XVIII Olympic Winter Games
In 1998, Japan held the Winter Olympic Games for a second time. For Canada, it was the best Games ever with a total of 15 medals.
Women’s hockey was presented for the first time. The Canadian team had never been defeated in World Championships before the Olympic venue. They suffered their first blow in the gold medal match, losing 3-1 to their arch rival, the United States. On the men’s side, Canada finished a disappointing fourth place.
Canada collected a total of 11 medals in curling and speed skating. Making their official debut, Canadian curlers won gold (women) and silver (men). Speed skater Catriona Le May Doan won gold in the 500 m, followed by teammate Susan Auch with silver. Le May Doan captured bronze in the 1000 m a few days later while Jeremy Wotherspoon and Kevin Overland placed second and third in the 500 m.
In short track, the men’s team came through on the last day, winning the relay gold. This last medal gave Canada the edge over the United States for the first time in Winter Games history.
For the first time ever, two teams tied for first place in the two-man bobsleigh. Canada’s Pierre Lueders and Dave MacEachern shared the honour with the Italian pair of Huber and Tartaglia. Both the Canadian and Italian teams were handed the gold medals after four runs.
Ross Rebagliati won a controversial gold medal in snowboard while Elvis Stojko’s courage brought him silver in figure skating.
Olympic Oath (athletes): Kenji Ogiwara (Nordic combined)
Olympic Oath (officials): Junko Hiramatsu (figure skating)
Lighting Olympic Cauldron: Midori Ito
Official Opening: Emperor Akihito