In 1998 the Olympic Winter games returned to Japan, 26 years after Sapporo. Snowboarding and curling were added to the Olympic programme, and women's ice hockey was also introduced. In all, a record 72 nations took part, with Germany leading the medal table, winning 12 gold medals.
Japanese ski jumper Kazuyoshi Funaki led the way for the host country. A silver medal in the normal hill event was followed by a gold in the large hill competition, and finally earned a second gold in the team event. Great Britain won one medal medal, bronze in the four-man bobsleigh.