1998 Winter Olympics

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The 1998 Winter Olympics, officially the XVIII Olympic Winter Games, was a winter multi-sport event celebrated from 7 to 22 February 1998 in Nagano, Japan. Seventy-two nations and 2,176 participans contested in seven sports and 72 events at 15 venues. The games saw the introduction of Women's ice hockey, curling and snowboarding. National Hockey League players were allowed to participate in the Men's ice hockey.

The host was selected in 1992 preference to Salt Lake City, Östersund, Jaca and Aosta. They were the third Olympic Games and second winter Olympics to be held in Japan, after the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo and the 1972 Winter Olympics in Sapporo. The games were succeeded by the 1998 Winter Paralympics from 5 to 14 March.

Bjørn Dæhlie won three gold medals in cross-country skiing, making him the most-winning Winter Olympic competior ever. Alpine skier Hermann Maier survived a fall in the downhill and went on to gold in the super-G and giant slalom. Netherlands won five of the ten speed skating events, including two each by Gianni Romme and Marianne Timmer. Canada beat Denmark in the women's curling final, securing the latter their first Winter Olympic medal ever.

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Host city selection

Other candidate cities for the 1998 Olympics were Aosta, Italy; Jaca, Spain; Östersund, Sweden; and Salt Lake City, United States. The host city selection was held in Birmingham, United Kingdom, on June 15, 1991, at the 97th IOC session. Nagano prevailed over Salt Lake City by just 4 votes. Nagano officials said the outcome was decided by the "Atlanta factor", in which they claim the reason they won the vote over Salt Lake City was because the 1996 Summer Olympics were already scheduled to be in the United States in Atlanta just two years prior to these games.[citation needed]

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