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The 1998 Winter Olympics, officially known as the XVIII Olympic Winter Games, were a winter multi-sport event which was celebrated in 1998 in Nagano, Japanmarker. These Games marked the return of the Winter Olympics to Japan since the 1972 Winter Olympics, when the games were held in Sapporo. Overall this was the third Olympic Games (summer or winter) to be held in Japan with the first being the 1964 Summer Olympics held in Tokyomarker.


Other candidate cities for the 1998 Olympics were Aostamarker, Italymarker; Jacamarker, Spainmarker; Östersundmarker, Swedenmarker; and Salt Lake Citymarker, United Statesmarker. The host city selection was held in Birminghammarker, United Kingdommarker on June 15, 1991 at the 97th IOC Session. Nagano prevailed over Salt Lake City by just 4 votes and Nagano officials said the outcome was decided by the "Atlanta factor", in which they claim was the reason they won the vote over Salt Lake City was due to the fact that the 1996 Summer Olympics will be in the United States in Atlanta.Information below comes from the International Olympic Committee Vote History web page.

1998 Winter Olympics Bidding Results
City NOC Name Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Round 5
Nagano 21 - 30 36 46
Salt Lake Citymarker 15 59 27 29 42
Östersundmarker 18 - 25 23 -
Jacamarker 19 - 5 - -
Aostamarker 15 29 - - -


  • Women's ice hockey was contested at the Olympic Games for the first time ever, and the U.S.marker beat the Canadiansmarker 3-1 for the gold medal. U.S.marker went undefeated in the women's tournament, while the men had just a single win over Belarusmarker and lost every other game. Czech Republicmarker faced Russiamarker for the men's gold medal, while Finlandmarker won both the men's and women's bronze medals for ice hockey.
  • Cross-country skier Bjørn Dæhlie of Norwaymarker won three gold medals in Nordic skiing to become the first winter Olympian to earn eight career gold medals and twelve total medals.
  • Also, after Bjorn finished 1st in the 10 km Cross Country classic event, waited over 20 minutes for the last place finished, Philip Boit of Kenya, and met him at the finish line with a hug and congratulations, in a great display of sportsmanship
  • Curling returned as an official sport, after having been demoted to a demonstration event after the inaugural Winter Games in Chamonixmarker in 1924
  • Snowboarding debuted as an official sport.
  • Players from the NHL were able to compete in men's ice hockey due to a three week suspension of the NHL season.
  • Tara Lipinski, 15, narrowly beat Michelle Kwan in women's figure skating to become the youngest champion in an individual event in the history of the Winter Olympics.
  • Alpine skier Hermann Maier (Austriamarker) survived a fall in the downhill and went on to gold in the super-g and giant slalom.
  • Speed skaters Gianni Romme and Marianne Timmer won two gold medals each for the Netherlandsmarker; 5 out of 10 titles in speed skating went to the Netherlands.
  • Snowboarder Ross Rebagliati (Canadamarker) won the gold medal, after initially being disqualified for testing positive for marijuana.
  • Azerbaijanmarker, Kenyamarker, the Republic of Macedoniamarker, Uruguaymarker, and Venezuelamarker made their first appearance at these Olympic Winter Games.
  • Denmarkmarker won their first winter Olympic medal in these games and only one as of 2006, when they won a silver medal in the women's curling event
  • Japanese ski jumper Masahiko Harada had a very poor jump in the first round, but in the second round jumped a record setting 137 meters.

Medals awarded

See the medal winners, ordered by sport:








Medal count

The silver, gold and bronze medals
(Host nation is highlighted.)
1 12 9 8 29
2 10 10 5 25
3 9 6 3 18
4 6 5 4 15
5 6 3 4 13
6 5 4 2 11
7 5 1 4 10
8 3 5 9 17
9 3 1 2 6
10 2 6 2 10

Participating NOCs

72 nations participated in the 1998 Winter Olympic Games. The nations Azerbaijan, Kenya, Macedonia, Uruguay, and Venezuela participated in their first Winter Olympic Games.

Articles about Nagano Winter Olympics by nation:
Participating nations

Media coverage

The games were covered by the following broadcasters:

See also

External links

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