How Many Winter Olympic Medals Are Available To Be Won?
We often measure success at the Olympics based on the number of medals won. We celebrate the multiple medal winners such as Norway's cross-country skier Marit Bjoergen with 15 medals (8 gold, 4 silver, 3 bronze), and cross-country skiier Bjørn Dæhlie and biathlete Ole Bjoerndalen also has 8 gold medals.
Number of Sports
The number and range of sports on the Winter Olympic program has varied over time, and therefore so has the number of medals that could be won. At the first official Winter Olympic Games Chamonix France in 1924, there were just 16 nations and 16 gold medals on offer.
In 2018, four new events were introduced - big air snowboarding, mixed doubles curling, mass start speed skating, and mixed team alpine skiing. In 2022, there will be another seven events: women's monobob, mens and women's big air, and mixed team events in aerials skiing, ski jumping, short track speedskating and snowboardcross. From only 16 medal events in 1924, there are 109 medals on offer at the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics.
Number of Medals Per Sport
The most successful Winter Olympian has won 15 medals. This is well below the haul of 28 medals by swimmer Michael Phelps at the Summer Olympics. There are clearly many more medals available in swimming than many other Summer Olympic sports, and the same goes for the Winter Olympics. Athletes from certain sports have an advantage, for example at Beijing 2022 there are 14 gold medals available in speed skating though only two in skeleton and ice hockey.
Number of Available Gold Medals in 2022
Here is the breakdown of the available gold medals per sport from the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing. There are more medals in speed skating and cross-country skiing, and in these sports there is the opportunity for athletes to compete in multiple events.
- 14 - Speed skating
- 13 - Freestyle skiing
- 12 - Cross-country skiing
- 11- Biathlon, Snowboarding, Alpine skiing
- 9 - Short track speed skating
- 5 - Figure skating, Ski jumping
- 4 - Luge, Bobsleigh
- 3 - Curling, Nordic combined
- 2 - Skeleton, Ice hockey
- The Number of Winter Olympics Medal Events Over Time
- Changes in Winter Olympic Sports — following the changes in sports and events for each Winter Olympics.
- All Time Medal Tally — total medals won for every country.
- The leading medal tally country for each Winter Olympics
- History of the Winter Olympics
- Summer Olympics Medal Tally Leading Countries