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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 Lillehammer Games were held in 1994, the only time that two winter Games have been staged two years apart.
Local hero Johann Olav Koss won three speed skating events and set a world record in every one. Vreni Schneider of Switzerland won a complete set of medals in Alpine skiing, and Manuela Di Centa of Italy earned medals in all five cross-country events. The women’s biathlon was dominated by Myriam Bédard of Canada, who won both individual races.
Swiss pair Gustav Weder and Donat Acklin became the first repeat winners of the two-man bobsleigh. Russian pairs skaters Ekaterina Gordeeva and Sergei Grinkov returned to repeat their Olympic victory of 1988. American Bonnie Blair made history by becoming the first woman to win three consecutive speed-skating titles in the 500m and to win a second 500m/1000m double.
Although the Games took place during the Bosnian War, the Bosnia and Herzegovina four-man bob team consisted of one Croatian, two Bosnians and a Serbian - the best possible example of the Olympic spirit at the worst of times.
Athletes: 1,737 (522 women and 1215 men)
Media: 6,633 (2,615 written press, 4,018 broadcasters)
Since 1994, the Olympic Winter Games and the Games of the Olympiad are held alternately every two years.
Based on respect for the environment, these Games were baptised the "White-Green Games" by President Samaranch.
The composition of the Bosnia and Herzegovina four-man bob team was: one Croatian, two Bosnians and a Serbian - the best possible example of the Olympic spirit at the worst of times.
In memory of Sarajevo: "Our message is stronger than ever: Please stop the fighting. Stop the killing. Drop your guns."
Lillehammer, 12 February 1994. Opening Ceremony in Lysgaardsbakkene. The "vetters ».
Official opening of the Games by:
His Majesty King Harald V
Lighting of the Olympic Flame by:
Olympic Oath by:
Vegard Ulvang (cross country skiing)
Officials' Oath by:
Kari Karing (figure skating)
It is composed of a stylized aurora borealis (Northern lights), the five Olympic rings, snow crystals and the title "Lillehammer '94". The emblem is a development of the aurora borealis symbol used during the candidature phase. It was inspired by contact with nature, the sky and snow. The aurora borealis is a natural phenomenon due to the northerly position of Norway. It has associations of power, great tension and dramatic spectacle. The main colours of the emblem are cobalt blue and white.
Ingjerd Hanevold, who created the medals, says she designed them to be "humorous, sober and recognizable" and that their design "is Norwegian through and through". Her innovative surprise was to use granite - sparagmite to be precise - as the basic material. "I tried to create something that reflects what Norwegians like and appreciate, i.e. nature. There is plenty of granite in our country, and it is beautiful in its simplicity. I think that, thanks to the other components - gold, silver and bronze - the medals are very stylish."
The mascots' names refer to historical figures from the 13th century whose destiny is closely linked to Norway and the Lillehammer region: Håkon IV Håkonson, King of Norway from 1217 to 1263, and Princess Kristin, his aunt.
Number of torchbearers: unknown
Total distance: around 6 000 km
Countries crossed: Greece, Germany, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, and Norway
The posters, produced following the rules of the Lillehammer Games design programme, were meant to incorporate three main aspects : Norwegian originality and particularity, human contact and contact between mankind and nature. The design programme was the main tool in achieving the goal of presenting a unified image. It featured basic visual elements which could be combined in different ways to serve as a basis for recognition and identification : the Lillehammer emblem, the pictograms, the pictographic emblems, the crystal theme, colours, typography and the mascots.
The “Official report of the XVII Olympic Winter Games Lillehammer 1994” was innovative in more ways than just its title. Published in 1995 by LOOC, it is composed of a small-format set in four volumes, published in three separate versions: French, English and Norwegian. Each set also contains a CD-ROM containing electronic versions of all the texts, as well as video clips.