At the XIX Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City, the world got to know the new skiing queen Janica Kostelić in full swing, winning as many as four Olympic medals  – three gold medals and one silver. In the crammed competition schedule of the Games, Janica decided to skip the downhill to fully focus on the combined, in which she was considered the favourite.

Janica proved that on the race course later on. With two excellent races in the combined slalom leg and a safe combined downhill run, she won the first medal ever in the history of Croatian alpine skiing and Croatia's first medal at Olympic Winter Games. Janica also had a brilliant super-G race, finishing only 0.05 seconds behind the winner Daniela Ceccarelli of Italy. After the fast events were over, Janica turned to the technical ones: she first won the slalom, outperforming France's Laura Pequegnot by 0.07 seconds to finish her series of victories with the best times in both giant slalom races, winning her third gold medal and fourth medal in total at Salt Lake City. With four medals, gold in the alpine combined, slalom and giant slalom, and silver in the super giant slalom at the XIX Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City, Croatia's best alpine skier managed to top two skiing legends - Anton Sailer of Austria (Cortina d'Ampezzo 1956) and Jean Claude Killy of France (Grenoble 1968) had been the only ones to win three gold medals at a single Olympic Games since the first Olympic Winter Games held in Chamonix in 1924. The Salt Lake City Olympic Winter Games will also be remembered by the fact that it was for the first time that Croatia had athletes competing in bobsleigh and biathlon and also had the largest number of competitors since declaration of independence: 14 athletes competing in 5 sports.