1972 Winter Olympics in Sapporo

A total of 35 countries took part in the Olympics. These games were the first for teams in Taiwan and the Philippines. Circumstances were successful, and the competition took place without major political conflicts and boycotts, unlike that year’s Summer Games in Munich.

The Olympics were organized at a very high level. One of Japan’s goals was to demonstrate the changes in the country to the world. Indeed, in the Seventies, the Japanese economy continued to grow booming, turning it into a great power. And the games have become a necessary element of prestige for the country.

Socialist states performed very well at this Olympics. In the general unofficial medal standings, first place was taken by the Soviet Union. Soviet skiers won the most awards. For example, Galina Kulakova managed to get 3 gold awards. First place was taken by Soviet hockey players. Soviet figure skating showed a high level as well. Gold was won by a pair of Irina Rodnina and Alexei Ulanova, silver – Lyudmila Smirnova and Andrey Suraikin. Also second was Sergey Teturukhin with his men’s singles program. It should be noted the success of the Soviet biathletes – in the men’s team race they received gold.

Second place went to the GDR team. She especially distinguished herself in toboggan sports – athletes of this team were awarded three gold, two silver and three bronze medals at once.

The traditional leader in winter sports – Norway – was only seventh and the United States fifth. Japan, the hostess of the games, received only three medals, finishing 11th. Also unfortunate enough was the performances of the Canadian team. She received only one medal – silver in women’s single figure skating. And more than half of the countries – 18 – have not received a medal at all

The 1972 Games were held at a very high professional level. As a result, a few years later, the following Japanese application received approval. The 1988 Winter Olympics were held in Nagano.

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