It is mainly in winter sports that Norway has made its mark internationally, although more than half the nation of little more than four million exercise or play sports regularly and an impressive 15 per cent participate in competitions. In the 1992 Winter Games in Albertville, cross-country skiers Vegard Ulvang and Bjoslashrn Daelighlie made history by bringing home three gold medals each. Daelighlie went on to win two gold medals at the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer and has won more World Cup races than any other cross-country skier in history. Speed skater Johann Olav Koss won three gold medals at Lillehammer. The breakthrough of Norwegian alpine skiers into the top ranks is more recent with both Ketil Andre Aamodt and Lasse Kjus winning the Alpine World Cup. Norway's curling teams are among the world's best, while ice hockey is advancing with the national squad currently in the world's top 10. The country has not made such an impact in summer sports. Greatest successes have been scored by women, including the long-distance and marathon runners Grete Waitz and Ingrid Kristiansen, world champion javelin thrower Trine Hattestad, the national handball team and the national football team, which took silver at the first official World Championships in 1991 and gold at the 1995 World Championships. Men are only now beginning to catch up, with Steinar Hoen (European championships high jump gold medallist), Geir Moen (European championships 200-metre champion) and Vebjoslashrn Rodal (European championships 800-metre bronze medallist) all aiming for the top. As everywhere in Europe, soccer is passionately followed. The national squad qualified for the 1994 World Cup and ranks among the top 10 or 15 nations on the continent. Norway's enthusiasm for sport owes much to the Confederation of Sports (NIF) which, with 1.7 million members, is easily the country's largest voluntary organisation. With more than 347,000 members, the Federation of Company Sports is the second largest, followed by the Football Federation with 294,000. The Ski Association, which includes cross-country, jumping and alpine disciplines, has 147,000 members. According to the NIF, recreational-type activities are gaining in popularity while more strenuous sports are losing ground. 'The Ski Association, Handball Federation and Athletics Federation are losing members, while the Golf, Billiards and Amateur Dancing Federations are growing,' a spokesman said. Uniquely in Norway (and to some extent the other Nordic countries), sport as a popular movement is mirrored by government support. Sports policy is handled by the Ministry of Cultural Affairs and sports receive one-third of the profits from the state-run football pools and national lottery. About 60 per cent is spent on developing facilities - and as result there are more than 10,000 sports centres in Norway, or one for every 400 people. 'Government policy is based on the 'sport for all' principle while more than 12,000 clubs, run mostly by volunteers, are the backbone of Norwegian sport,' said Olav Foslashrde, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.