Unlike the Summer Olympics, the cancelled 1940 and 1944 Winter Olympics are not included in the official Roman numeral counts for the Winter Games.
No country in the Southern Hemisphere has ever hosted a Winter Games. (see all hosts).
Gillis Grafström became the first person to win a medal in the same event in Summer and Winter Olympics, winning figure skating golds at the 1920 Olympics and in the same event at the first Winter Olympics in 1924.
Only four athletes have ever won medals at both the Winter and Summer Olympic Games (excluding Gillis Grafström): Eddie Eagan (United States), Jacob Tullin Thams (Norway), Christa Luding-Rothenburger (East Germany), and Clara Hughes (Canada). Eddie Eagan is the only athlete to have won gold medals at both Winter and Summer Olympics - he won gold at the 1920 Games in boxing, and also won gold at the 1932 Lake Placid Games in the team bobsled event. Clara Hughes is the only person ever to have won multiple medals in both. Christa Luding is the only person to win medals at the Winter and Summer Games in the same year. (This feat is no longer possible as the Winter and Summer games are now 2 years apart)
At the 1960 games at Squaw Valley, California USA, in an effort to impress spectators, Walt Disney was head of the committee that organized the opening day ceremonies. The Opening Ceremony was filled with high school choirs and bands, releasing of thousands of balloons, fireworks, ice statues, releasing of 2,000 white doves, and national flags dropped by parachute.
At the 2010 Winter Olympics, Latvian athlete Haralds Silovs became the first athlete in Olympic history to participate in both short track (1500m) and long track (5000m) speed skating, and also became the first to compete in two different disciplines on the same day.
In 2014, a team event was added to the figure skating program, requiring the the competition to start a day before the Opening ceremony. This will be the first time in the history of the Winter Olympics that competitions will be held before the Opening ceremony.
The Sochi 2014 Olympic Torch was the first to travel in space - one leg of the relay involved a spacewalk by Russian cosmonauts.
In 2014, two gold medals, to Dominique Gisin of Switzerland and Tina Maze of Slovenia, were awarded for a first-place tie in the Women's downhill event in alpine skiing, the first gold medal tie ever for an Olympic alpine skiing event. No silver medal was awarded.
Winning gold can be lucrative: in 2014, any Kazakhstani athlete who claims gold will earn a cool US$250,000 for their efforts. Latvia is offering its athletes US$192,000 for a gold medal, with Ukranian gold medallists up for US$150,000.
For more trivia, see the specific pages on each Winter Games.