17. Olympic Winter Games
Olympic Medals in the games of 1994 in Lillehammer
183 Medals in 12 Sports in 61 Events
Already two years after the last winter games in Albertville, the next ones took place in Lillehammer, Norway from February 12th to 27th. This time, the period between the Olympic Games, the Olympics had only lasted two years instead of the usual four. From now on, the summer and winter games should take place separately every two years, with the summer games remaining unchanged at four-year intervals since the first Olympic Games in Athens in 1896. The four-year Olympics of the Winter Games should start again from 1994. The reason for this was that the costs for the television companies for winter and summer games in the same year became too high and that the effort and organization of the Olympic Games became more and more demanding.
They had learned from the environmental sins and the giganticism of the 1992 Winter Games in Albertville. The Lillehammer games had a completely different look. The enthusiastic crowd at the competitions was particularly impressive. The focus was on sustainability and closeness to nature. No tree was felled too much, felled trees were replanted by schoolchildren elsewhere in Norway. The Olympic facilities are still used today. The houses of the Olympic Village were partially dismantled after the games and rebuilt in other places in Norway for new use. Sarajevo, the host city of the 1984 Winter Olympics, was badly damaged after the Bosnian War, and the Lillehammer Olympic Aid charity donated 66 million crowns.
For the first time since 1912, the state of Russia took part in the Olympic Games again. In the medal statistics there was a three-way battle which Russia finally won ahead of Norway and Germany. Italy took fourth place and achieved the best result at winter games with twenty medals, seven of them in gold. Since there was no longer a United team, Armenia, Georgia, Russia, Urkaine and Belarus competed separately. Czechoslovakia also fell apart, the Czech Republic and Slovakia were separate teams. Since Yugoslavia no longer existed, participants from Bosnia and Herzegovina and Moldova competed in the Olympic Games for the first time.
The home country's stars were the speed skater Johann Olav Koss and the cross-country skier Bjørn Dæhlie. The Russian cross-country skier Lyubov Yegorova was even more successful. The following remains in memory. After her Olympic victory, the Austrian speed skater Emese Hunyady dances over 1,500m with the national flag waltz on the ice rink. Ten years after their outstanding victory in Sarajevo, the British ice dancing couple Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean competed again and won the bronze medal. Chinese short tracker Zhang Yanmei won silver over 500m. However, as Cathy Turner, the winner of the United States, felt that she was hampered during the competition, she left the podium while playing the American anthem and threw away her bouquet of flowers. She later apologized for her behavior, the action had no consequences. And there was another crime.
A month before the games, ex-figure skater Tonya Harding hired an assassin with an iron bar to smash her compatriot and competitor Nancy Kerrigan's knees. She was slightly injured, but was unable to take part in the trials, the American qualifiers. The investigators quickly tracked down the perpetrators. Nancy Kerrigan legally enforced her participation in the games. The media had their story: Beauty (Nancy Kerrigan) and the Beast (Tonya Harding). Everyone expected that this duel would culminate on ice. However, due to the negative reports about her person, Tonya Harding was unable to reach her top form and only finished eighth. For Nancy Kerrigan, the Hollywood-ready Olympic victory should be the culmination as the victim of the attack. But the sixteen-year-old Ukrainian Oskana Bajul ran the best freestyle and became Olympic champion, silver went to Kerrigan. After the games there was a process. Tonja Harding was sentenced to three years in prison, 500 hours of community service, and a $ 160,000 fine for obstructing the investigation. She was also banned for life. Her ex-husband was given a two-year sentence, the assassins four years.