The Winter Olympic Games were held in Sapporo, Japan, in 1972, between Feb 3-13. There was 35 Nations with 1006 participants competing in 35 events. The Soviet Union maintained its top position on the Winter Games medal tally.
The retiring IOC president Avery Brundage threatened to disqualify 40 Alpine skiers for taking money from ski product manufacturers. He ultimately made an example of just one skier, and barred Austrian Karl Schranz. Adding to the controversy, many other countries, including the US and the Soviet Union, had been routinely circumventing the IOC's amateur code for decades with no consequences. The Soviets were paying their athletes for jobs they never actually performed, while the Americans handed out athletic scholarships to thousands of athletes.
- Sapporo was the first Asian country to host the Winter Olympics.
- Canada boycotted the Games in protest of Eastern European "state amateurs"
- Norway's Magne Myrmo became the last athlete to win a cross-country skiing event using all-wooden skis.
- Ondrej Nepala of Czechoslovakia, who had competed at the 1964 Olympics as a 13-year-old, won the men's figure skating title.
- More Winter Olympics Host Countries
- Japan again hosted the Winter Olympics in Nagano in 1998.
- Winter Olympics main page.
- Sport in Japan