Countries Hosting The Greatest Number Of Olympic Games

The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in California, U.S.A. has hosted two Summer Olympic Games (1932 and 1984). Editorial credit: Gerry Boughan /

The modern Olympic Games evolved from the ancient Greek Games in Olympia, ancient Greece. Today, there is the Summer Olympics and the Winter Olympics. Both Olympics are celebrated every four years but alternated at two years apart. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) regulates the Olympic Movement. The Olympic Charter has helped in the creation of the Youth Olympic Games and the Paralympic Games. The size and scope of the Olympics can be seen by the participating countries, with 204 nations in the Summer Olympics and 88 in the Winter Games. The Paralympics is for handicapped athletes while the Youth Olympics are for teen-aged athletes.

Olympic Venues By Hosting Country

The modern Summer Olympics was first held in Athens, Greece in 1896. The most recent was in London, England. The Winter Olympics was first held in Chamonix, France. The most recent was in Sochi, Russia. The following is a list of countries that have hosted the Olympics at least twice.

  • The United States leads the world by hosting 8 Olympic Games including 4 Summer Olympics and 4 Winter Olympics (1904, 1932, 1984, 1996, 1932, 1960, 1980, 2002). US Summer Olympic venues have included St. Louis, Atlanta, and two times in Los Angeles. Winter Games have been held twice at Lake Placid, and once each in Squaw Valley and Salt Lake City. The 1984 Los Angeles Olympics cost $413 million USD with a profit of $250 million USD.
  • France is second in the list, hosting the Olympics five times (1900, 1924, 1924, 1968, 1992). The 1992 Winter Olympics in France cost $836 million USD with a loss of $56.8 million USD. France has hosted two Summer Olympics in Paris, and Winter Games in Chamonix, Grenoble, and Albertville.
  • Japan is third as four-time Olympic host (1964, 2020, 1972, 1998). The 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics cost about $17-30 billion USD with unknown losses. Both of these Summer Games were hosted in Tokyo, and Winter Games were hosted in Nagano and Sapporo.
  • The United Kingdom is tied for fourth as a three-time Olympic host (1908, 1948, 2012). The 2012 London Olympics cost $14.6 billion USD. All three Olympic Games were Summer Games, and all were hosted in the city of London.
  • Canada is tied for fourth as a three-time Olympic host (1976, 1988, 2010). The 2010 Vancouver Winter Games cost $6.4 billion USD. Montreal has hosted a Summer Games, and Vancouver and Calgary have each hosted a Winter Games venue.
  • Italy is tied for fourth as a three-time Olympic host (1960, 1956, 2006). A Summer Games was held in Rome, while Winter Games have been held in Turin and Cortina d'Ampezzo.
  • Germany is tied for fourth as a three-time Olympic host (1936, 1972, 1936). Munich and Berlin have each hosted a Summer Games Venue, while the 1936 Winter Olympics were held at Garmisch-Partenkirchin.
  • China is tied for eighth as a two-time Olympic host (2008, 2022). One Summer and an upcoming scheduled Winter Games belong to the city of Beijing.
  • South Korea is tied for eighth as a two-time Olympic host (1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul and the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang).
  • The former Soviet Union/present-day Russian Federation is tied for eighth as a two-time two-time Olympic host (the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow and the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi).
  • Greece is tied for eighth as a two-time Olympic host (the inaugural 1896 Summer Olympics and 2004 Summer Olympics were both held in Athens).
  • Australia is tied for eighth as a two-time Olympic host (the 1956 Summer Olympics in Melbourne and 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney).
  • Norway is tied for eighth as a two-time Olympic host (the 1952 Winter Olympics in Oslo and the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer).
  • Austria is tied for eighth as a two-time Olympic host (the 1964 Winter Olympics and 1976 Winter Olympics were both held at Innsbruck).
  • Switzerland is tied for eighth as a two-time Olympic host (the 1928 Winter Olympics and 1948 Winter Olympics were both held at St. Moritz).

Socioeconomic Effects of Hosting an Olympic Venue

In the past, hosting an Olympic event was seen as a privilege that brought positive economic and development changes to the host country. Today, the cost of hosting the Olympics has deterred many nations from bidding for that privilege. Some nations have even withdrawn their bids. The economic benefits to a host country has also been seen in a negative light with the recent Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia as an example. Experts and economists say that recent world financial events have made Olympic events an expensive proposition and brought little tangible gains if any to a host country. Although the naysayers have seen some positive effects such as the increase of exports of that host country and attract business to the Olympics city site due to new facilities and services. Although again these gains may only last from a few years from and after the Olympics itself.

Countries Hosting The Maximum Number Of Olympic Games

RankCountrySummer OlympicsWinter OlympicsTotal
1United States1904,1932,1984,19961932,1960,1980,20028
2France1900, 19241924, 1968, 19925
3Japan1964, 20201972, 19984
4United Kingdom1908, 1948, 201203
5Canada 1,9761988, 20103
6Italy 1,9601956, 20063
7Germany1936, 19721,9363
9South Korea1,9882,0182
10Soviet Union/Russia1,9802,0142
11Greece1896, 200402
12Australia1956, 200002
13Norway01952, 19942
14Austria01964, 19762
15Switzerland01928, 19482

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