Host City: Lillehammer, Norway
Venue(s): Birkebeineren Ski Stadium, Lillehammer
Date Started: February 21, 1994
Date Finished: February 21, 1994
The Soviet Union, and their avatar, the Unified Team, had won the last two Olympic gold medals, but in the new world order, the 1993 World Champion was new, sort of. Actually it was Russia, and all of the skiers had won gold medals in the event in either 1988 or 1992. Russia led after the opening leg in Lillehammer, but Norway surprised and took the lead on the second leg, holding it until the final exchange, although by only one second. The two anchors were Anita Moen for Norway and Lyubov Yegorova for Russia. Moen skied well, posting the third fastest leg of the competition, but she was no match for Yegorova, who defeated her by over 31 seconds to bring a gold medal to the Russian team. Norway was second with the Italian team another minute behind in third place. Yegorova won her sixth gold medal, tying the Winter Olympic record set by Soviet speed skater Lidiya Skoblikova in 1960-64. The record would later be surpassed by Norway’s Bjørn Dæhlie, who would win eight, but through 2006, Yegorova and Skoblikova still hold the record for female Winter Olympians with six gold medals.