1992 Winter Olympics: What Color Is Your Flag Today?

The former Soviet Union's sports juggernaut is hanging together, sort of, for what is probably its last hurrah

Due to circumstances beyond its control, the most powerful sports machine in history cannot be part of the 1992 Olympics. No red hammer-and-sickle flags will fly at Albertville, and the national anthem heard at past victory ceremonies has, like the country itself, been overtaken by the second Russian revolution.

Since its Olympic debut in 1952, the Soviet Union -- or more precisely, athletes from the 15 republics of the U.S.S.R. -- has won 1,212 medals, far more than any other nation. They wrapped up 29 of them at Calgary four years ago, including 11 golds, mostly in Nordic skiing and figure...

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