Date: 13-24 February 1980
NOCs (Nations): 37
Athletes: 1,072 athletes (232 women, 840 men)
The 1980 Winter Games, held in Lake Placid, New York, the United
States, were filled with impressive performances. The great Swedish
skier, Ingemar Stenmark, won both the giant slalom and the slalom.
Hanni Wenzel did the same in the women's races and her nation,
Liechtenstein, became the smallest country to produce an Olympic
champion. Ulrich Wehling won the Nordic combined for the third time
and pairs skater Irina Rodnina did the same in her event. In the
biathlon relay, Aleksandr Tikhonov earned his fourth straight gold
medal. Nikolay Zimyatov earned three gold medals in cross-country
skiing. In an unprecedented achievement, Eric Heiden of the United
States won all five speed skating races, from 500m all the way up
to 10,000m. Nonetheless, for the home crowd, the highlight was the
unexpected victory of the US ice hockey team.
China made its debut at the Lake Placid Winter Olympic Games,
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.
(COC Website July 8, 2004)