February 24, 2023
In February 1998, the Winter Olympics were held in Nagano, Japan. That year, some 2,300 athletes from 72 countries and regions came to participate, and more than 1.44 million spectators gathered in Nagano Prefecture. The Nagano Olympics were the last Olympics to be held in the 20th century, and were also the most southerly Winter Olympics ever held. Nagano's location away from the ocean, its high altitude, and its snowy climate made it possible to hold the Olympics even under such conditions. After the Olympics, February 7, the day of the opening ceremony, was designated as Olympic Memorial Day, a day to reflect on the nature of Nagano, in honor of one of the principles of the Nagano Olympics, "Coexistence with Nature."