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Paralympics Friday, 11 January, 2002, 17:13 GMT
A Games to remember
Stacey Komut of Canada collecetd three silvers in the sitski category at nagano
The 1998 Winter Paralympics was arguably the most memorable to date.

His Imperial Highness the Crown Prince of Japan declared the Games open on 5 March in front of a packed house at the opening ceremony.

A total of 571 athletes took part from 32 countries, with Norway topping the gold medals list, as they did four years ago in Lillehammer with 18.

Germany was close behind with 14 gold medals, followed by the United States with 13.

During the 10 days of competition, a total of 34 events took place across the five sports: alpine skiing, cross-country skiing, biathlon, ice sledge racing and ice sledge hockey.

The closing ceremony was a spectacular show of Far East culture
The closing ceremony was a spectacular show of Far East culture
One of the most popular events at the Games was the ice sledge hockey.

It was fiercely competitive, but eventually Norway outgunned Canada 2-0 in the final.

"Winning the silver is weird because it takes a loss to do it," said Canada's deputy captain Jean Labonte.

"I was disappointed for a day, but I realise we gave it everything we had and we're proud of that."

The 1994 champions Sweden, defeated Estonia 10-1 for the bronze.

America enjoyed success in the women's skiing with mono-skier Sarah Will winning three gold medals and Sarah Billmeier winning two titles.

It was Will's eighth Paralympic gold medal in total.

There was joy for Spain in the ladies' downhill blind class, with Magda Amo edging out Katerina Tepla of the Czech Republic by four-hundreths of a second, to take the gold.

Amo also collected gold in the B2 class of the giant slalom, slalom, ladies Super-G, while Tepla won three golds of her own.

One Spanish male skier shone in Nagano with Erik Villalon picking up gold in the B2 class of the men's Super-G, slalom and giant slalom.

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