London, Paris, and Los Angeles don’t have much in common. The three cities are many miles apart (London to Paris is 214 miles, London to L.A. is 5,440 miles, and L.A. to Paris a bit more.) They have different cultures and traditions. But one thing the cities do have in common is the number of times they’ve hosted the Olympic Games.
Fans flock to host cities to watch live as top athletes from hundreds of countries compete in the events. More than entertainment and the chance for athletes to get awarded for their skills (Olympics Prize Money: Do Olympians Get Paid?), the Games offer host cities a unique tourism opportunity, with millions of new visitors in need of lodging, food, etc.
But not every city has the capacity to host the Olympics. The cities that do must have large enough stadiums and a climate well-suited for seasonal sports.
So which are the most frequent Olympic host cities and countries? The map below holds the answers.
View Olympics Hosts in a full screen map
To start, let’s look at the cities with the most Olympic hosting under their belt. By this point, some of these cities should get a gold medal in hosting.
|City||Number of Olympics hosted|
|Los Angeles, U.S.||3|
|St. Moritz, Switzerland||2|
|Lake Placid, U.S.||2|
London, Paris, and Los Angeles are the only cities in the world that have hosted the Olympic Games three times. All of the Games hosted in London were the summer version, first in 1908, again in 1948, and most recently in 2012.
Like London, Paris’ stints as host have all been for the Summer Games, the first of which occurred in 1900. After that, Olympic athletes returned to City of Light in 1924 and they’ll do so again in 2024.
As for Los Angeles, California, the city first hosted the Summer Olympics in 1932. Los Angeles hosted the Games once again in the summer of 1984 and L.A. is also set to host the 2028 Summer Games.
But Los Angeles isn’t the only U.S. city to host the Olympics multiple times. While not thrice, Lake Placid, New York has twice played host to the Winter Games, making the U.S. the only country in the world to have two cities hosting more than once each. In addition to Lake Placid, Athens (Summer), Beijing (Summer and Winter Games), Innsbruck (Winter), and St. Moritz (Winter) have each hosted the Games twice.
Now let’s take a look at the bigger picture: countries.
Cities aside, which countries have hosted the most games?
- United States: 9
- France: 6
- Italy: 4
- United Kingdom: 3
- Japan: 3
- Canada: 3
- Australia: 3
The U.S. has hosted the most Olympic Games of all other countries. Aside from the previously mentioned multi-host cities of Los Angeles and Lake Placid, other host cities include Atlanta, Palisades Tahoe (formerly Squaw Valley in California), and St. Louis. Plus, the last Olympics in USA was held in Salt Lake City in 2002. As for when will the Olympics be in the US next, L.A. will once again welcome Olympic enthusiasts in 2028.
In addition to the countries above, Austria, China, Germany, Greece, Norway, South Korea, and Switzerland have each hosted the Games twice.
As for which countries have hosted both the Summer and Winter Games: You may think of Canada as a winter-only wonderland, but the country has not only hosted two Winter Olympics (in Calgary in 1988 and Vancouver in 2010) but one summer version in Montreal in 1976.
And while Paris may have been the site of three summer games, Albertville, Chamonix, and Grenoble, France have each hosted the Winter Games in 1992, ’24, and ’68.
Other countries to host the Olympic Games for both seasons include Germany (Berlin in the summer of ’36 and Garmisch-Partenkirchen in the winter of the same year).
Plus, West Germany’s Munich hosted the Summer Games in 1972.
Italy, Japan, South Korea, the U.S., and China also have similar dual-season hosting backgrounds. Speaking of China, Beijing is the only city to have hosted both the summer (2008) and winter (2022) versions of the Olympics.