ST. Moritz, Switzerland
30 january – 8 february 1948
The 1940 Winter Olympics were scheduled for Sapporo, Japan. War with China forced the Japanese to admit, in July 1938, that they would be unable to host the Games. St. Moritz was chosen as an alternative site, but the continuing dispute about ski instructors led the Swiss to withdraw as well. The Germans volunteered Garmisch-Partenkirchen in July 1939, but four months later the reality of World War II forced the cancellation of the Olympics. The first postwar Games were held in St. Moritz in 1948. Germany and Japan were barred from competing, but everyone else took part eagerly, and it was clear that the Winter Olympics had successfully survived the 12-year hiatus. For the first time, North Americans won gold medals in figure skating. Barbara Ann Scott of Canada took the women's title and Dick Button of the United States the men's. In general, athletic success was evenly divided. Although 22 events were contested, only French Alpine skier Henri Oreiller and Swedish Nordic skier Martin Lundstrom were able to win two gold medals.