The 1998 Paralympic Winter Games, held in Nagano, Japan, were the first Paralympic Winter Games to be held in Asia and the first Paralympic Winter Games to be held outside Europe. 571 athletes competed in Nagano; this remains the highest number of athletes competing at any Winter Paralympics. Five sports were contested: Alpine Skiing, Ice Sledge Hockey, Ice Sledge Racing and the Nordic Skiing events Biathlon and Cross-Country. The Nagano Paralympics were wonderful games from an organisational perspective, as opposed to the disappointing state of the Atlanta Summer Paralympics just two years before. Competition venues, training opportunities, accommodation, transport, dining and entertainment were widely praised by athletes, support staff and the media. Competition was held at the superb venues built for the Winter Olympics, accommodation was spacious and very accessible, transport was efficient in offsetting the hour-long travel from the accommodation to the competition venues, excellent food was provided in the dining hall with minimal queuing, and entertainment included an amusement arcade, disco and a range of cultural displays.
Unique/ Special Features:
For Australia, the 1998 Nagano Paralympic Winter Games were especially significant because they were the last major competition before the Sydney Paralympics in 2000.
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