The subject of amateurism stirred controversy at the Sapporo 1972 Games. Austrian skier Karl Schranz was declared ineligible because he had allowed his name and photo to be used in commercial advertising, but full-time ice hockey players from Communist nations were allowed to compete.
Japan’s jump joy
Before the Sapporo Games, Japan had never won a gold medal in the Olympic Winter Games. But in the normal hill ski-jumping event, Yukio Kasaya led from start to finish to claim gold. His team-mates Akitsugu Konno and Seiji Aochi won the silver and bronze to complete the Japanese clean sweep.
Cross country skier Galina Kulakova of the USSR won the 5km and 10km events and anchored the Soviet relay team to victory. Ard Schenk of the Netherlands won three speed skating golds in convincing fashion. Such was his popularity in the Netherlands that a flower was named in his honour: Crocus chrysanthus Ard Schenk.
The biggest surprise of the Games was the victory of 21-year-old "Paquito" Fernandez Ochoa, who won the slalom by a full second. His gold medal was the first ever to be won by a Spanish athlete in the Olympic Winter Games.
Athletes 1,006 (205 women, 801 men)