Which Countries Have Hosted the Olympic Games?

An athlete holds the Olympic rings while looking over Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Editorial credit: lazyllama / Shutterstock.com.

The Olympics is one of the leading international sporting events featuring both winter and summer games. The Olympic Games attract athletes from over 200 countries around the world who take part in different sporting activities. The Olympics are held every four years with the summer and the winter games taking place two years apart. Since the inception of the Olympic Games, 23 cities have played host to the Summer Games while Winter Games have been held in 19 cities. In addition, five Olympic Games have been canceled due to war.

Olympics Host Countries and Cities

Summer Olympics

Summer Olympics is the older of the two Olympic events. There have been 29 Summer Olympic events taking place in 22 cities around the globe. The United States has hosted the Summer Olympic Games four times, the most of any country. The first Olympics event in the US was hosted by St. Louis in 1904. In 1932, Los Angeles hosted the second Summer Olympic Games in the country. The last Olympics hosted by the US took place in Atlanta in 1996 with Los Angeles is expected to play host to the 2028 Summer Olympics. The United Kingdom has hosted the Summer Olympics three times with London hosting all the three events. The UK first hosted the Olympics in 1908. After hosting the 2012 Summer Olympics, London is not expected to host any event anytime soon. France, Germany, Greece, and Australia have each hosted the Summer Games twice. Japan is expected to host the 2020 Summer Olympic Games.

Winter Olympics

The Winter Olympic Games were first held in Chamonix, France in 1924. Since then, 22 Winter Games have been held in 19 different cities. The United States has hosted the highest number of Winter Olympics events (4). Lake Placid first hosted the games in the US in 1932 followed by Squaw Valley in 1960. Lake Placid again hosted the 1980 events with Salt Lake City hosting the 2002 Winter Games. France has hosted the Winter Olympics on three occasions, hosting the inaugural event in 1924 and again hosting the events in 1968 and 1992. Japan, Italy, Canada, Switzerland, Norway, and Austria have each hosted the Winter Games. Germany and Russia complete the list of host countries with each hosting the event only once. South Korea is expected to host the next edition of Winter Olympics in 2018.

Did You Know?

Only Europe, North America, Asia, South America, and Oceania have hosted the Olympic Games with Europe hosting 36 editions. In 2016, Brazil became the first South American country to host the Olympics. Africa has yet to host the games. In 2022, China’s Beijing City will be the first city to host both the Winter and Summer Games. The host cities are picked seven years in advance by the IOC members. The selection process takes about two years with the first stage involving receiving applications from any city interested in becoming a host city. A total of seven cities have hosted the Olympics more than once, with London hosting it on three occasions.

Which Countries Have Hosted the Olympic Games?

RankCountryCity TypeYear
3United StatesSt. LouisSummer1904
4United KingdomLondonSummer1908
5Sweden StockholmSummer1912
10SwitxerlandSt. MoritzWinter1928
11United StatesLos AngelesSummer1932
12United StatesLake PlacidWinter1932
15United KingdomLondonSummer1948
16SwitzerlandSt. MoritzWinter1948
20Cortina d'AmpezzoItalyWinter1956
22United StatesSquaw ValleyWinter1960
25MexicoMexico CitySummer1968
27West GermanyMunichSummer1972
31Soviet UnionMoscowSummer1980
32United StatesLake PlacidWinter1980
33United StatesLos AngelesSummer1984
35South KoreaSeoulSummer1988
40United StatesAtlantaSummer1996
43United StatesSalt Lake CityWinter2002
48United KingdomLondonSummer2012

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