Host City: Sapporo, Japan
Venue(s): Okurayama Ski Jump Stadium, Sapporo
Date Started: February 11, 1972
Date Finished: February 11, 1972
Format: Two jumps, with both scored on distance and form.
The ski jumping competition in the Large Hill, five days after the Japanese clean sweep in the Normal Hill, was held under windy conditions, and produced perhaps the most unexpected winner in the history of ski jumping. In the first round, the 19-year old Pole Wojciech Fortuna, with good help from the wind, made the ski jump of his life, landing at 111.0 m, a new hill record. The jury discussed for a while, and then decided to continue without re-starting the competition. The Japanese home heroes were still in contention for medals. The newly crowned Olympic Champion from the Normal Hill, Yukio Kasaya, was in second place, and Akitsugu Konno and Takashi Fujisawa were in sixth and seventh place with possibilities to advance further in the second round.
The second round ended with the closest competition in the history of Olympic ski jumping. All the four Japanese failed, with Kasaya dropping from second to seventh with a jump of 85 m. Fortuna made a rather mediocre 87.5 m jump, but was still in the lead with a total of 219.9 points with only a few jumpers left. The Finn Tauno Käyhkö produced a good jump of 100.5 m under the difficult conditions but ended closely behind Fortuna, scoring 219.2 points. The young Swiss Walter Steiner, lying in 13th place after the first round, made the best jump of the round, 103.0 m, and almost everybody expected him to take the lead, but no, his final points of 219.8 being 0.1 behind the fortunate Fortuna. The last challenger was East German Rainer Schmidt, in eighth place after the first round. After a good jump of 101.0 m, the second longest of the round but with mediocre style points, he ended with 219.3 points, beating Käyhkö with 0.1 but 0.6 behind Fortuna.
Wojciech Fortuna became the first, and is still after 2006, the only ski-jumper from Poland to win an Olympic gold medal.
|3||Rainer Schmidt||23||East Germany||GDR||Bronze||219.3|
|5||Manfred Wolf||24||East Germany||GDR||215.1|
|6||Gary Napalkov||23||Soviet Union||URS||210.1|
|15T||Frithjof Prydz, Jr.||28||Norway||NOR||194.7|
|20||Henry Glaß||18||East Germany||GDR||183.0|
|21||Sergey Yanin||18||Soviet Union||URS||181.4|
|25||Ron Steele||18||United States||USA||177.7|
|27||Günther Göllner||30||West Germany||FRG||175.3|
|30||Greg Swor||20||United States||USA||172.8|
|31||Stanisław Gąsienica Daniel||20||Poland||POL||171.1|
|32T||Anatoly Zheglanov||25||Soviet Union||URS||170.7|
|34||Jo Inge Bjørnebye||25||Norway||NOR||167.8|
|35||K'oba Ts'akadze||37||Soviet Union||URS||165.2|
|36||Jerry Martin||21||United States||USA||163.1|
|39T||Heinz Wosipiwo||21||East Germany||GDR||159.6|
|44||Ernst von Grünigen||21||Switzerland||SUI||153.0|
|47||Scott Berry||23||United States||USA||151.7|
|52||Alfred Grosche||22||West Germany||FRG||119.6|
|DNS||Sepp Schwinghammer||21||West Germany||FRG|