Host City: Albertville, France
Venue(s): , Les Saisies
Date Started: February 17, 1992
Date Finished: February 17, 1992
The heavy favorite was the Unified Team, which had won the 1991 World Championships as the Soviet Union. They were led by [Lyubov Yegorova], who won five medals and three golds in Albertville, and [Yelena VÃ¤lbe], winner of five medals in 1992, with a bronze in every individual event. Their other skiers were [Larisa Lazutina], who in her career would win seven Olympic medals and five golds, and [Raisa Smetanina], who had first competed at the Winter Olympics in 1976, and had won nine Olympic medals, with four golds. It was a true all-star team. But the race was strangely close. VÃ¤lbe gave the Unifieds a 22.8 second lead at the first exchange, but [Inger Helene NybrÃ¥ten] skied the fastest second leg and moved Norway ahead. But Lazutina took back the lead on the third leg, but Norway was only 2.5 seconds back as the anchor skiers took off. Yegorova was the Unified anchor and she would not be headed, bringing her team home 21.6 seconds ahead of Norway. Italy, which had been runner-up at the 1991 Worlds, and would repeat that finish in 1993, won the bronze medal. Smetaninaâs gold medal made her the first Winter Olympian to win 10 medals, and this also made her the first woman to win medals at five Olympic Winter Games.