18th Olympic Winter Games: Nagano 1998
Updated: 2004-06-23 14:53
Date: 7-22 February 1998
NOCs (Nations): 72
Athletes: 2,176 (787 women, 1,389 men)
Media: 8,329 (2,586 written press, 5,743 broadcasters)
In 1998 the Winter Olympic Games returned to Japan after 26 years.
Snowboarding and curling debuted as official sports and womenĄŻs ice hockey was
introduced to the Olympic programme. For the first time, the menĄŻs ice hockey
tournament was opened to all professionals. The inspired team from the Czech
Republic scored a surprise victory. Bj?rn D?hlie won three gold medals in Nordic
skiing to become the first winter athlete to earn eight career gold medals and
twelve total medals. Tara Lipinski won the womenĄŻs figure skating title to
become, at 15, the youngest champion in an individual event in the history of
the Winter Olympics. The spirit of the Games was exemplified by Alpine skier
Hermann Maier. Maier survived a spectacular fall in the downhill, recovered and
earned gold medals in both the super-G and the giant slalom.
With a record entry of 60 athletes to the Games in Nagano, Japan, China
strived for its first gold medal but finished with six silvers and two bronzes.
Chinese short-track speed skaters reaped five silvers and one bronze as Chen Lu
took home another bronze medal.