The region around Sapporo, like the rest of Hokkaido, was home to indigenous Ainu communities. In the late nineteenth century, Japanese migrants began to settle in Sapporo in greater numbers. Sapporo hosted the 1972 Winter Olympics, Asia's first Winter Olympics, and the Sapporo Dome hosted three games.
The first Winter Olympics were held in Chamonix, France from February 12 to March 4, 1924. They were followed by another winter sports festival in RørŠøka, Norway from January 11 to 20, 1925. The second annual World Ice Hockey Championships were held in Prague, Czechoslovakia from December 31 to January 6, 1926. This is considered the official beginning of ice hockey worldwide. The first Winter Olympic Games were again held in Chamonix four years later on February 13 to 23, 1930. Japan joined the IOC in 1951 and has been a member ever since.
Hokkaido has a cold climate with heavy snowfall and the use of ice surfaces for events such as ice skating and ice hockey is natural development for the area. After the Second World War, many Japanese people moved to urban areas with no experience of winter conditions. There were also not enough international-standard rinks available so the government decided to build some themselves. Two new stadiums were completed in time for the 1972 Winter Olympics: the Hakodate Citizens' Gymnasium for alpine skiing and the Sapporo Dome for basketball, football, and ice hockey.
Join Britannica's Publishing Partner Program and our professional network to earn worldwide exposure for your work! Sapporo The 1972 Olympic Winter Games were held in Sapporo, Japan, from February 3–13, 1972. The Winter Olympic Games were held for the 11th time in Sapporo. In all, 1,579 athletes from 45 countries participated in the games.
The city of Sapporo was selected as the host city on December 6, 1969. This is according to an agreement signed by the mayor of Sapporo at the time, Kenji Nakamura, and President Nixon during his visit to Japan in November of that year. The agreement specified that the games would last for a period of one week starting on February 7, 1972. It also included provisions for future games if Japan's National Olympic Committee votes in favor of it. Japan's previous participation was in 1948 with Nagano.
The games were officially opened on February 4, 1972, with a ceremony led by King Birendra of Nepal. The following day, Japanese Emperor Hirohito made his first public appearance since the end of World War II when he greeted participants at a banquet.
In total, 24 events were held during these games: 10 winter sports disciplines and 14 summer sports. Sapporo hosted four of those events: two each in ice hockey and speed skating. All other events took place within the Tokyo metropolitan area.
The Summer Olympics in Antwerp in 1920 also marked the start of Japan's nearly uninterrupted winning record. Japan has attended every summer Olympics except the 1948 Summer Games, which they were barred from attending, and the 1980 Games, which they boycotted as part of the American-led boycott of the Summer Olympics, which were held in Moscow, USSR.
They hosted the Winter Games in Sapporo in 1972, and they were also one of the best teams. In 1998, they hosted the Winter Olympics once more in Nagano, where they captured 5 gold, 1 silver, and 4 bronze Olympic medals, placing them seventh overall that year and by far their finest result in the Winter Games.
Rio de Janeiro was the first South American city to host the Olympic Games in 2016. The inaugural Summer Games were staged exclusively throughout the winter season in 2016. The other two summer Olympics held in the southern hemisphere began in the winter and ended in the spring. In the month of August, the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro opened and concluded. The second summer Olympics, which will be held in Chile in 2021, begins in February and ends in March.
Rio de Janeiro hosted the Games because they could fit everything into a short period. The main event sites are within about 20 minutes' drive of each other, so athletes don't have to waste time traveling between them. The city also offered a low cost of living for competitors and their families.
When the decision was made to hold the Games in Brazil, Rio de Janeiro was one of the few cities that had not already been selected by other countries as their choice. But soon after the announcement, Buenos Aires withdrew from the bidding process, making Rio de Janeiro the clear winner.
The Olympic flag is raised during the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games. This tradition dates back to the 1896 Olympics in Athens, where an athlete named Spiridon Louis created a new form of dance called "the odeum", which is derived from the word "odeon", which means "auditorium" or "hall". This dance was used to celebrate Greek victory at the games and has been part of every opening ceremony since then.
Ecuador, Eritrea, Kosovo, Malaysia, Nigeria, and Singapore made their Winter Olympics debuts. South Sudan and Tonga joined as new countries while Cuba and Haiti had been disqualified.
The Winter Olympic Games consist of two types of events: winter sports and cross-country skiing. The winter sports include ice hockey, snowboarding, skiing, skeleton, and ice dancing. Cross-country skiing involves competing over a course covering land and water. This type of event is also known as ski jumping, nordic skiing, and telemarking.
The first Winter Olympics were held in Chamonix, France in 1924. These games were limited to seven sports (alpine skiing, biathlon, bobsledding, cross-country skiing, figure skating, short track speed skating, and wrestling) with only three categories (men's singles, women's singles, and pair skating) for each sport. The 1932 Winter Olympics were cancelled due to the worldwide economic depression. It was not until 1948 that the Winter Olympics returned to Paris, this time including ten sports bobsleigh, curling, ice hockey, long track speed skating, Nordic skiing, para-snow skiing, snowboarding, sliding (curling), swimming, and tennis.