olympic Games through history
St. Moritz, 1928
The winner in 50 km cross-country skiing won with the so far unbeaten 13 minutes difference.
Lake Placid, 1932
For the first time in the march of participants one sportswoman carries flag. After winning medal in boxing at Olympic Games in 1920, Eddie Eagan was invincible in
4-man bobsled. Until today he has remained the only winner of Summer and Winter Games.
For the first time the Olympic Flame was lit.
St. Moritz, 1948
Sports announce a brighter future, although the war wounds are still fresh. Germany and Japan are asked not to participate at the Games.
Computers "join" the Games.
Cortina d' Ampezzo, 1956
Participation of the USSR, which will win 194 medals until its breakup. First sportswoman takes oath.
Squaw Valley, 1960
In 1955 Alexander Cushing nominates Squaw Valley as the candidate for the host of the Games. At that time in that place 300 km away from San Francisco, at 1900 m above sea level, he was the only inhabitant and land owner. The greatest Olympic "gambling" turned into American dream and remained the most unbelievable story of Olympic candidacies. For the first time the Olympic anthem was played.
The flame was lit for the first time in Olympia.
First colour TV transmission.
First Winter Olympic Games in Asia. Official persons take oath for the first time.
Two flames lit – for the Games in 1964 and 1976.
Lake Placid, 1980
A film Miracle on Ice was made about the achievement of the USA hockey team. Eric Hyden wins gold in all five disciplines of speed skate, which has remained an unsurpassed result.
Most pleasant Winter Olympic Games so far. In near future Sarajevo will become the symbol of human depravation. Within attacking Serbian units there were many of those who only eight years after taking the Olympic oath foreswore it in cold blood.
Games prolonged to last 16 days. Speed skaters compete under roof.
At the time of Olympic Games the world took a new route. Croatia participates at Winter Olympic Games. USSR does not exist any more.
In Calendar Winter Olympic Games are separated from the Summer Olympic Games.
For the first time hockey professionals participate at the Games. The number of participants is above 2000.
Salt Lake City, 2002
In her 16th year she appeared in Nagano, in her 19th she won the World Cup – and in her 20th Janica Kostelic is the most successful sportswoman of the Games. She won three gold medals and one silver medal. She is the first Croatian sportswoman to whom Croatian Post dedicated a stamp.
The highest torch was built shedding lights from the height of 57 meters. Janica Kostelic is the star in Torino. With the gold medal in skiing combined and silver in super giant slalom she becomes the most successful women skier in history with six medals. The family treasury is enriched also by her brother's (Ivica) silver in alpine combined.
More than three billion TV spectators. Ivica Kostelic defended his silver in alpine combined and missed gold in slalom for 16 centiseconds. Jakov Fak brought first medal other than in alpine skiing to Croatia. It was bronze medal in 10 km biathlon.
A participant from the year 1924 would hardly manage it in Sochi. Olympic torch in the hand of Oleg Kotov "walked" the universe. And we are still waiting to see what surprises Sochi will bring us.