Which winter Olympics had the worst weather?

It’s pretty nice in Sochi: daytime highs are in the 50’s and 60’s. Not the best weather for snow- and ice-based sporting events.

Frankly, you’d expect freezing temps and a little snowfall here and there during the winter Olympics. But let’s go further. Which winter Olympics had the nastiest, most inhospitable weather? Incessant blizzards, dangerously low temperatures and high winds, devasting ice storms?

The weather in Vancouver wasn’t great in 2010. IIRC, the cold, snowy weather came just after the games ended.

Calgary '88 had no snow – a lot of brown hills covered with man-made powder. And going waaay back, Squaw Valley '60, had a ton of fog that obscured most of the Alpine Ski events. I think Sapporo '72 had the same problem. I remember prohibitive favorite Karl Schranz not being able to see the gates in the slaalom.

Can’t wait for the 2030 version of this thread to mention Dubai 2026 as having had unreasonably warm weather for winter sports.

The first in St Moritz had pretty terrible weather. Before it started the weather was so warm they couldn’t allow competitors on the ice to practice. Then they had a blizzard during the opening ceremony, which was held outdoors. After that the temperature rose again to near 80 degrees and many sports had to be cancelled.

Didn’t the Nagano games keep having skiing events postponed due to bad weather?

Really, it’s as common for Winter Games to have crappy weather as it is for them to have good weather. Weather nightmares are kind of a tradition.

Also, the alpine events usually (in fact almost always) aren’t held in the host city itself, which is usually low altitude and pretty snowless.

Often a long way away, in fact. In 1988 the alpine events were almost an hour’s drive from Calgary. In 2010 they were well over an hour away, in 2006 a bit under an hour away, and in 1998 it’d have taken you at least an hour and a half by car to get from Nagano to where they held the speed events.

This has nothing on the Summer Games where sailing events are often held in places basically nowhere near the venue. In 1976 the events were not only not held in Montreal, they weren’t even in the province of Quebec. And that was practically next door when compared to 1980, when they were held in Tallinn, which is a thousand kilometres away, at least.

I think the record must be the equestrian events in the 1956 Olympics being held in Stockholm while the rest of the Olympics took place in Melbourne Australia. Australia had a quarantine and no horses were allowed into the country.

Tough record to beat. Over 9600 miles. I guess max difference would be just a little over 12,000 miles.

Excellent piece of minutia!