Associated Press

When it comes to collecting Olympic medals, United States athletes dominate the field, claiming 2,652 medals between 1896 and 2012. However, only 253 of those medals come from the Winter Olympics, where the U.S. stands perpetually in second place behind winter sports juggernaut Norway.

Forecasts indicate that the U.S. will again finish behind Norway in the 2014 Sochi Olympics medal count, with The Wall Street Journal predicting that Norway will win 33 medals to America's 32 and statistics experts Infostrada predicting 37 to 29.

It's a tight race in the gold medal hunt, though, both websites say, with Infostrada predicting an American victory with 16 gold medals to Norway's 14 and The Wall Street Journal declaring it a "neck and neck" contest.

As the 2014 Olympic medals race officially begins, here's a look at America's Winter Olympics medal tally from the 1924 Olympics in Chamonix, France, to the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, Canada. Also included are historic videos and photographs from 1924-2010, as well as fun facts about the Games.

Photos: A chronological look at Olympic Winter Games opening ceremonies from 1924 to 2010

1924 - Chamonix, France
Associated Press

Gold: 1

Silver: 2

Bronze: 1

Total: 4

Did you know: The first Winter Olympics in Chamonix, France, cost less than $28 million in today's dollars, according to Yahoo.com. American Anders Haugen was the first American skier to medal at the Olympics, but he didn't receive his award until after a mathematical error was discovered — some 50 years later.

>> The U.S. is represented during opening ceremonies for the I Winter Olympics in Chamonix, France, Jan. 25, 1924.

1928 - St. Moritz, Switzerland
Associated Press

Gold: 2

Silver: 2

Bronze: 2

Total: 6

Did you know: The 1928 Winter Olympics marked the return of Germany after the country had been banned from Olympic competitions following World War I. Norwegian skater Sonja Henie won her first gold medal at St. Moritz at the age of 15.

>> William Fiske, driver of the American four-man Olympic bob team and gold medalist at the 1928 games in St. Moritz, seen here in this 1932 photo, gives Mayor James J. Walker of New York some pointers on the working of the speedy 2-man bobsled.

1932 - Lake Placid, U.S.
Associated Press

Gold: 6

Silver: 4

Bronze: 2

Total: 12

Did you know: According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, the two-man bobsled competition was first introduced in 1932, and winners (and brothers) Hubert and Curtis Stevens used the "then highly unorthodox and now illegal" practice of heating their sled's runners with a blowtorch before racing.

>> Driven by Hubert Stevens of Lake Placid, the US two-man Olympic bobsled team photographed at Shady Corner on the two-man events at Lake Placid, NY, February 9, 1932, when the U.S. team established a new world record of 2 minutes 5.88 seconds. Led by Stevens again February 10, the team twice smashed the world record for two-man bobsled to catch Reto Capadrutt, sensational Swiss, in the final two heats of the Olympic competition, and pass him to win a final victory and gold medal for the United States.

1936 - Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany
Associated Press

Gold: 1

Silver: 0

Bronze: 3

Total: 4

Did you know: According to Olympic.org, the 1936 Olympics featured the first symbolic fire to be lit during the Olympic Winter Games. Alpine skiing first appeared as an event as these Olympics, which were the last Winter Games to be held before the outbreak of World War II.

>> Members of the U.S. Olympic teams march behind the American flag into the ski stadium in the snow during opening ceremonies of the IV Winter Olympic Games in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, Feb. 6, 1936. There are 668 athletes participating from 28 nations.

1940 - Sapporo, Japan
Associated Press

Although the Winter Olympics for 1940 were awarded to Sapporo, Japan, they did not take place due to World War II. Sapporo was awarded the Olympics for a second time after the war, and hosted them in 1972.

>> This aerial view shows Japan's home fleet, arrayed in battle line, on October 29, 1940, off the coast of Yokohama, Japan.

1944 - Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy
Associated Press

Although the Winter Olympics for 1944 were awarded to Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy, they did not take place due to World War II. Cortina d'Ampezzo was awarded the Olympics for a second time after the war, and hosted them in 1956.

>> In this image from British Official Photograph, T/Corp. O.H. Stenhiem of North Dakota, drives a bulldozer as he clears the wreckage from the streets in Anzio, Italy, Feb. 5, 1944. Damaged buildings along the waterfront can be seen in the background.

1948 - St. Moritz, Switzerland
Associated Press

Gold: 3

Silver: 4

Bronze: 2

Total: 9

Did you know: Skeleton was first included on the program in 1928, reappeared for the 1948 games and then disappeared until 2002, when it was included in the Salt Lake Olympics.

>> Richard Button of Englewood, N.J. who will represent the United States in the men's figure skating competition at the Winter Olympics at St. Moritz, Switzerland, makes a sensational leap during practice there, Jan. 27, 1948.

1952 - Oslo, Norway
Associated Press

Gold: 4

Silver: 6

Bronze: 1

Total: 11

Did you know: American Richard "Dick" Button inserted a triple loop into his skate even though, according to Olympic.org, no skater had ever performed it before in competition. The bet paid off, however — he landed the jump and his second Olympic gold medal.

