The Albertville 1992 Winter Olympics were the last Games to be staged in the same year as the Summer Games. It was the third time France had hosted the Winter Olympics, and Jean-Claude Killy, the legendary triple gold medallist of the Grenoble 1968 Olympics, served as chairman of the organising committee. Only 18 of the 57 events were held in Albertville itself, while nearby resorts hosted the rest. The bone-quaking drama of freestyle skiing and electrifyingly fast short track speed skating debuted as medal disciplines.
Political changes sweeping through central and eastern Europe had a great impact on the Games. Most athletes from the new republics of the former Soviet Union banded together and competed as the Unified Team. A united team from Germany participated, leading the medal table with 10 golds. Athletes from nations such as Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia proudly marched under their own flags. Read more>>>
Australia at these Games
Australia sent 23 athletes to the 1992 Winter Olympic Games. Among the team were Australia’s short track speed skaters John Kah, Andrew Murtha, Richard Nizielski, Kieran Hansen and Steven Bradbury. They went to Albertville as reigning world champions in the relay but were eliminated when two of them fell in the semi-final, eliminating them from medal contention.
Diana Ogle became Australia’s first luge competitor at a Games. She placed 21st from a field of 24. The best individual performances of the freestyle skiers were by Nick Cleaver and Adrian Costa (11th and 14th in a field of 37 in men’s moguls). Speed skater Danny Kah was another athlete to perform strongly, placing 12th in the 10,000m event. He also had the honour of carrying the Australian flag in the Opening Ceremony.
Respected alpine skier Steven Lee competed in three events: the downhill, Super-G and combined, at his third and final Olympics. Kirstie Marshall contested the demonstration event of aerial skiing, beginning her long public association with the sport.
Paul Narracott made Australian sporting history in Albertville, becoming the first person to represent his country at both the Winter and Summer Olympics. He was a member of the two-man bobsleigh team, placing 30th with his partner Glenn Turner. At the Los Angeles Olympics of 1984, Narracott had run in the 100m and 200m sprints.