Winter Sports Doublers

We’ll look now at how often athletes have competed in 2 or more sports at the Winter Olympics.

We talked earlier on this blog about the distinction betweens sports and disciplines at the Winter Olympics. Basically the IOC only recognizes 7 Winter Olympic sports – biathlon, bobsledding, curling, ice hockey, luge, skating, and skiing. The separate “sports” that most people consider as such – cross-country skiing, figure skating, speed skating, ski jumping, etc. – are only disciplines to the IOC with the IOC recognizing 6 disciplines of skiing (Alpine, cross-country, freestyle, Nordic combined, ski jumping, snowboarding), 3 disciplines of skating (figure, speed, short-track), and 2 disciplines of bobsledding (bobsledding and skeleton).

So this makes comparison difficult. But we will use the commonly considered definition that there are 15 sports at the Winter Olympics, calling all IOC-defined disciplines as separate sports.

Using the 15-sport definition, there have been 326 examples of athletes in 2 or more sports at the Winter Olympics. This has occurred 640 times at the Summer Olympics.

Three athletes have competed in 4 sports at the Winter Olympics, although this stretches the terminology, since all were disciplines of skiing. All 3 athletes competed in Alpine skiing, cross-country skiing, Nordic combined, and ski jumping, as follows:

Karl Johan Baadsvik (CAN)   ASK/CCS/NCO/SKJ   1936

Bronisław Czech (POL)           ASK/CCS/NCO/SKJ   1928/1932/1936

Bill Irwin (CAN)                           ASK/CCS/NCO/SKJ   1948

Winter Olympians have competed in 3 sports 40 times, with almost all of these comprising 3 disciplines within skiing. However, the two truly unusual ones were Belgian Louis de Ridder, who competed in ice hockey and speed skating in 1924 and in bobsledding and ice hockey in 1936; perhaps less unusual, but no less remarkable, is the example of Korean Gang Gwang-Bae, who is the only athlete to have competed in all 3 of the sliding sports – bobsled, luge, and skeleton. Gang competed in luge in 1998, skeleton in 2002-06, and bobsled in 2010.

Doubling in two sports at the Winter Olympics is less common among women, as one might expect, as they have had less sports to choose from. Women have competed in 2 winter sports 35 times, with 26 of those the combination of biathlon and cross-country skiing. Canadian Linda Crutchfield-Bocock has the most unusual combination, competing in Alpine skiing in 1964 and luge in1968. No woman has competed in 3 Winter Olympic sports.

There have been 11 cases in which Winter Olympic athletes have competed in distinctly different sports. Here is the list:

Léon Quaglia (FRA)                              ICH-1920/24/28, SSK-1924/28

Georges André (FRA)                         BOB-1924, CUR-1924

Louis De Ridder (BEL)                         ICH-1924/36, SSK-24, BOB-1936

Paul Van den Broek (BEL)                 BOB-1924, ICH-1924

Victor Verschueren (BEL)                  BOB-1924, ICH-1924

Albert Hassler (FRA)                             ICH-1924/28/36, SSK-1924

Raoul Weckbecker (LUX)                   BOB-1928/36, ASK-1936

Justo del Carril (ARG)                           ASK-1948, BOB-1948

Stuart Parkinson (GBR)                        ASK-1948, BOB-1956

Linda Crutchfield-Bocock (CAN)    ASK-1964, LUG-1968

Jeremy Palmer-Tomkinson (GBR)  ASK-1968, LUG-1972/76/80

The entire breakdown of the various Winter Olympic sports combinations is as follows:

Sports                                                                                                                               ###

Cross-Country Skiing / Nordic Combined                                                    86

Biathlon / Cross-Country Skiing                                                                         78

Nordic Combined / Ski Jumping                                                                          55

Cross-Country Skiing / Nordic Combined / Ski Jumping                     31

Bobsledding / Luge                                                                                                      11

Alpine Skiing / Cross-Country Skiing                                                                 9

Alpine Skiing / Freestyle Skiing                                                                              8