>> American Ken Henry competes in the 500 metre speed skating event, during the sixth Winter Olympic Games, at Bislett Stadium, Oslo, Norway, on Feb. 16, 1952. Henry won the gold medal in the event, beating his teammate Donald McDermott.

1956 - Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy
Associated Press

Gold: 2

Silver: 3

Bronze: 2

Total: 7

Did you know: Figure skating competitions were moved indoors after the 1956 Olympics.

>> The U.S. figure skaters who scored a clean sweep in the men's Olympic figure skating championships in Cortina D'Ampezzo, Italy, February 2, 1956, display their medals. From left are: Hayes Alan Jenkins, of Colorado Springs, Co., who won the Olympic title; Ronald Robertson, of Long Beach, Calif., who took second honors; and Jenkins' younger brother, David, who finished third.

1960 - Squaw Valley, U.S.
Associated Press

Gold: 3

Silver: 4

Bronze: 3

Total: 10

Did you know: The 1960s Olympics were full of innovation, from providing CBS with the idea for instant replay to the use of metal skis instead of wooden ones.

>> Members of the U.S. hockey team scramble on the ice for the puck a moment after they beat the highly-favored Canada team, 2-1, in the Winter Olympics at Squaw Valley, Calif., Feb. 25, 1960. And right in the middle of the pile, his skateless feet in contrast to those of his players, is the American coach, Jack Riley.

1964 - Innsbruck, Austria
Associated Press

Gold: 1

Silver: 2

Bronze: 3

Total: 6

Did you know: According to Olympic.org, when the 1964 Olympics were threatened due to lack of snow, the Austrian army saved the day by transporting 20,000 blocks of ice down to the luge and bobsled tracks and 40,000 cubic meters of snow to the ski slopes.

>> Terry McDermott, 23, who won the first gold medal for the U.S. in the ninth Winter Olympic games, is hoisted to the shoulders of teammates after his triumph at Innsbruck, Feb. 4, 1964. McDermott, a barber from Essexville, Mich., won the 500-meter men's speedskating event in the record Olympic time of 40.1 seconds.

1968 - Grenoble, France
Associated Press

Gold: 1

Silver: 5

Bronze: 1

Total: 7

Did you know: Peggy Fleming, pictured here, took home the only gold medal for the U.S. in 1968. The other six medals that year came from men's figure skating and speed skating.

>> Peggy Fleming performs during the freestyle skate at the 1968 Winter Olympics in Grenoble, France. Fleming was the only member of the U.S. team to win a gold medal at the 1968 Winter Olympics.

1972 - Sapporo, Japan
Associated Press

Gold: 3

Silver: 2

Bronze: 3

Total: 8

Did you know: The 2014 Olympic team includes skier Maggie Voisin, who turned 15 on Dec. 14. She will be the youngest American athlete at the Winter Olympics since the 1972 Games, when 14-year-old speedskaters Kay Lunda and Connie Carpenter-Phinney competed.

>> USA's Barbara Cochran won her gold medal in the Olympic women's slalom event, February 11, 1972, on Mt. Teine, Japan. Here she heads for first place on her second run through heavy falling snow.

1976 - Innsbruck, Austria
Associated Press

Gold: 3

Silver: 3

Bronze: 4

Total: 10

Did you know: The 1976 Olympics were actually awarded to Denver, Colo., but the city backed out and the Games headed back to Austria instead.

>> Dorothy Hamill, 19, of Riverside, Ct., shows her winning form as she skates in the short program event in the women’s figure skating competition at the Winter Olympic in Innsbruck, Austria, Feb. 11, 1976.

1980 - Lake Placid, U.S.
Associated Press

Gold: 6

Silver: 4

Bronze: 2

Total: 12

Did you know: The 1980 Olympics saw the debut of artificial snow at the Games — oh yes, and a hockey game between the upstart American team and the Soviet Goliath that became known as the "Miracle on Ice."

>> In this Feb. 22, 1980, file photo, the "Miracle on Ice" United States ice hockey team rushes toward goalie Jim Craig after their 4-3 upset win over the Soviet Union in the semi-final round of the XIII Winter Olympic Games in Lake Placid, N.Y., The American players from left are, Mark Johnson (10); Eric Strobel (19); William Schneider (25); David Christian (23); Mark Wells (15); Steve Cristoff (11); Bob Suter (20), Philip Verchota (27). John O'Callahan is hugged by Michael Ramsey.

1984 - Sarajevo, Yugoslavia
Associated Press

Gold: 4

Silver: 4

Bronze: 0

Total: 8

Did you know: The U.S. ski team had a successful year in 1984, with Bill Johnson claiming the first-ever U.S. gold medal in the downhill competition, twin brothers Phil and Steve Mahre grabbing gold and silver in men's slalom, and Debbie Armstrong, pictured here, earning gold in the giant slalom event.

