1972 Winter Olympics

XI Olympic Winter Games
Host city Sapporo, Japan
Nations participating 35
Athletes participating 1006 (801 men, 205 women)
Events 35 in 6 sports (10 disciplines)
Opening ceremony February 3
Closing ceremony February 13
Officially opened by Emperor Showa
Athlete's Oath Keiichi Suzuki
Judge's Oath Fumio Asaki
Olympic Torch Hideki Takada
Stadium Makomanai Open Stadium
<  Grenoble 1968 Innsbruck 1976  >
<  Mexico City 1968 Munich 1972  >

The 1972 Winter Olympics, officially known as the XI Olympic Winter Games (第十一回オリンピック冬季競技大会 Dai Jūichi-kai Orinpikku Tōkikyōgi Taikai) (French: Les XIes Jeux olympiques d'hiver), were a winter multi-sport event which was held from February 3 to February 13, 1972, in Sapporo, Hokkaidō, Japan. It was the first Winter Olympics to be held outside Europe and North America, and only the third game (summer or winter) held outside those regions over all, after Melbourne (1956 Summer Olympics) and Tokyo (1964 Summer Olympics).

Host city selection

Sapporo first won the rights to host the 1940 Winter Olympics, but Japan resigned as the Games' host after its 1937 invasion of China. The 1940 Games were later cancelled. All the cities awarded Games that were cancelled due to war have since hosted the Games (Berlin, London, Tokyo, Helsinki, Sapporo and Cortina d'Ampezzo).

Sapporo competed with Banff, Lahti, and Salt Lake City. The Games were awarded at the 64th IOC Session in Rome, Italy, on April 26, 1966.

In preparation, the Japanese constructed new largescale facilities at Sapporo and conducted a trial run a full year in advance of the Games. An international sport week was held in February, 1971, to assess the city's preparations as well as "to test its civic mettle and hospitality", and this effort was acclaimed by Olympic observers as "a complete success".[1] The development of new infrastructure proved to be a huge boon for the Sapporo economy: by the time of the Games, the national government had invested some US$500 million in upgrades, including a new subway.[1] The Games' organizers themselves turned a healthy profit in part because they arranged a record $8.47 million for broadcast rights.[2]

1972 Winter Olympics bidding result[3]
City Country Round 1
Sapporo  Japan 32
Banff  Canada 16
Lahti  Finland 7
Salt Lake City  United States 7



¹ New facilities constructed in preparation for the Olympic Games. ² Existing facilities modified or refurbished in preparation for the Olympic Games.


There were 35 events contested in 6 sports (10 disciplines).

Participating nations

35 nations participated in the 1972 Winter Olympics. The Republic of China (commonly known as Taiwan) and the Philippines participated in their first Winter Olympic Games.

Medal count

These are the top ten nations that won medals at these Games. The host nation Japan finished 11th.

 Rank  Nation Gold Silver Bronze Total
1 Soviet Union 8 5 3 16
2 East Germany 4 3 7 14
3 Switzerland 4 3 3 10
4 Netherlands 4 3 2 9
5 United States 3 2 3 8
6 West Germany 3 1 1 5
7 Norway 2 5 5 12
8 Italy 2 2 1 5
9 Austria 1 2 2 5
10 Sweden 1 1 2 4
11 Japan 1 1 1 3

See also


  1. 1 2 Findling, John E.; Pelle, Kimberly D. (1996). Historical dictionary of the modern Olympic movement. Westport, CT: Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 285. ISBN 0-313-28477-6. Retrieved 8 May 2012.
  2. 1 2 Washington Post
  3. "Past Olympic host city election results". GamesBids. Archived from the original on March 17, 2011. Retrieved March 17, 2011.
  4. www.Olympic.org
  5. Infoplease-Sapporo
  6. aolhometown

External links

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Preceded by
Winter Olympics

XI Olympic Winter Games (1972)
Succeeded by
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