The Games saw the expansion of the Olympic programme to 78 events, including the return of skeleton and the introduction of women's bobsleigh. Athletes from a record 18 National Olympic Committees earned gold medals, including first-ever golds for China and Australia.
Samppa Lajunen of Finland became the first Nordic combined athlete to win three gold medals at one Games. He entered the 15km cross-country phase of the individual event in third place and easily made up ground to win the gold. In the team event, he anchored Finland to victory, then added another gold in the sprint.
By taking the silver medal in singles luge, Georg Hackl of Germany became the first person in Olympic history to earn a medal in the same individual event five times in a row. In the women’s bobsleigh, Vonetta Flowers of the US became the first black athlete to earn winter gold, while ice hockey player Jarome Iginla of Canada followed as the first black male winner.
Having never previously won a World Cup event, Swiss ski jumper Simon Ammann rose from obscurity to win the normal hill in a closely fought contest. Four days later, he proved victory was no fluke by storming to victory on the large hill with the best jump in each round.
Athletes 2,399 (886 women, 1,513)
Media 8,730 (2,661 written press, 6,069 broadcasters)