1994 Winter Olympics

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The 1994 Winter Olympics, officially known as the XVII Olympic Winter Games, was a winter multi-sport event celebrated from 12 to 27 February 1994 in and around Lillehammer, Norway. The Lillehammer bid failed to win the bid for the 1992 event. Lillehammer was awarded the games in 1988, after having beat Anchorage, United States; Östersund, Sweden; and Sofia, Bulgaria. The games were the first to be held in a different year than the Summer Olympics, the only to be held two years after the previous games, and the last to be held in a small town. The games were the second hosted in Norway, and the second Winter Olympics in the Nordic Countries, after the 1952 Winter Olympics in Oslo.

While many events took place in Lillehammer, skating took place in Hamar, some ice hockey matches were placed in Gjøvik, while Alpine skiing was held in Øyer and Ringebu. Sixty-seven countries and 1,737 athletes participated in six sports and sixty-one events. Fourteen countries made their debut in the Winter Olympics, of which nine were former Soviet republics. The games also saw the introduction of stricter qualifying rules, reducing the number of under-performing participants from warm-weather countries. New events were two new distances in short track speed skating and aerials, while speed skating was moved indoors. Nearly two million people spectated the games, which were the first to have the Olympic truce in effect. The games were succeeded by the 1994 Paralympics from 10 to 19 March.

Manuela Di Centa and Lyubov Yegorova dominated women's cross-country skiing, taking five and four medals, respectively. A crowd of over 100,000 saw Italy beat Norway by 0.4 seconds on the men's 4 x 10 km relay. Vreni Schneider won a complete set of medals in Alpine skiing, while Norway took a medal sweep in the men's combined. Nancy Kerrigan had before the games been clubbed by Tonya Harding's associate, but manged to take silver in ladies' singles. Johann Olav Koss won three speed skating events, while 13-year-old Kim Yoon-Mi became the youngest-ever Olympic gold medalist. Sweden beat Canada in a dramatic penalty shootout in the ice hockey final. With 11 gold medals, Russia won the most events, while with 26, Norway collected the most medals overall.

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