The 1992 Winter Olympics, officially known as the XVI Olympic Winter Games, were a winter multi-sport event which was staged in 1992 in Albertville, France. Other candidate cities were Anchorage, USA; Berchtesgaden, Germany; Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy; Lillehammer, Norway; Falun, Sweden; and Sofia, Bulgaria.
These were the last Winter Games to be staged in the same year as the Summer Games. They were also the first Games where the Winter Paralympics and the Winter Olympics were held at the same site. The opening ceremony was choregraphed by Philippe Découflé and was a show in itself. The information below comes from the International Olympic Committee Vote History web page.
- Freestyle skiing event of moguls and short-track speedskating made their debuts as medal disciplines, as did women's biathlon.
- Norwegian skiers won every male cross-country skiing race. Bjørn Dæhlie and Vegard Ulvang each won three gold medals.
- Speedskater Bonnie Blair won both the 500 and 1,000 m events; Gunda Niemann took both of the longest races.
- Ski jumper Toni Nieminen, 16, became the youngest male gold medalist of a Winter Olympic event.
- Italian alpine skier Alberto Tomba won the Giant Slalom for the second time in a row.
- Austrian alpine skier Petra Kronberger won both the combined event and the slalom.
- Kim Kihoon earned gold medals in both men's short-track events.
- Annelise Coberger of New Zealand wins the southern hemisphere's first Winter Olympic medal—a silver in the women's slalom.
- Kristi Yamaguchi and Midori Ito of the United States and Japan respectively, became the first persons of Asian descent to win Olympic medals in figure skating.
See the medal winners, ordered by sport:
- Curling - Competed for the first time since 1924. It became a regular discipline in 1998.
- Freestyle skiing - While moguls skiing was an official discipline, aerials and ski ballet were still considered as demonstration events.
- Speed skiing - The sport has not made a return to the Winter Olympics program. A tragic death occurred during a training session.
A total of 64 nations sent athletes to compete in these Games. With the collapse of the Soviet Union
, six states formed a Unified Team
, while the Baltic States
had their own teams. Croatia
, who were making their first appearance at the Winter Olympics, competed as independent nations after leaving Yugoslavia
. The UN sanctions against Yugoslavia that saw them miss the 1992 Summer Olympics
had yet to come into effect.
The German team won most medals in the games, with a total of 10 gold medals, 10 silver and 6 bronze. It was the first time since the 1936 Winter Olympics
that Germany competed with a unified team after the reunification
Making their debuts were Algeria, Bermuda, Brazil, Honduras, Ireland and Swaziland. It would also be the only appearance for both Honduras and Swaziland in Winter Olympics to date.
The 1992 Games were as of today the last ones where the speed skating venue was outdoors.
(Host nation is highlighted.
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(¹ combined team with athletes from 6 nations of the Commonwealth of Independent States; team only appeared in these Winter Olympics)