Speedskating / Short-Track Speedskating                                                        6

Alpine Skiing / Cross-Country Skiing / Nordic Combined                      5

Bobsledding / Skeleton                                                                                                5

Cross-Country Skiing / Military Ski Patrol                                                       5

Alpine Skiing / Ski Jumping                                                                                        4

Alpine Skiing / Bobsledding                                                                                       3

Alpine Skiing / X-Country Skiing / Nordic Comb. / Ski Jumping          3

Alpine Skiing / Nordic Combined                                                                           3

Alpine Skiing / Luge                                                                                                        2

Bobsledding / Ice Hockey                                                                                           2

Ice Hockey / Speedskating                                                                                         2

Luge / Skeleton                                                                                                                 2

Bobsledding / Curling                                                                                                   1

Bobsledding / Ice Hockey / Speedskating                                                         1

Bobsledding / Luge / Skeleton                                                                                 1

X-Country Skiing / Military Ski Patrol / Nordic Combined                     1

Cross-Country Skiing / Ski Jumping                                                                     1

Military Ski Patrol / Nordic Combined / Ski Jumping                                 1

Totals                                                                                                                                 326

And here are the numbers for women only:

Sports                                                                                                                           ###

Biathlon / Cross-Country Skiing                                                                      26

Alpine Skiing / Freestyle Skiing                                                                           4

Bobsledding / Luge                                                                                                     3

Alpine Skiing / Luge                                                                                                   1

Speedskating / Short-Track Speedskating                                                    1

Totals                                                                                                                                35

We know of 3 scheduled new sports doublers in Sochi. Serbian Milanko Petrović is entered in biathlon and cross-country skiing, as is Tanja Karišik of Bosnia & Herzegovina, and Dutch female skater Jorien ter Mors is entered in both speed skating and short-track speed skating. There are at least 10 examples of athletes entered in Sochi who will be competing in a second Winter Olympic sport.


General Factsheets – Previous NOC Medal Standings and Records

Here are the medal standings by NOC at previous Olympics, along with various notes and records about most medals by day, and most medals or gold medals by Games, by NOCs. At the end, you’ll find the medal standings day-by-day for the previous 4 Winter Olympics, so you can follow in Sochi and compare to how your nation was doing at previous recent Olympics.

General Factsheets – All Sorts of Stuff

Here is the second of our general factsheets with historical / statistical information leading up to Sochi. All sorts of things on here – data about Olympic Programs, which nations have competed and with how many competitors, all-time medal standings by nations, and the usual Opening Ceremony information about torchbearers, oath takers, dignitary information. And a bit more too.

General Factsheets – The Leaders, The Most, The Best

Here are the first of our 3 general factsheets on the Olympic Winter Games. This one gives multiple lists of Olympic records in every category you can imagine – most medals, most gold medals, most silvers, individual, overall, age records, appearance records, most events. Ask about it and it will be in here. More to come in the next 2 days on the Olympic Winter Games in general.

Sochi 2014 – The Competing Nations

In the attached factsheets, we list detailed historial Olympic information for every IOC Member Nation that has previously competed at the Olympic Winter Games and that will compete in Sochi, as of 27 January 2014. There appear to be 88 qualified NOCs that have met IF quota requirements as of 24 January, and have accepted them (the previous record for a Winter Olympics is 82 in 2010 at Vancouver). Unfortunately, after reallocation of some quotas, only the skiing federation (FIS) has published the final quotas as of 26 January. We have tried to list below the sports for which each NOC has qualified but there is a small chance, with reallocations, that there may be minor differences in the final allocation by sport.

There are seven nations that will compete in Sochi that have never before competed at the Olympic Winter Games – Dominica, Malta, Paraguay, Timor-Leste (East Timor), Togo, Tonga, and Zimbabwe. Their factsheets have been published previously on – see, which came out on 23 January.

