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  • News | Sapporo 1972

    Golden girl Henning shows teen spirit

    Sixteen-year-old speed skater Anne Henning was not the youngest athlete in Sapporo (that honour went to the 13-year-old figure skater Marina Sanaya of the USSR), but she was certainly one of the most extraordinary talents on display. Despite her youth, the American arrived at the Games as the favourite to win the women’s 500m and 1,000m titles. Earlier that year she had broken the world record for both distances.
    10 Feb 1972 | Sapporo 1972, Olympic News, Speed Skating, United States of America
  • News | Sapporo 1972

    Solberg makes biathlon history

    Magnar Solberg came to Sapporo knowing he had the chance to make history. Nobody had ever retained an individual Olympic biathlon title.Soberg had been a fairly comfortable winner of the 20km in Grenoble four years earlier, but now, at the age of 34, he was up against a tough field and some difficult conditions.
    09 Feb 1972 | Sapporo 1972, Olympic News, Biathlon, Norway
  • News | Sapporo 1972

    Record-breaker Holum bags gold

    Dianne Holum was 21 years old going into the 1972 Winter Games, but she was virtually a veteran. Five years earlier the American had become the youngest ever athlete to compete in the world speed skating championships.
    09 Feb 1972 | Sapporo 1972, Olympic News, Speed Skating, United States of America
  • News | Sapporo 1972

    Italians and East Germans share doubles title

    The luge doubles competition in Sapporo was originally to be decided over two runs, as was the standard format back then. However the first run was cancelled halfway through after a problem with the start gate. Those who had already raced had their times wiped. The most aggrieved were the Italian pair of Paul Hildgartner and Walter Plaikner, who had set the fastest time but had now seen it erased. However, their contention that everyone had suffered from the same problem, and that the times should therefore stand, was overruled, and in the end the athletes had to forget about what had happened and refocus on the one run that would decide the titles.
    07 Feb 1972 | Sapporo 1972, Olympic News, Luge
  • News | Sapporo 1972

    Flying dentist sprints to success

    There were four gold medals up for grabs in the men’s speed skating, and three of them went to Ard Schenk of the Netherlands. The one he failed to win was the sprint event, the 500m. It was expected to be a battle between the 1971 world sprint champion Erhard Keller of East Germany, and the Soviet skater Valery Muratov, who had won the same title the year before.
    06 Feb 1972 | Sapporo 1972, Olympic News, Speed Skating
  • News | Sapporo 1972

    Kasaya sends host nation wild

    Japan's record at the Winter Games was surprisingly poor prior to its first stint as host nation. The country’s overall medal tally stood at just one: a silver in Alpine skiing, which had come almost 20 years earlier. Yet in Sapporo, in front of the home fans, there was both hope and expectation that a Japanese winter athlete could reach the top step of the podium for the first time.Initial hopes focused on the speed skating events, but after that failed to transpire, the expectations shifted to ski jumper Yukio Kasaya.
    06 Feb 1972 | Sapporo 1972, Olympic News, Ski Jumping, Japan
  • News | Sapporo 1972

    Unknown Fortuna takes a big leap for Poland

    When candidates for the Polish team for Sapporo were being considered, 19-year-old Wojciech Fortuna was not even on the shortlist. and he was only a last-minute addition as a result of injuries elsewhere. He was a virtual unknown, and was competing for a country that had never won a gold medal at the Winter Games.
    06 Feb 1972 | Sapporo 1972, Olympic News
  • News | Sapporo 1972

    Cochran defends family honour

    Remarkably, there were three members of the Cochran family competing in the Alpine events in Sapporo 1972. Siblings Marilyn, Bob and Barbara had all been coached from a young age by their father in their native Vermont, and had gone on to compete internationally.
    05 Feb 1972 | Sapporo 1972, Olympic News, Alpine Skiing, United States of America
  • News | Sapporo 1972

    Teenager Nadig wins shock double gold

    Swiss skier Marie-Thérèse Nadig was an intriguing debutante at these Games. Still just 17, she had been improving steadily in the months running up to Sapporo, securing her first podium finish on the World Cup circuit, prompting suggestions that she could be an outsider for a medal.
    05 Feb 1972 | Sapporo 1972, Olympic News, Alpine Skiing, Switzerland
  • News | Sapporo 1972

    Ochoa blazes Winter trail for Spain

    Spain’s Francisco Ochoa was the author of the biggest shock of these Games, and one of the biggest in Olympic history
    05 Feb 1972 | Sapporo 1972, Olympic News, Alpine Skiing, Spain
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