1992 Winter Olympics

  (Redirected from 1992 Albertville Olympics)

The 1992 Winter Olympics, officially known as the XVI Olympic Winter Games (French: Les XVIes Jeux olympiques d'hiver), were a winter multi-sport event celebrated from 8 to 23 February 1992 in Albertville, France. They were the last Winter Olympics to be held the same year as the Summer Olympics,[2][3] and the first where the Winter Paralympics were held at the same site. Albertville was selected as host in 1986, beating Sofia, Falun, Lillehammer, Cortina d'Ampezzo, Anchorage and Berchtesgaden. The games were the third Winter Olympics held in France, after Chamonix in 1924 and Grenoble in 1968, and the fifth Olympics overall in the country.

XVI Olympic Winter Games
1992 Winter Olympics logo.svg
Emblem of the 1992 Winter Olympics[a]
Host cityAlbertville, France
MottoSavoie en Fête
(English: Party in Savoie)[1]
Athletes1,801 (1313 men, 488 women)
Events57 in 6 sports (12 disciplines)
Opening8 February
Closing23 February
Opened by
StadiumThéâtre des Cérémonies
Calgary 1988 Lillehammer 1994
Seoul 1988 Barcelona 1992
1992 Winter Olympics

Only figure skating, short track speed skating, speed skating and the opening and closing ceremonies took place in Albertville, while the rest of the events took place in the villages of Courchevel, La Plagne, Les Arcs, Les Menuires, Les Saisies, Méribel, Pralognan-la-Vanoise, Tignes and Val d'Isère. Sixty-four nations with 1,801 athletes participated in the games, including the Unified Team which represented non-Baltic former Soviet republics. Germany participated as a unified team following reunification in 1990, while five newly independent European countries debuted, as did three "warm-weather" countries. Short track speed skating, freestyle skiing and women's biathlon made their debut as an Olympic sports. The games were the last Winter Games until 2026 to have demonstration sports, consisting of curling, aerials and ski ballet and speed skiing. It was the last Olympics to have an outdoor speed skating rink,as from 1994 the sport events could only be held indoor rink. The games were succeeded by the 1992 Winter Paralympics from 25 March to 1 April.

Norwegians won every male cross-country skiing race, with Bjørn Dæhlie and Vegard Ulvang both collecting three gold. Ski jumper Toni Nieminen, 16, became the youngest male gold medalist of a Winter Olympic event. Petra Kronberger won both the combined event and the slalom, while Bonnie Blair won both the 500 m and 1000 m speed skating events and Gunda Niemann took both of the longest races.Three National Olympic Committees won a medal for the first time at the Winter Olympics (interestingly, these are bathed by the Pacific Ocean and also in one of the sports that were making their debut at the Games, short track speed skating.) Kim Ki-hoon's gold medal in the short track speed skating 1000 meters was the first medal the first winter olympic medal of any color for South Korea.This also happened with Ye Qiaobo from China who also won country's first medal in the Winter Olympics, a silver in women's 500 metres speed skating. Annelise Coberger from New Zealand also made history to be the first Oceanian athlete in the history of the Winter Olympics to win a medal on women's alpine skiing slalom speed skating.Her feat had even greater repercussions, as she was also the first athlete from the southern hemisphere to climb on a podium at the Winter Games.Even with these historical facts, the games were marked by a fatality, the death of the Swiss speed skier Nicolas Bochatay on the penultimate day of the games after crashing on one of the tractors that cleaned the test track during his training.CBS became the telecast provider for the Winter Games in the United States, after a six-Olympics run with the American Broadcasting Company.

Host city selectionEdit

Mexican sculptor Abel Ramírez Águilar working on his gold medal piece in snow sculpture competition related to the Games

The vote to select the host city of the 1992 Winter Olympics was conducted on 17 October 1986, in Lausanne, Switzerland, at the 91st IOC Session. A record of seven different locales bid for these Games.[4]

1992 Winter Olympics bidding results[5]
City Country Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Run-off Round 5
Albertville   France 19 26 29 42 51
Sofia   Bulgaria 25 25 28 24 25
Falun   Sweden 10 11 11 11 41 9
Lillehammer   Norway 10 11 9 11 40
Cortina d'Ampezzo   Italy 7 6 7
Anchorage   United States 7 5
Berchtesgaden   West Germany 6

Opening ceremonyEdit


The 1992 Olympic Winter Games marked the last time both the Winter and Summer games were held in the same year. The 1992 Olympics also marks the last time France hosted the Olympics.The games will return to France in 2024, when Paris will became the second city in history to host the Summer Olympics three times.

