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Cross Country Skiing at the 1972 Sapporo Winter Games

1972 Winter Games: Previous Winter Games ▪ Next Winter Games


Host City: Sapporo, Japan
Date Started: February 4, 1972
Date Finished: February 4, 1972
Events: 7

Participants: 152 (104 men and 48 women) from 19 countries
Youngest Participant: CAN Hellen Sander (17 years, 287 days)
Oldest Participant: FRG Walter Demel (36 years, 75 days)
Most Medals (Athlete): 4 athletes with 3 medals
Most Medals (Country): URS Soviet Union (8 medals)


The program was precisely the same as it had been in 1964 and 1968, with four events for men (15 km, 30 km, 50 km, relay), and three for women (5 km, 10 km, and relay). The events were held on the perimeter of Sapporo, with all events starting and finishing in the Makomanai Ski Stadium. Several interesting things occurred in 1972 cross-country. The women’s events were dominated by [Galina Kulakova] of the Soviet Union, who won both individual events and helped the USSR to a relay victory, matching the three gold medals of [Klavdiya Boyarskikh] in 1964. In the men’s relay, the bronze medal went to Switzerland, its first ever cross-country skiing medal at the Winter Olympics. On the women’s side, Czechoslovakia’s [Helena Šikolová] placed third in the 5 km race, the first cross-country medal for her country. Soviet skier [Vyacheslav Vedenin] won the men’s 30 km, the first individual gold medal for a Soviet man. Vedenin also starred in the relay, skiing a strong anchor leg to bring the Soviet Union its first relay gold since 1956.