Snowboarding debuted as an official discipline. Curling returned to the Olympic Winter programme, this time with a tournament for both men and women.
For the first time, the men’s ice hockey tournament was opened to all professionals, and women’s ice hockey was introduced to the Olympic programme. The inspired team from the Czech Republic scored a surprise victory.
Björn Dählie of Norway won three gold medals in Nordic skiing to become the first athlete to earn eight career Winter Olympic gold medals and 12 medals in all. Tara Lipinski of the US won the women’s figure skating title to become, at 15, the youngest champion in an individual event at the Olympic Winter Games.
The spirit of the Games was exemplified by Alpine skier Hermann Maier of Austria. He took a spectacular fall in the downhill, flying off the slope at 120km/h and remaining air-bound for more than 3.5 seconds. He courageously recovered to earn gold medals in both the super-G and the giant slalom.
Athletes 2,176 (787 women, 1,389 men)
Media 8, 329 (2,586 written press, 5,743 broadcasters)