>> Debbie Armstrong of Seattle, Wash., holds the American flag and smiles as she sits on shoulders of fans in the finish area of the giant slalom course on Mt. Jahorina, on Monday, Feb. 13, 1984. The U.S. skiing girl clocked fastest time in the giant slalom event and catched Olympic gold beating her team mate Christine Cooper.

1988 - Calgary, Canada
Associated Press

Gold: 2

Silver: 1

Bronze: 3

Total: 6

Did you know: The Jamaican bobsled team debuted in Calgary, an event that later inspired the movie, "Cool Runnings." A two-man Jamaican bobsled team is currently in Sochi and planning to compete after crowdsourcing their way to the Games.

>> Bonnie Blair of the U.S. raises her arm in victory, as she sets a new World record for the Women’s 500-meter speed skating, at the Olympic Oval in Calgary in evening on Monday, Feb. 22, 1988. The new record of 39.10 seconds also won Blair the Gold medal for the event.

1992 - Albertville, France
Associated Press

Gold: 5

Silver: 4

Bronze: 2

Total: 11

Did you know: The 1992 Games included two historic events. First, it marked the last time the Winter and Summer Games were staged in the same year. Second, it was the first time that a unified Germany was represented since 1936.

>> Silver medalist Midori Ito of Japan, left, gold medalist Kristi Yamaguchi of the U.S., center, and bronze medalist Nancy Kerrigan of the U.S., wave during the medals ceremony of the figure skating competition at the XVI Winter Olympic Games in Albertville, France on Friday, Feb. 21, 1992.

1994 - Lillehammer, Norway
Associated Press

Gold: 6

Silver: 5

Bronze: 2

Total: 13

Did you know: According to Olympic.org, the Bosnian War being fought during the 1994 Games, but the Bosnian and Herzegovina four-man bobsled team was made up of a Croatian, two Bosnians and a Serbian — "the best possible example of the Olympic spirit at the worst of times."

>> Tommy Moe from Palmer, Alaska, center, reacts after his Olympic downhill gold medal as he is flanked by his runner-ups Kjetil Andre Aamodt from Norway, left, who placed second, and Edward Podivisnky from Canada, right, who placed third in the men’s downhill event during the XVII Winter Olympic Games, Sunday, Feb. 13, 1994, Kvitfjell, Norway.

1998 - Nagano, Japan
Associated Press

Gold: 6

Silver: 3

Bronze: 4

Total: 13

Did you know: It was an Olympic of firsts as NHL players attended for the first time, women's hockey premiered and snowboarding joined the lineup. Fifteen-year-old Tara Lipinski became the youngest athlete to win an individual event at the Winter Games, breaking Norwegian skater Sonja Henie's 70-year-old record

>> USA's Tara Lipinski reacts after her performance at the ladies free skating long program at the White Ring Arena on Friday, Feb. 20, 1998, in Nagano, Japan. Lipinski won the gold; fellow American Michelle Kwan, silver, and China's Lu Chen, bronze.

2002 - Salt Lake City, U.S.
Associated Press

Gold: 10

Silver: 13

Bronze: 11

Total: 34

Did you know: International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge, in his first year heading the IOC, began a personal tradition of labeling each Olympic Games with a descriptive adjective. Salt Lake's adjective? "Flawless."

>> Apolo Anton Ohno of the United States leads Fabio Carta of Itlay around the track during competion in the men's 5000 meters relay semifinals short track speed skating race in the Winter Olympics at the Salt Lake Ice Center in Salt Lake City, Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2002.

2006 - Turin, Italy
Associated Press

Gold: 9

Silver: 9

Bronze: 7

Total: 25

Did you know: American snowboarders dominated their field in 2006, with Shaun White, Seth Wescott, Danny Kass, Hannah Teter, Gretchen Bleiler, Lindsey Jacobellis and Rosey Fletcher each taking home a medal for a total of seven. The next closest country, Switzerland, took home four.

>> United States Shaun White sails high above the crowd in his first run to take the gold medal for the Men's Halfpipe Snowboard competition at the Turin 2006 Winter Olympic Games in Bardonecchia, Italy Sunday, Feb. 12, 2006.

2010 - Vancouver, Canada
Associated Press

Gold: 9

Silver: 15

Bronze: 13

Total: 37

Did you know: In 2010, United States athletes took home a record 37 medals. Their victory was doubly sweet, because it also broke a 78-year medal-count drought as the Americans took home more medals than any other country.

>> The United States' USA-1, with Steven Holcomb, Justin Olsen, Steve Mesler, and Curtis Tomasevicz, start the third run during the men's four-man bobsled final competition at the Vancouver 2010 Olympics in Whistler, British Columbia, Saturday, Feb. 27, 2010.

Total
Associated Press

Gold: 87

Silver: 95

Bronze: 71

Total: 253

>> Gold, left, silver, center, and bronze medals are displayed for journalists during a presentation of Sochi 2014 Olympic medals at the SportAccord International Convention in St. Petersburg, Russia, Thursday, May 30, 2013.