1952 Winter Olympics

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The 1952 Winter Olympics, officially known as the VI Olympic Winter Games, was a winter multi-sport event celebrated in 1952 in Oslo, Norway. This celebration of the Games was held from 14 February to 25 February 1952. Discussions about Oslo hosting a Winter Olympic Games started in 1935. A target was set for Oslo to host the 1948 Games, but after World War II this was deemed unfeasible. Instead Oslo was awarded the right to host the 1952 Games when it beat out Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy, and Lake Placid, United States. The city of Oslo bore the financial burden of hosting the Games. Most of the venues were in the Oslo metropolitan area with the exception of the alpine skiing events, which were held at Norefjell; a 113 km (70 mi) drive from the capital. A new hotel was built for the press and traveling dignitaries, and three buildings were converted into quarters for athletes and coaches.

Thirty countries and 693 athletes participated in six sports and twenty-two events. After significant debate, Japan and Germany made their return to Olympic competition after being forced to miss the 1948 Games due to their involvement in World War II. Germany was represented only by West German athletes because East Germany had declined to compete with West Germany as a unified team. Portugal and New Zealand made their Winter Olympic debut. King George VI of Great Britain, who died eight days prior to the start of the Games, was honoured during the opening ceremonies.

Norwegian truck driver Hjalmar Andersen won three out of four speed skating events. His three gold medals were the largest total for an athlete at the Games. Germany regained its former bobsleigh glory with wins in both the four- and two-man events. Dick Button, of the United States, performed the first triple jump in international competition to claim his second consecutive men's figure skating Olympic title. Women were allowed to compete in cross-country skiing for the first time. The 1952 Games also featured one demonstration sport, bandy, but only the three Scandinavian countries competed in the tournament. Norway dominated the medal count with sixteen medals, seven of which were gold. The Games were closed with the presentation of a flag that would be passed from one Winter Olympics host city to the next. The flag, which became known as the "Oslo flag", has been preserved and continues to travel from host city to host city where it is displayed during the Games.

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