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17th Olympic Winter Games: Lillehammer 1994
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Date: 12-27 February 1994
NOCs (Nations): 67
Athletes: 1,737 (522 women, 1, 215 men)
Sports: 6
Events: 61
Volunteers: 9,054
Media: 6,633 (2,615 written press, 4,018 broadcasters)

In 1986 the IOC voted to change the schedule of the Olympic Games so that the Summer and Winter Games would be held in different years. To adjust to this new schedule, the 17th Winter Games were held in Lillehammer in 1994, the only time that two Games have been staged two years apart. The 1994 Games were extremely well organised and the Norwegian host's natural love of winter sports added a refreshing purity of spirit. Local hero Johann Koss won three speed skating events and set a world record in every one. Vreni Schneider won a complete set of medals in Alpine skiing and Manuela Di Centa earned medals in all five cross-country events. Myriam Bedard won both women's individual biathlon races. Gustav Weder and Donat Acklin became the first repeat winners of the two-man bobsled. Pairs skaters Ekaterina Gordeeva and Sergei Grinkov returned to repeat their Olympic victory of 1988.

A total of 28 Chinese athletes competed in the Lillehammer Winter Olympic 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.

(COC Website   July 8, 2004)

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