Winter Olympics: Facts and Figures

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The Independent Online
There will be a record 69 countries represented at the Games, although the total number of athletes, 1,988, will be smaller than at Albertville two years ago.

Eight countries - Bermuda, Brazil, Fiji, Israel, Kyrgyzstan, Cyprus, Luxembourg and Portugal - are sending just one athlete each, although Luxembourg's entry is Marc Girardelli in the men's skiing.

The largest team comes from the United States, who have sent 162 athletes. Canada has 129 and Russia 127. The hosts have entered a team of 94.

Lillehammer, normally a town of 23,000 people, expects up to 100,000 extra people per day during the Games.

A record 10 cities are bidding to host the Games in 2002. Salt Lake City, who lost out for the right to the next Games to Nagano in Japan, are favourites.

For the first time in Olympic history, blood tests will be used as part of drug controls at the Games. The top four athletes in each event will be tested, along with one or two others at random.

A national newspaper poll estimated that 2.5m work days will be lost in Norway because of the Games. The poll showed that the average Norwegian expects to spend 7.6 work hours watching on television. On average men plan to spend two hours more than women watching.

All events at Lillehammer are within a 58km radius.

Nine republics from the former Soviet Union - Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan - are making their first Olympic appearances. Three, Azerbaijan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan, are absent.