Host City: Nagano, Japan
Venue(s): White Ring, Nagano
Date Started: February 13, 1998
Date Finished: February 16, 1998
Format: Couples were ranked on Ordinal Placement, based on judges' points, with final placement for each section determined by Majority Placements. Thus, if a couple was ranked first by a majority of the judges, that skater was placed first overall for that section, with the tiebreakers being Required Elements for the Original Set Pattern Dance, and Technical Merit for the Free Dance. Ties were broken by a Subsequent Majority rule, i.e., if the couples were ranked for the same position by the same number of judges, Majority Placement for the next higher position for each couple determined who was ranked higher. The tiebreakers were then, in order: 1) Number of Majority Placements, 2) Total Ordinals of Majority, 3) Total Ordinals. Final placement was determined by factored placements. The placement for the Compulsory Dance #1 was factored by 0.2 (10%), the placement for the Compulsory Dance #2 was factored by 0.2 (10%), the placement for the optional set dance was factored by 0.6 (30%), and the placement for Free Dance was factored by 1.0 (50%). The sums of the factored placements were then used to determine final placement, with the Free Dance being the tiebreaker.
The defending champions were Oksana Grishchuk and Yevgeny Platov of Russia. Grishchuk was the star of the show, an aspiring actress always known as Pasha. Since 1994, she had actually changed her name officially to Pasha Grishchuk, saying she was tired of being confused with Oksana Bayul. One thing that did not change was their results, as they were unbeaten since 1994, having won 21 consecutive competitions. The ice dance competition in Nagano was very exciting, …, well, actually, not really. Grishchuk and Platov won easily over their teammates Anzhelika Krylova and Oleg Ovsyanikov. As an example of how pre-ordained the judging was in ice dancing in that era, the top eight couples ranked in the exact same order, first thru eighth, in all phases of the competition.