Cost and cost overrunEdit

The Oxford Olympics Study established the outturn cost of the Albertville 1992 Winter Olympics at US$2.0 billion in 2015-dollars and cost overrun at 137% in real terms.[6] This includes sports-related costs only, that is, (i) operational costs incurred by the organizing committee for the purpose of staging the Games, e.g., expenditures for technology, transportation, workforce, administration, security, catering, ceremonies, and medical services, and (ii) direct capital costs incurred by the host city and country or private investors to build, e.g., the competition venues, the Olympic village, international broadcast center, and media and press center, which are required to host the Games. Indirect capital costs are not included, such as for road, rail, or airport infrastructure, or for hotel upgrades or other business investment incurred in preparation for the Games but not directly related to staging the Games. The cost and cost overrun for Albertville 1992 compares with costs of US$2.5 billion and a cost overrun of 13% for Vancouver 2010, and costs of US$51 billion and a cost overrun of 289% for Sochi 2014,[7] the latter being the most costly Olympics to date. Average cost for Winter Games since 1960 is US$3.1 billion, average cost overrun is 142%.


Magique (Magic) was the Olympic mascot of these Games, and was a little imp in the shape of a star and a cube. It was created by Philippe Mairesse and was presented in 1989. His star shape symbolises dreams and imagination. His colours come from the French flag, with a red hat and a blue costume.

Notable eventsEdit

  • Freestyle skiing moguls, short-track speedskating and women's biathlon made their debuts as medal disciplines.
  • Norwegian skiers won every male cross-country skiing race. Bjørn Dæhlie and Vegard Ulvang each won three gold medals.
  • Speedskater Bonnie Blair won both the 500 and 1,000 m events; Gunda Niemann took both of the longest races.
  • Ski jumper Toni Nieminen, 16, became the youngest male gold medalist of a Winter Olympic event.
  • Italian alpine skier Alberto Tomba won the Giant Slalom for the second time in a row.
  • Austrian alpine skier Petra Kronberger won both the combined event and the slalom.
  • Kim Kihoon earned gold medals in both men's short-track inaugural events on the Olympics,he also became the first South Korean to win a medal at the Winter Games.
  • Ye Qiaobo of China won the country's first medal in the Winter Olympics, a silver in women's 500 metres speed skating (she added another silver in 1000 metres).
  • Annelise Coberger of New Zealand was the first person of Oceania and the southern hemisphere to win an Winter Olympic Medal.
  • Kristi Yamaguchi of the United States and Midori Ito of Japan became the first persons of Asian descent to win Olympic medals in figure skating.
  • Midori Ito became the first woman to land a triple Axel in Olympic competition.
  • The Swiss speed skier Nicolas Bochatay died on the morning of the penultimate day of the Games. of the speed-skiing finals, when he collided with a snow-grooming vehicle while skiing on a public slope outside the racing area.


There were 57 events contested in 6 sports (12 disciplines). See the medal winners, ordered by sport:

Demonstration sportsEdit

This was the final time demonstration events were included in the Winter Olympics programme.Of the 8 events that were under evaluation, 4 received the endorsement to be included in an official form in future editions of the Games (the curling tournaments and the aerials events on the freestyle skiing) The other four events (speed skiing and skiing ballet events on the freestyle skiing) are reject and have never since returned.

  • Curling –It was an official sport in the Olympic program in 1924 and since then never returned as official sport, being a demonstration sport twice previously, in 1932 and 1988.There was a possibility of re-inclusion in Lillehammer 1994 but the return as an official sport was postponed to Nagano 1998.[8]
  • Freestyle skiing – As curling, four years earlier was a demonstration sport,Thus, the sport became part of the official program in this edition.But,only the moguls skiing was received this status, while aerials and ballet were still demonstration events.aerials turned an official event two years later,while ballet skiing would appear in the games for the last time, going into a progressive decline until the end of decade,losting the status as competitive discipline by the International Ski Federation in 2000.[9]
  • Speed skiing – Considered one of the most dangerous events in the sporting world, the event won a chance to be evaluated by the members of the International Olympic Committee and the FIS with the possibility of appearing in the program of one of the future editions. However, these possibilities have been canceled when a fatality happened on the penultimate day of the Games. The Swiss skier Nicolas Bochatay ran into one of the tractors that cleaned the competition area during training, dying immediately. According to reports at the time, the skier was at a speed of more than 110 km per hour and was unable to hear the warning siren issued by the event's organizers. Until today, his death is the subject of several controversies until today as speed skiing was not a part of the official program. After this incident, the sport was excluded from any evaluation for future additions to the Olympic program.[10]

