XVII Olympic Winter Games Held In Lillehammer, Norway

The 1994 Winter Olympics, officially known as the XVII Olympic Winter Games, were a winter multi-sport event which was celebrated in 1994 in Lillehammer, Norway.

In 1986, the IOC voted to separate the Summer and Winter Games, which had been held in the same year since the latter's inception in 1924, and arrange them in alternating even-numbered years. Lillehammer won the right to host the event in September 1988 in Seoul before the opening ceremony of the 1988 Summer Olympics. The 1994 Winter Games were the first to be held without the Summer Games in the same year, and marked the only time the Winter Games have been staged two years after the preceding Games.

A record 67 nations participated in the 1994 Winter Olympic Games. Participating in their first Winter Games were American Samoa, Armenia, Belarus, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Czech Republic, Georgia, Israel, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Slovakia, Trinidad & Tobago, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan. Most of the new particpants (9) were due to the break up of the Soviet Union

The 1994 Winter Games were the first following the implementation of stricter qualifying standards, which prevented representatives of developing countries from competing without meeting minimum standards. As a consequence, eleven "mostly warm-weather countries" signed up to participate in the Games, but were ultimately absent as none of their athletes succeeded in qualifying. The number of African athletes fell from nineteen in 1992 to three in 1994: Lamine Guèye of Senegal and two short-track speed skaters from South Africa. These rules were, however, not applied to bobsled events, enabling the United States Virgin Islands, Monaco, Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica to compete in that sport.