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19th Olympic Winter Games: Salt Lake City 2002

2004-03-27 12:20:00 COC Website

Date: 8-24 February 2002
NOCs (Nations): 77
Athletes: 2,399 (886 women, 1,513 men)
Sports: 7
Events: 78
Volunteers: 22,000
Media: 8,730 (2,661 written press, 6,069 broadcasters)

The Salt Lake City Olympic Winter Games saw the expansion of the Olympic programme to 78 events, including the return of skeleton and the introduction of women's bobsleigh. Athletes from a record 18 nations earned gold medals. Canadian teams won both the men's and women's ice hockey tournaments. Ole Einar Bjoerndalen earned gold medals in all four biathlon events and Samppa Lajunen in all three Nordic combined competitions. Alpine skier Janica Kostelic won three gold medals and one silver. Simon Ammann scored unexpected victories in both individual ski jump events. Speedskater Claudia Pechstein earned her third straight gold medal in the 5,000m race and also won at 3,000m. By taking the silver medal in singles luge, Georg Hackl became the first person in Olympic history to earn a medal in the same individual event five times in a row. Short track speedskater Yang Yang (A) became the first Chinese athlete to win a gold medal at the Winter Games. Competing in the women's bobsleigh, Vonetta Flowers became the first black athlete to earn winter gold, while ice hockey player Jarome Iginla followed as the first black male winner.

A total of 72 Chinese athletes participated in the 19th Olympic Winter Games held in Salt Lake City, the United States, collecting two golds, two silvers and four bronzes to place 13th in the Olympic medal tally. On February 16, 2002 Yang Yang (A) triumphed in the women's 500m short-track speedskating, bringing China its first gold medal at the Winter Olympics. Seven days later, she added one more gold for her team in the 1000m short-track speedskating finals to become China's first woman athlete to win two short-track individual events at one Olympics.

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