Participating nationsEdit

A total of 64 nations sent athletes to compete in these Games. With the collapse of the Soviet Union, six states chose to form a Unified Team, while the Baltic States of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania had their own teams. As United Nations Security Council Resolution 757 began to take effect on 30 May 1992 (97 days after the closing ceremonies), yugoslav athletes were able to participate under their country's national symbols,and also suspended the activities of the Yugoslav Olympic Committee,making the country's athletes ineligible to compete on the 1992 Summer Olympics.Despite this, some of their athletes classified in individual sports have gained authorization to compete as Independent Olympic Participants (this also happened at the 1992 Summer Paralympics).Yugoslav athletes would only return to the Olympic Games in 1996 Summer Olympics,when only Serbia, Montenegro and Kosovo were still part of the country.

It was the first time since the 1964 Summer Olympics that Germany competed with a unified team,but this was the first time after the reunification.Seven National Olympic Committees sent delegations for the first time in history to the Winter Olympics: Algeria, Bermuda, Brazil,Honduras,Ireland,Swaziland,Croatia and Slovenia (who were making their first appearance at the Olympics in any type: winter or summer),just a few months of their respective declarations of independence from Yugoslavia.It should also be noted that until the 2018 Winter Olympics, this was the only participation of Swaziland and Honduras in an edition of the Winter Olympics.

Participating National Olympic Committees


The 1992 Games are (as of today) the last ones where the speed skating venue was outdoors.

Medal tableEdit

(Host nation is highlighted.)

1  Germany1010626
2  Unified Team¹96823
3  Norway96520
4  Austria67821
5  United States54211
6  Italy46414
7  France3519
8  Finland3137
9  Canada2327
10  South Korea2114
Totals (10 nations)534940142

(¹ combined team with athletes from 6 nations of the Commonwealth of Independent States; team only appeared in these Winter Olympics)

Podium sweepsEdit

Date Sport Event NOC Gold Silver Bronze
10 February Cross-country skiing Men's 30 kilometre classical   Norway Vegard Ulvang Bjørn Dæhlie Terje Langli
17 February Speed skating Women's 5000 metres   Germany Gunda Niemann-Kleemann Heike Warnicke Claudia Pechstein

See alsoEdit



  1. ^ The emblem is the flag of Savoy region in the shape of the Olympic flame, dancing above stripes representing the flag of France.


  1. ^ "Slogans", The Olympic Design, 22 September 2019
  2. ^ "Albertville 1992". olympic.org. Archived from the original on 7 January 2014. Retrieved 12 March 2010.
  3. ^ "The Olympic Winter Games Factsheet" (PDF). International Olympic Committee. Retrieved 5 August 2012.
  4. ^ IOC Vote History
  5. ^ "Past Olympic host city election results". GamesBids. Archived from the original on 24 January 2011. Retrieved 17 March 2011.
  6. ^ Flyvbjerg, Bent; Stewart, Allison; Budzier, Alexander (2016). The Oxford Olympics Study 2016: Cost and Cost Overrun at the Games. Oxford: Saïd Business School Working Papers (Oxford: University of Oxford). pp. 9–13. SSRN 2804554.
  7. ^ "Sochi 2014: the costliest Olympics yet but where has all the money gone?". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 February 2014.
  8. ^ "OL-ishockey på Lillehammer og GJøvik" (in Norwegian). Norwegian News Agency. 10 October 1990.
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 20 October 2012. Retrieved 17 June 2020.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  10. ^ Usborne, Simon (9 February 2018). "Speed skiing: too fast for the Olympics". Financial Times. Retrieved 29 October 2019.

External linksEdit

Preceded by
Winter Olympics

XVI Olympic Winter Games (1992)
Succeeded by