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XVIII Olympic Winter Games
XVIII Olympic Winter Games

The emblem represents a flower, with each petal
representing an athlete practicing a different winter sport.
It can also be seen as a snowflake,
thus the name “Snowflower” was given to it.
Host city Nagano, Japan
Nations participating 72
Athletes participating 2176 (1389 men, 787 women)
Events 72 in 7 sports
Opening ceremony February 7
Closing ceremony February 22
Officially opened by HIM Emperor Akihito
Athlete's Oath Kenji Ogiwara
Judge's Oath Junko Hiramatsu
Olympic Torch Midori Ito
Stadium Olympic Stadium

The 1998 Winter Olympics, officially known as the XVIII Olympic Winter Games, were a winter multi-sport event which was celebrated in 1998 in Nagano, Japan. These Games marked the return of the Winter Olympics to Japan since the 1972 Winter Olympics, when the games were held in Sapporo. Overall this was the third Olympic Games (summer or winter) to be held in Japan with the first being the 1964 Summer Olympics held in Tokyo.



Other candidate cities for the 1998 Olympics were Aosta, Italy; Jaca, Spain; Östersund, Sweden; and Salt Lake City, United States. The host city selection was held in Birmingham, United Kingdom on June 15, 1991 at the 97th IOC Session. Nagano prevailed over Salt Lake City by just 4 votes. Nagano officials said the outcome was decided by the "Atlanta factor," in which they claim the reason they won the vote over Salt Lake City was because the 1996 Summer Olympics were already scheduled to be in the United States in Atlanta just two years prior to these games. Information below comes from the International Olympic Committee Vote History web page.

1998 Winter Olympics Bidding Results
City NOC Name Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Round 5
Nagano  Japan 21 - 30 36 46
Salt Lake City  United States 15 59 27 29 42
Östersund  Sweden 18 - 25 23 -
Jaca  Spain 19 - 5 - -
Aosta  Italy 15 29 - - -


  • Women's ice hockey was contested at the Olympic Games for the first time ever, and the U.S. beat the Canadians 3-1 for the gold medal. U.S. went undefeated in the women's tournament, while the men had just a single win over Belarus and lost every other game. Czech Republic faced Russia for the men's gold medal, while Finland won both the men's and women's bronze medals for ice hockey.
  • Cross-country skier Bjørn Dæhlie of Norway won three gold medals in Nordic skiing to become the first winter Olympian to earn eight career gold medals and twelve total medals.
  • Also, after Bjorn finished 1st in the 10 km Cross Country classic event, waited over 20 minutes for the last place finished, Philip Boit of Kenya, and met him at the finish line with a hug and congratulations, in a great display of sportsmanship
  • Curling returned as an official sport, after having been demoted to a demonstration event after the inaugural Winter Games in Chamonix in 1924
  • Snowboarding debuted as an official sport.
  • Players from the NHL were able to compete in men's ice hockey due to a three week suspension of the NHL season.
  • Tara Lipinski, 15, narrowly beat Michelle Kwan in women's figure skating to become the youngest champion in an individual event in the history of the Winter Olympics.
  • Alpine skier Hermann Maier (Austria) survived a fall in the downhill and went on to gold in the super-g and giant slalom.
  • Speed skaters Gianni Romme and Marianne Timmer won two gold medals each for the Netherlands; 5 out of 10 titles in speed skating went to the Netherlands.
  • Snowboarder Ross Rebagliati (Canada) won the gold medal, after initially being disqualified for testing positive for marijuana.
  • Azerbaijan, Kenya, the Republic of Macedonia, Uruguay, and Venezuela made their first appearance at these Olympic Winter Games.
  • Denmark won their first winter Olympic medal in these games and only one as of 2006, when they won a silver medal in the women's curling event
  • Japanese ski jumper Masahiko Harada had a very poor jump in the first round, but in the second round jumped a record setting 137 meters.

Medals awarded

See the medal winners, ordered by sport:








Medal count

The silver, gold and bronze medals

(Host nation is highlighted.)

 Rank  Nation Gold Silver Bronze Total
1 Germany 12 9 8 29
2 Norway 10 10 5 25
3 Russia 9 6 3 18
4 Canada 6 5 4 15
5 United States 6 3 4 13
6 Netherlands 5 4 2 11
7 Japan 5 1 4 10
8 Austria 3 5 9 17
9 South Korea 3 1 2 6
10 Italy 2 6 2 10

Participating NOCs

72 nations participated in the 1998 Winter Olympic Games. The nations Azerbaijan, Kenya, Macedonia, Uruguay, and Venezuela participated in their first Winter Olympic Games.

Articles about Nagano Winter Olympics by nation:

Participating nations

Media coverage

The games were covered by the following broadcasters:

See also

External links

Preceded by
Winter Olympics

XVIII Olympic Winter Games (1998)
Succeeded by
Salt Lake City

Simple English

The 1998 Winter Olympics, officially known as the XVIII Olympic Winter Games, were celebrated in 1998 in Nagano, Japan. Other possible host cities were Aosta, Italy; Jaca, Spain; Östersund, Sweden; and Salt Lake City, USA. The selection was held in Birmingham, United Kingdom in 1991.

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Olympic Games
Summer Games: 1896, 1900, 1904, 1906, 1908, 1912, (1916), 1920, 1924, 1928, 1932, 1936, (1940), (1944), 1948, 1952, 1956, 1960, 1964, 1968, 1972, 1976, 1980, 1984, 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012, 2016, 2020, 2024, 2028
Winter Games: 1924, 1928, 1932, 1936, (1940), (1944), 1948, 1952, 1956, 1960, 1964, 1968, 1972, 1976, 1980, 1984, 1988, 1992, 1994, 1998, 2002, 2006, 2010, 2014, 2018, 2022
Athens 2004Turin 2006Beijing 2008Vancouver 2010London 2012Sochi 2014Rio 2016

Games in italics will be held in the future, and those in (brackets) were cancelled because of war. See also: Ancient Olympic Games

Youth Olympic Games
Summer Games:2010, 2014, 2018
Winter Games:2012, 2016
Singapore 2010Innsbruck 2012Nanjing 2014

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