Olympic fever is alive and well again, and the world has turned their attention to PyeongChang. And while it’s a beautiful city and is sure to be a wonderful host for the 2018 Winter Olympic Games, we thought it would be fun to take a look back at some former Olympic cities. It turns out many of them are still absolutely gorgeous and very much worth a visit. We went through all of them and here are our top 5 you definitely have to see.
Lillehammer hosted the Winter Games in 1994 and it provided some unforgettable moments. Like American Bonnie Blair winning her third straight gold in the 500-meter speed skating race, and Norway’s own Johann Olav Koss setting world records in three different speed skating events. Many of the courses and tracks used during those games are still open to the public. You can explore all 211 miles of the cross-country trails, ride the luge and bobsled tracks, or check out the ski jump arena.
LAKE PLACID, NEW YORK
I didn’t know this; Lake Place actually hosted the Olympic Games twice! First in 1932, and then again in 1980. The 1980 games were the setting for one of the most famous moments in American Olympic history: The Miracle On Ice. When the men’s hockey team miraculously defeated the seemingly unbeatable Soviet team. Many of the Olympic facilities are still open for use by the public, but the big draw for Lake Placid is the beautiful scenery. Surrounded by rolling mountains and the beautiful blue water of the lake itself, it’s easy to see why Lake Placid is a two-time host of the Olympic Games.
ST. MORITZ, SWITZERLAND
St. Moritz also hosted the Olympic Games twice. First in 1928, and then again in 1948. The 1928 games are famous for introducing the skeleton event, one of the most exciting and dangerous sports in the winter games. One attraction you have to catch when you visit is the Olympic Ice Pavillion that was built in 1905 and used in both Olympic Games that were held here. It’s also right by the beautiful Kulm golf course if you’d like to get in a quick 18 while you’re there.
Helsinki was the proud home of the 1952 summer games. This was the first Olympic Games that saw athletes from Israel an the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union wasted no time getting down to business, as their women’s gymnastics team dominated their field.
Helsinki is especially famous for its beautiful architecture. Most notably Helsinki Central Station, and Hotel Kamp, which features an incredible hall of mirrors. And don’t forget to stop by the Design District to take in some art, pick up a few mementos, and grab a bite of the local fare.
The 1976 Olympic games took place in the one and only Montreal. A very important Olympics, as women’s handball, rowing, and basketball were included for the very first time. But beyond that, most people remember Romanian gymnast Nadia Comaneci the most. She famously earned the first-ever perfect 10 at the age of 14.
The legend of these games lives on in the old Olympic Park through ‘Since 1976,’ a beautiful exhibit celebrating all that took place that year. Definitely worth a look if you ever make it to this beautiful city.