When the southern Norwegian town of Lillehammer was chosen to host the 1994 Olympic Winter Games, some doubted the wisdom of the decision. On the one hand, Norway boasted a fine winter sports tradition. But on the other hand, it was also the smallest country in history to host a Winter Games. With a tiny population of just 23,000, questions were raised about whether such a small town, which prided itself on its “village atmosphere”, could sustain such a large-scale international event.
Tirunesh Dibaba became the first women in history to retain the 10,000m crown, as Great Britain’s cyclists set the velodrome alight, and tennis legend Roger Federer guaranteed himself a first ever individual medal at the Games.