The Spanish Surprise of Sapporo
The biggest surprise of the 1972 Winter Games was the sensational victory of 21-year-old "Paquito" Ochoa, who won the slalom by a full second. Ochoa had never finished higher than sixth in an international meet.
Not only was Ochoa's gold medal the first ever won by a Spanish athlete in the Winter Olympics, but it was the first Spanish Olympic victory in any sport since 1928.
When it came time for the medal presentation, Ochoa forgot his credentials and Japanese guards refused to allow him to enter the stadium, even though he told them he was the Olympic champion.
"And they were right", Ochoa later recalled. "Imagine, if you will, a Spanish Olympic ski champion. It's as if a Japanese became king of the bullring". Eventually Ochoa was allowed to enter and receive his medal.