About the Games
A total of 1801 athletes from 64 countries participated in Albertville 1992 Winter Olympics and competed in 57 events of 12 disciplines of 6 sports.
These were the last Winter Olympics to be held the same year as the Summer Olympics.
Most medals won (from a total of 20 teams) by: 1. Germany – 26 (10, 10, 6), 2. The Unified Team – 23 (9, 6, 8), 3. Norway – 20 (9, 6, 5).
Lithuania in the Games
To prepare for the Games in 90 days – that was the task undertaken by Lithuanian athletes and sports organizers after receiving the recognition by the IOC and an invitation to participate in the 1992 Winter Olympics.
“The state was making its first steps, Lithuanian passports were also still in the process of being printed. The first Lithuanian passport with a numeric code was issued to the Olympic champion Vida Vencienė. We really wanted to travel with Lithuanian passports, and thus the state did everything in its power to delegate us as representatives of an independent country”, said one of the main initiators of the LNOC’s restoration Artūras Poviliūnas.
When both initiating the restoration of the LNOC and addressing Lithuanian athletes with a plea to stop participating in Soviet championships, the proponents for the LNOC’s restoration did not expect that the waiting for Lithuania’s return to the Olympic family would take so long. The IOC’s leaders became more favorable only before the 1991 Putsch in Moscow. Therefore, when on February 8, 1992, the tiny delegation of Lithuania consisting of only 6 athletes, their coaches, and officials entered the Olympic stadium and was greeted by a standing ovation, tears of pride and joy could be seen on many faces both in Albertville and Lithuania.
Returning to the Olympic arenas after a 64-year break, Lithuania was represented in Albertville by skiers Vida Vencienė and Ričardas Panavas, biathletes Kazimiera Strolienė and Gintaras Jasinskas, and ice dance pair Margarita Drobiazko and Povilas Vanagas.
Champion of 1988 Olympic Games Vida Vencienė achieved the best results among Lithuanians by finishing 11th in the 15 km classical race. She was among top 30 in all the races – 16th in the 30 km classical race, 19th in the 5 km classical race, and 28th in the 10 km freestyle pursuit.
Biathletes also were among top 30 – K. Strolienė was 27th in the 7.5 km race and 28th in the 15 km race and the bearer of the Lithuanian national flag during the Opening ceremony G. Jasinskas was 19th in the 20 km race.
Ice dancers completed their debut by placing 16th among 19 pairs of dancers.
19-year old ice hockey player Darius Kasparaitis became an Olympic champion together with the Unified team composed of players from former Soviet countries. This team played under the Olympic flag.
Freestyle skiing, short-track speed skating and women’s biathlon made their debuts as official disciplines.
Only 18 of the 57 events were held in Albertville itself. All the other events were held in nearby resorts.
Croatia and Slovenia participated for the first time as independent nations. Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia returned to the Olympic family.
16-Year old ski jumper Toni Nieminen of Finland became the youngest male gold medalist of a Winter Olympic event.
Albertville 1992 Winter Olympics website:
Commemorative film about the first Lithuanian winter sports Olympians, part 3: