The 1994 Winter Paralympics were the first Games organized by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), which was formed in 1989. The games followed the previous Winter Paralympics, which had been held in Tignes-Albertville, France in 1992, by only two years rather than the standard four years. This occurred due to the implementation of a 1986 decision to separate the timing of the Summer and Winter Games (both Paralympic and Olympic) and place them in alternating even-numbered years. This change became effective for the 1994 Winter Paralympics and the 1994 Winter Olympics, which were both held in Lillehammer, Norway. These became the first Winter Paralympics to be held in a year different than the Summer Games. At the Games, 471 athletes from 31 countries participated, with host country Norway finishing as the leading medal nation followed by Germany and the United States of America. Five sports were on offer: Alpine, Biathlon, Cross-Country, Ice Sledge Hockey, and Ice Sledge Racing. Demonstration events were held for athletes with an Intellectual Disability, while the most popular spectator sport at the Paralympics was Ice Sledge Hockey.
Unique/ Special Features:
The Lillehammer Paralympics were the first Winter Games to incorporate a torch relay, which travelled around Norway before it was used to light the flame at the opening ceremony.
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