Another 12 nations entered the competition for the 1984 Olympic Winter Games which took place for the first and only time in a Socialist country, Yugoslavia. Initially the host city Sarajevo was buried by snow, blinded by fog and then blasted by 190km/h winds that shredded the alpine skiing schedule. Weather aside, the host nation gained high marks for their hospitality, and there was no indication of the tragic war that would engulf the city only a few years later.
1,272 (998 men, 274 women) competitors from 49 nations participated in 6 sports and 39 events over a fortnight. Germany (GDR) won the gold medal tally with 9, USSR 2nd with 6, USA 3rd with 4, Finland 4th with 4, Sweden 5th with 4 gold also.
Skier Jure Franko brought joy to the host nation by earning Yugoslavia’s first Winter Olympics medal: a silver in the giant slalom. Austria, usually a formidable winter sports nation, won only one bronze medal. Finland’s Marja-Liisa Hämäläinen became the only woman to compete in six Winter Olympics Games and won all three individual cross-country races for women.
Torvill and Dean of the United Kingdom earned across-the-board perfect scores for artistic impression in the free dance ice dancing competition, a feat that was never matched.
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