The 1972 Sapporo Winter Olympics in Japan were the first to be held outside Europe or the United States. The Soviet Union regained its position as the most successful team, winning eight gold medals - double the tally of any other nation at the Games.
The host nation, Japan, had never won a gold medal in the Winter Olympics, but in the 70m ski jumping event, three Japanese jumpers, led by Yukio Kasaya, swept all three medals. In alpine skiing, little-known Swiss schoolgirl Marie-Thérès Nadig won both the women's downhill and the giant slalom events. These Games are the last where a skier won the gold medal using all-wooden skis.