January 10, 2014

1924 - The First Winter Olympic Games

Hockey at the Olympics actually pre-dates the Winter Olympics themselves.

When hockey debuted as an Olympic sport in 1920, it was actually part of the Antwerp, Belgium Olympic games, which nowadays would be considered the Summer Olympics.

It was not until 1924 that the Winter Olympics were created. The games were held in Chamonix, France, with the hockey games hosted on an outside rink. As you can see in the picture below, it was quite a beautiful setting.

Canada won the gold medal in hockey, the only medal the country earned in the entire Olympic games. Despite destroying the opposition by a combined score of 110-3, Canada did face some interesting obstacles.

Firstly, the outdoor, natural ice rink was subject to some extreme weather conditions, including warm sun and heavy rains. The weather prevented the Canadians from hosting even one practice throughout the entire tournament.

The practice was something Canada wanted as the rink was quite foreign. Not only was it the larger European sized surface Canada had never seen before, but the boards were only one foot high. This forced Canada to not rely on usual tactics back home, such as clearing zones and passing pucks off the higher boards, as well as body checking.

Here's how the teams finished, as well as team photos and rosters.

Canada - Gold Medalists

Canada was represented by the Toronto Granites, the two time defending Allan Cup champions as best amateur team in Canada. Unbeatable in Canada, they blew away the opposition at the first ever Winter Olympics, outscoring them by a combined total of 110-3.

The team consisted of goalies and Ernie Collett and the flirtatious Jack Cameron, defensemen Dunc Munro and Beattie Ramsay, and forwards Sig Slater, super scorer Harry Watson, Bert McCaffery, Harold McMunn and future NHL star Hooley Smith. The Granites were coached by Frank Rankin and managed by William Hewitt, Foster's dad.

USA - Silver Medalists

The Americans won the silver medal, and deservingly so. They were the only team not humiliated by Canada, losing by a respectable score of 6-1.

The American hero, as is always the case in Olympic hockey, was the goaltender, Alphonse Lacroix. He would later play briefly for the Montreal Canadiens. Despite his French name he was from Newton, MA.

Others to represent USA were future NHL star Taffy Abel, Harry Drury, John Langley, John J. Lyons, Justin McCarthy, Willard Rice, Irving Small and Frank Synnott. Future NHL player Gerry Geran may have been listed as an alternate.

Great Britain - Bronze Medalists

Great Britain was represented by William Anderson, Lorne Carr-Harris, Colin Carruthers, Eric Carruthers, George "Guy" Clarkson, Ross Cuthbert, George Holmes, Hamilton Jukes, Edward Pitblado and Blane Sexton.


The fourth place Swedish contingent included Ruben Allinger, Vilhelm Arwe, Erik Burman, Birger Holmqvist, Gustaf Johansson, Hugo Johansson, Karl Josefson, Ernst Karlberg, Nils Molander and Einar Ohlsson.

Host France tied for fifth place, thanks to the efforts of Andre Charlet, Pierre Charpentier, Jacques Chaudron, Raoul Couvert, Albert Hassler, Charles Lavaivre, Joseph Monard, Calixte Payot, Philippe Payot, Alfred de Rauch, Maurice del Walle and G.F. de Wilde. Nice shorts, boys.


Fifth place was co-held by Czechoslovakia's entry. Representing CSSR was Jaroslav Fleischmann, Miroslav Fleischman, Ludvik Hofta, Jaroslav Jirkovsky, Jan Krasl, Vilem Loos, the great Josef Malecek, Jan Palous, Jaroslav Pusbauer, Jaroslav Rezac, Josef Sroubek, Jaroslav Stransky, Otakar Vindys. Clearly not everyone was present for this photograph.


Belgium tied Switzerland for 7th spot. They were represented by Paul van den Broeck, Charles van den Driessche, Henri Louette, Andre Poplimont, Louis de Ridder, Frederick Rudolph, Victor Verschueren, and Gaston van Volckxsom.


Switzerland's entry was comprised of Fred Auckenthaler, Louis Dufour, Emil Filliol, Max Holzboer, Maurice Jaccard, Ernest Jaquet, Bruno Leuzinger, Ernest Mottier, Peter Muller, Rene Savoie, Wilhelm de Siebenthal, Donald Unger and Andre Verdeil.

Olympic Hockey History

GreatestHockeyLegends.com is the home of an extensive history of Olympic hockey. You can view each Olympic hockey tournament (men's and women's) below by clicking on the year of your choice. You can also enjoy my profiles of Olympic Hockey Legends.

1920 - Antwerp, Belgium
1924 - Chamonix, France
1928 - St. Moritz, Switz.
1932 - Lake Placid, USA
1936 - G.P., Germany
1940 - No Games - WWII
1944 - No Games - WWII
1948 - St. Moritz, Switz.
1952 - Oslo, Norway
1956 - Cortina, Italy
1960 - Squaw Valley, USA
1964 - Innsbruck, Austria
1968 - Grenoble, France
1972 - Sapporo, Japan
1976 - Innsbruck, Austria
1980 - Lake Placid, USA
1984 - Sarajevo, Yugoslavia
1988 - Calgary, Canada
1992 - Albertville, France
1994 - Lillehammer, Norway
1998 - Nagano, Japan
2002 - Salt Lake City, USA
2006 - Torino, Italy

2010 - Vancouver, Canada


nhl games said...

it is always nice to see some old pictures from games.

Anonymous said...

Great to find this site! My grandfather was Lorne Carr-Harris - the goalie for the British team. He was actually Canadian, but was in the British army at the time.

A. J. Wall

Anonymous said...

Nice to finally find photos of the teams! My grandfather was Hamilton Jukes, of the British team. He was also Canadian -- a Winnipegger.