Since 1980 China has participated in seven Olympic Winter Games, winning 2 golds, 12 silvers and 8 bronzes. In 1988, Chinese short-track speed skater Li Yan claimed 1 gold and 2 bronzes at the Calgary Games, where short-track speedskating was a demonstration sport. At the Salt Lake City Winter Games in 2002, 26-year-old short-track speed skater Yang Yang (A) struck golds in the women's 500m and 1000m to become China's first-ever Winter Olympic gold medallist...
China made its debut at the Lake Placid Winter Olympic Games in 1980, sending 28 athletes to compete in speed skating, figure skating, cross-country skiing, alpine skiing and biathlon. Wang Guizhen finished 18th in the alpine skiing women's slalom, featuring China's best results at the Games.
In 1984, thirty-seven Chinese athletes took part in the Sarajevo Winter Olympics, during which Jin Xuefei and Wang Guizhen finished 19th and 20th respectively in the alpine skiing women's slalom.
In 1988, Chinese short-track speed skater Li Yan claimed gold medal in the women's 1,000m and bronze medals in the 500m and 1,500m at the 15th Winter Olympic Games in Calgary, Canada, where short-track speed skating was a demonstration sport.
The 1992 Albertville Winter Olympics were the last Winter Games to be staged in the same year as the Summer Games. Sending 33 athletes to the Albertville Winter Games, China saw Ye Qiaobo clinch the country's first winter Olympics medal, a silver, in women's 500m speed skating. Ye then took her second silver in the women's 1,000m speed skating and Li Yan added another silver for China in women's 500m short-track speed skating, which entered the official program for the first time.
When the 17th Winter Olympics were held in Lillehammer in 1994, a total of 28 Chinese athletes participated in the Games and took home three medals. Zhang Yanmei, who led most of the way but slipped with the finish line within sight in the women's 500m final, settled for a silver in short-track speed skating and veteran skater Ye Qiaobo struggled for a bronze medal in the women's 1,000m speed skating with bad injury to her left knee. Also at the Games, Chen Lu emerged as third-place finisher in the women's figure skating, winning China's first medal in Olympic figure skating.
With a record entry of 60 athletes to the 18th Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan in 1998, China strived for its first gold medal but finished with six silvers and two bronzes. Chinese short-track speed skaters reaped five silvers and one bronze as Chen Lu took home another bronze medal.
At the 19th Winter Games held in Salt Lake City, the United States in 2002, China sent a total of 72 athletes, collecting two golds, two silvers and four bronzes to place 13th in the medal tally. On February 16, 2002 Yang Yang (A) triumphed in the women's 500m short-track speedskating, bringing China its first gold medal at the Winter Olympics. Seven days later, she added one more gold for her team in the 1000m short-track speedskating finals to become China's first woman athlete to win two short-track individual events at one Olympics.
(China.org.cn and Chinese Olympic Committee)