Host City: Sapporo, Japan
Venue(s): Makomanai Cross Country Events Site, Sapporo; Miyanomori Jump Hill, Sapporo
Date Started: February 4, 1972
Date Finished: February 5, 1972
Format: Normal hill ski jumping and 15 kilometres skiing; placements determined by points table.
Defending champion Franz Keller and reigning World Champion from 1970, Ladislav Rygl were among the contenders, but both showed poor form in the ski jumping and were too far behind to compete for medals. The 19-year old Japanese Hideki Nakano was outstanding in the jumping, with the longest and best jump in all of the three rounds. However, his abilities as a cross-country skier were rather modest, ending last in the cross-country event and placing 13th in the final classification. The great surprise of the event was another 19-year old, the East German Ulrich Wehling, placing fourth in the jumping event. To win, he had to beat his closest rival, the 22-year old Finn Rauno Miettinen by approximately one minute in the cross-country, and the young and unmerited German skied well, achieving the third fastest time of the day and beating Miettinen by almost two minutes. His team-mate Karl-Heinz Luck was fastest in the cross-country and advanced from 17th place in the jumping event to a bronze medal in the final classification.
This was the start of a rather unique career in Nordic Combined for Wehling, ending as the most successful Nordic Combined in the history of the Winter Olympics. He and Miettinen became the dominant figures in Nordic Combined for the rest of the decade. With his three Olympic Gold medals Wehling was the king of the Olympics. Miettinen is one of the few athletes who can claim five victories at the prestigious Holmenkollen.
|1||Ulrich Wehling||19||East Germany||GDR||Gold||413.340|
|3||Karl-Heinz Luck||27||East Germany||GDR||Bronze||398.800|
|7||Aleksandr Nosov||29||Soviet Union||URS||387.730|
|8||Kåre Olav Berg||27||Norway||NOR||384.800|
|9||Günter Deckert||21||East Germany||GDR||382.970|
|10||Ralph Pöhland||25||West Germany||FRG||381.195|
|11||Mikhail Artyukhov||28||Soviet Union||URS||380.185|
|18||Hans Hartleb||20||East Germany||GDR||369.505|
|20||Urban Hettich||18||West Germany||FRG||366.775|
|21||Mike Devecka||24||United States||USA||362.835|
|22||Anatoly Zaytsev||25||Soviet Union||URS||362.475|
|25||Alfred Winkler||28||West Germany||FRG||357.110|
|29||Vyacheslav Dryagin||31||Soviet Union||URS||347.525|
|33||Franz Keller||27||West Germany||FRG||336.860|
|34||Jim Miller||24||United States||USA||334.950|
|38||Teyck Weed||22||United States||USA||313.605|
|39||Bob Kendall||24||United States||USA||303.635|