A boost for Japan’s winter sports scene

The Olympic Winter Games Nagano 1998 generated JPY 47 billion in revenue, providing an opportunity to develop winter sports in Japan.

Umarin Nakamura, Dreamstime.com / Tourists at the Nozawa Onsen Resort enjoying winter sports.

The Nagano Association for the Promotion of the Olympic Movement (NAPOM) was set up immediately after the Games to pursue that aim and build on the event’s legacy.

In its 12-year existence, NAPOM provided financial backing for 228 domestic and international sports events in Nagano prefecture and 75 international sports events across Japan as a whole. Though most of these were winter sports competitions, the association also helped stage volleyball and cycling events and the annual Nagano Olympic Commemorative Marathon and Nagano Lanterns Festival.

A private, non-profit organisation, NAPOM also made JPY 1.32 billion from the Games available for the development and training of junior winter sports athletes, ensuring they could make use of the world-class facilities available to them in Nagano. Several of these athletes went on to represent Japan at the Olympic Winter Games Vancouver 2010.

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