72 nations participated in the 1998 games. In particular, only athletes from South Africa and Kenya came from Africa. Traditionally, it’s less than half the states that send their teams to summer games. It is connected primarily with expensive training of athletes in many winter disciplines. For example, sleepers require construction of several types of trails. Plus, many states simply don’t have suitable weather conditions, making training even more costly.
5 countries sent their athletes to the games for the first time – Macedonia, Kenya, Uruguay, Azerbaijan and Venezuela.
According to the tradition of the game was opened by the head of state – Emperor Akihito
There was a change in the program of games compared to earlier competitions. In particular, competitions were organized in two new sports – curling and skateboarding. And in hockey, not only men’s teams, but also women’s teams began to compete.
In the unofficial medal standings, the first place was taken by Germany, which came as a surprise to sports experts. Athletes of this country won 29 medals of varying dignity. Norway was followed with a slight lag in 4 medals. Russia came third, overtaking Canada and the United States, which could be considered a good result given the departure of some Soviet athletes to the teams of the former Union republics, as well as the overall heavy the state of the economy, which also affected the financing of sports.
A more successful athlete of the games can be considered Norwegian skier Bjorn Dalen, who received three gold medals.