In 1992, the Summer and Winter Olympics took place in the same year for the last time. The winter spectacle took place from 8th to 23rd February 1992 in Albertville, this time with participants from an independent Slovenia for the first time.
Time and Place: Albertville (france); 8 - 23 February 1992
Participation: 57 countries, 1801 athletes (1313 men, 488 women)
Number of sports: 10 sports, 64 events
Number of Slovenian athletes: 25
Fire lit by: Michel Platini (football) and François-Cyrille Grange (boy from the Savoy Alps)
Games opened by: Francois Mitterrand (President of France)
Olympic oath: Surya Bonaly (figure skater)
Trivia from the Albertville 1992 Winter Olympic Games
As many as 64 countries took part in the third Olympics to be hosted by France. Along with Croatia, the Baltic states and unified Germany, independent Slovenia presented itself for the first time at the opening ceremony. Athletes from the former Soviet Union (with the exception of the Baltic triplet) this time competed under the Unified Team flag. The Olympic program was enriched by freestyle skiing (moguls), short track speed skating and women's biathlon.
Substantial distances between venues created less opportunities for contact among athletes. Yet socialization and friendship were one of the key concepts of the Olympic movement. The Games also unsettled nature conservationists as many construction projects completely disregarded the concepts of eco-friendliness.
The sports venues were ruled by the unified German team, the Unified Russian Team and the Norwegians. The latter dominated cross country skiing with Vegard Ulvang and Bjorn Daehlie who begun his Olympic fairytale in Albertville. The Norwegian went on to win 12 medals between 1992 and 1998, sight of those gold. Another hero of the games was Russian cross country skier Lyubov Yegorova, triple champion and double vice-champion. A new Olympic gold was won by Alberto Tomba and Austrian Petra Kronberger led the field in the women's competition. Notable performances included those by German biathlete Mark Kirchner and Finnish ski jumper Toni Nieminen.