Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Lillehammer 1994 Set The Standard For Sustainable Winter Games (1)

When Lillehammer was awarded the right to host the 1994 Olympic Winter Games, its Organising Committee aimed to make the Games a showcase for sustainability and environmental policies.These Games were baptised the "White-Green Games" by President Samaranch.

Lillehammer 1994
12th February - 27th February
NOCs: 67.

Athletes: 1215 (840 men, 522 women)
Sports: 6
Events: 61. Alpine skiing, Freestyle Skiing, Nordic combined, Cross-country skiing, Ski jumping, Biathlon, Bobsleigh, Luge, Ice hockey, Figure skating, Short Track Speed Skating and Speed Skating.

The 1994 Winter Olympics, officially known as the XVII Olympic Winter Games, was a winter multi-sport event celebrated from 12 to 27 February 1994 in and around Lillehammer, Norway. Lillehammer failed to win the bid for the 1992 event. Lillehammer was awarded the 1994 Winter Olympics in 1988, after beating Anchorage, United States; Östersund, Sweden; and Sofia, Bulgaria.
In 1986 the IOC voted to change the schedule of the Olympic Games so that the Summer and Winter Games would be held in different years. To adjust to this new schedule, the Lillehammer Games were held in 1994.The Games were the first to be held in a different year from the Summer Olympics, the first and only one to be held two years after the previous winter games, and the most recent to be held in a small town. The Games were the second winter event hosted in Norway, after the 1952 Winter Olympics in Oslo, and the fourth Olympics in the Nordic Countries, after the 1912 Summer Olympics in Stockholm (Stockholm also hosted the equestrian events of the 1956 Summer Olympics in Melbourne, but was not the official host), Oslo, and the 1952 Summer Olympics in Helsinki, Finland.
The Games saw the introduction of stricter qualifying rules, reducing the number of under-performing participants from warm-weather countries. New events were two new distances in short track speed skating and aerials, while speed skating was moved indoors. Nearly two million people spectated the games, which were the first to have the Olympic truce in effect. The games were succeeded by the 1994 Paralympics from 10 to 19 March.

Venues (source: 1994 Winter Olympics official report):

The 1994 Winter Olympics were held in and around Lillehammer, Norway, from 12 to 27 February 1994. Ten competition and fourteen non-competition venues were used, most of which were subsequently used for the 1994 Winter Paralympics. The Games were spread out over ten venues in five municipalities in two counties, Oppland and Hedmark.
Lillehammer, with approximately 25,000 inhabitants, and Hamar and Gjøvik, both with approximately 27,000 inhabitants, are all situated on the lake Mjøsa. Gjøvik and Hamar are 45 and 54 kilometers south of Lillehammer, respectively. Hunderfossen is 15 kilometers  north of Lillehammer, but located within the municipality. Øyer and Ringebu, each with just under 5,000 inhabitants, are 18 and 50 kilometers north of Lillehammer, respectively, in the valley Gudbrandsdalen. Lillehammer had four competition venues, Hamar had two competition venues, while Hunderfossen, Gjøvik, Øyer and Ringebu had one competition venue each.
Venue construction ran from spring 1990 to December 1993. All the competition and most of the non-competition venues were purpose-built for the Games. For the first time in Olympic history, environmental and sustainability issues were considered in venue construction. This resulted in five venues being modified during their design and construction phase to lessen their impact upon the environment. Among the issues considered were the venues blending into surrounding landscape, treatment of terrain with as minimal damage to natural surroundings as possible, use of environmentally-friendly materials, and environmental auditing. Gjøvik Olympic Cavern Hall was constructed inside a mountain that maintained a year-round temperature of −8 °C (18 °F), with the excavated rock used to build a beach promenade. Transport was dominated by the use of buses and trains for spectators. Downtown Lillehammer and the axis between Lillehammer and Oslo were the most congested areas, and the Norwegian State Railways ran up to 22 trains per day between Oslo and Lillehammer. All venues could be reached within walking distance from train stations.

  • Lysgårdsbakkene Ski Jumping Arena. Nordic combined, Ski jumping, Opening and Closing Ceremonies.
  • Birkebeineren Ski Stadium. Biathlon, Cross-country skiing, Nordic combined (Cross-country skiing).
  • Gjøvik Olympic Cavern Hall. Ice hockey.
  • Håkon Hall. Ice hockey.
  • Hamar Olympic Amphitheatre. Figure skating, Short track speed skating.
  • Hamar Olympic Hall. Speed skating.
  • Kanthaugen Freestyle Arena. Freestyle skiing.
  • Lillehammer Olympic Alpine Centre Hafjell. Alpine skiing (Slalom, Giant slalom, Combined).
  • Lillehammer Olympic Alpine Centre Kvitfjell. Alpine skiing (Downhill, Super-G, Combined).
  • Lillehammer Olympic Bobsleigh and Luge Track. Bobsleigh and Luge.
  • Stampesletta. Medal ceremonies.
  • International Broadcasting Center. Media center.
  • Main Press Center. Media center.
  • Lillehammer Olympic Village. Athlete accommodation.
  • Hamar Olympic Subsite Village. Athlete accommodation.

After the Olympics the sports venues were taken over by the respective municipalities. The Lillehammer venues are owned by the municipal Lillehammer Olympiapark, while similar companies were created for Hamar and Gjøvik. The International Broadcasting Center was built as a future campus for Lillehammer University College. The Main Press Center was converted to a business park. Only part of the athlete accommodation was built for permanent use, and was sold as regular housing after the Games. The rest was built as mobile units and sold to other parts of the country. Similarly, the media accommodation was built as a mix of permanent and temporary housing, with the latter being sold as cottages after the Games were completed.
After the Winter Games Hamar Olympic Hall hosted the World Allround Speed Skating Championships for Men and the UCI Track Cycling World Championships in 1993. Following the Games, it has hosted the World Allround Speed Skating World Championships in 1999, 2004 and 2009. The venue also hosted the World Sprint Speed Skating Championships in 1997, 2002 and 2007, and the World Single Distance Championships in 1996.
Lillehammer Olympic Bobsleigh and Luge Track hosted the skeleton part of the FIBT World Championships in 1995, as well as the FIL World Luge Championships in 1995. Birkebeineren hosted its last Biathlon World Cup event in 1997, and its last cross-country skiing World Cup event was in March 2002. The FIS Nordic Combined World Cup has been hosted in Lillehammer on various occasions, most recently in December 2010. Lysgårdsbakken has served as part of the Nordic Tournament from 2004 through 2006 and from 2008 through 2009. Håkon Hall and Gjøvik played host to the World Women's Handball Championship in 1999, while the 1999 Men's World Ice Hockey Championships used Håkon Hall and Hamar Olympic Amphitheatre.

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