Canada's Karen Magnussen carries the Canadian flag during the opening ceremony of the Sapporo 1972 Olympic Winter Games.

Sapporo 1972

Team Canada Medal Count

Gold medal icon 0
Silver medal icon 1
Bronze medal icon 0

Flag Bearers

Opening Ceremony

Games Summary

XI Olympic Winter Games

In 1972 Sapporo became the first Asian city to host the Olympic Winter Games, winning the vote on the first ballot over three cities, including Banff. At the time, Sapporo was the largest centre to host the Winter Games.

Magnussen, Karen

Canada’s lone medal was a silver in figure skating by Karen Magnussen. The 1972 Olympic ladies’ event marked a turning point for the sport as the results eventually led to the elimination of compulsory figures. At the time, the compulsory and free skate portions each counted for 50 percent. In Sapporo, Austrian Trixi Schuba built up such a lead with her exemplary figures that her seventh place finish in the free skating had no impact on her final standing and she won the gold medal. Conversely, American Janet Lynn, who had been fourth in figures, won the free skate but could only pull up to bronze medal position, puzzling spectators and television viewers. Magnussen had placed third in the compulsories and second in the free skate. She went on to win the 1973 World title following the introduction of the short program, which reduced the number of figures performed and the value of them to 40 percent.

Two athletes each won three gold medals. Soviet Galina Kulakova stood atop the podium in all three women’s cross-country skiing events, while Dutchman Ard Schenk won three of the four men’s speed skating events.Arbuthnat, Larry | McComb, David | Anakin, Doug | Nielson, Paul | Hansen, Doug


Canadian Medallists

Event Athlete Finish Sport
Singles - WomenKaren MagnussenSilverFigure Skating

Overall Medal Count

Rank Country Gold Silver Bronze Total
1Soviet Union85316
2East Germany43714
6United States3238
7West Germany3115
9Finland - 415
12Czechoslovakia1 - 23
13France - 123
T14Poland1 - - 1
T14Spain1 - - 1
16Canada - 1 - 1