One problem nation is listed below and that is DPR Korea (North). They have not qualified any athletes for Sochi (including Dennis Rodman). They had the 1st and 2nd reserves for pairs figure skating but those do not appear to have been chosen by final reallocation of quota spots by the International Skating Union (ISU). However, yesterday (26 January), DPR Korea has petitioned the IOC for redress to allow them to have Olympic athletes compete in Sochi. So they are included below but it is unknown if they will compete.

Winter Olympic Nations – Probably Not Gonna Compete

We’re in a little bit of a holding pattern while we await the IFs to publish the final lists of NOCs who have accepted their quota spots in the various 2014 sports. That should be out on Monday, the 27th. Final entries should be coming in starting that day as well.

In the interim, we’re fairly certain that the NOCs in the attached PDFs will not be competing, although all of them have competed previously at the Winter Olympics. That is because they no longer exist as nations – Czechoslovakia, Fed. Rep. of Germany (West), German Democratic Republic (East), Netherlands Antilles, Serbia & Montenegro, Soviet Union, Unified Team, and Yugoslavia. These are for historical interest only.

Previous Winter Olympic Nations – Not Competing in Sochi

The attached factsheets will give information about nations that have previously competed at the Olympic Winter Games. A few have actually qualified (Algeria, Puerto Rico, South Africa) but their NOCs have elected to not send any athletes to Sochi. There appear to be 22 nations that have previously competed at the Winter Olympics but will not be in Sochi.

We will send out the factsheets for the Sochi competing nations on Monday, after acceptances of quota spots is finalized. Tomorrow, just for historical interest, we’ll give information about those previous Winter Olympic Nations that no longer exist (Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, Netherlands Antilles, East & West Germany)

New Winter Olympic Nations for Sochi

We’ll start the Sochi NOC Factsheets with the one dealing with those nations that have never before competed at the Olympic Winter Games. There appear to be 7 that will make their debut in Sochi.

Quotas for all sports have been announced. Nations are now in the process of either accepting their quotas or turning them down, and having them re-allocated to other nations. So it will be a day or two until we have more definitive information about the competing nations. Factsheets on those will follow shortly.

Olympic curling head to head

Curling may not be the most exciting sport to the uninitiated viewer, but the ice sport often brings close encounters at the Olympics. Ten teams will be taking part in both the men’s and women’s competition, and as usual they will play a round-robin tournament before heading into the playoffs.

In the men’s tournament, Canada has a positive record against all other nations in the field. An exception is technically speaking Russia, as the host nation is competing in the Olympic curling for the first time. Given their 10th place in the last Worlds, not too much should be expected of them on home ice. Great Britain – or Scotland to be more precise – and Sweden are the only nations to have taken part in all Olympic curling competitions, also competing in that almost forgotten 1924 tournament (which featured France as the third nation). Despite this long history, the Britons have never beaten Canada at an Olympics, while the Swedish curlers fear the Swiss, being down 0-6 in their matches.

Medal-wise, Canada, Norway and Switzerland are the most likely to be on the podium. Canada has won two silvers (1998, 2002) and two golds (2006, 2010), while Norway and Switzerland have won one gold each, and earned three medals in the last four Olympics. Scotland has done well at recent World Championships, though, and Sweden are the reigning World Champions.

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There is no nation with a positive record against all teams in the women’s competition. Both Canada and Sweden have a historically been better than six of their nine opponents. Canada has lost its only match against China, and is down 2-3 versus Switzerland. The Swedes, champions in 2006 and 2010, are 2-3 down against the Canadians, and the current host nation, Russia, is also ahead 2-1. New on the Olympic ice sheets will be South Korea, which surprisingly took 4th place in the 2012 Worlds. This brings the number of Asian nations competing to a record three.

Looking at the medal history, Canada has always been on the podium, but have only won the gold once, in 1998. Sweden appeared three times in the top three, placing third in Nagano besides their two titles. With two silvers in 2002 and 2006, the Swiss are the third most medalled nation in women’s curling. Recent World Championship medalists also include Scotland (2013 winners) and China.

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