1940 Winter Olympics

V Olympic Winter Games
Host city Sapporo, Japan (cancelled due to World War II)
Opening ceremony N/A
Closing ceremony N/A
Stadium N/A

The 1940 Winter Olympics, which would have been officially known as the V Olympic Winter Games (第五回オリンピック冬季競技大会 Dai Go-kai Orinpikku Tōkikyōgi Taikai), were to have been celebrated in 1940 in Sapporo, Japan, but the games were eventually cancelled due to the onset of World War II.


Sapporo was selected to be the host of the fifth edition of the Winter Olympics, scheduled February 3–12, 1940, but Japan gave the Games back to the IOC in July 1938, after the outbreak of the Second Sino-Japanese War in 1937. Sapporo subsequently hosted the 1972 Winter Olympics.

The IOC then decided to give the Winter Olympics to St Moritz, Switzerland, which had hosted it in 1928. However, due to controversies between the Swiss organizing team and the IOC, the Games were withdrawn again.

In the spring of 1939, the IOC gave the 1940 Winter Olympics, now scheduled for February 2–11, to Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, where the previous 1936 Games had been held. Three months later, Germany invaded Poland, on September 1, to ignite World War II and the Winter Games were cancelled in November. Likewise, the 1944 Games, awarded in 1939 to Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy, were cancelled in 1941. St Moritz held the first post-war games in 1948, while Cortina d'Ampezzo hosted in 1956.

Germany has not hosted the Winter Olympics since 1936: on 6 July 2011, Munich lost out to Pyeongchang, South Korea to host the 2018 Winter games.

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Preceded by
Winter Olympics

Olympic Winter Games (1940)
Succeeded by
Cortina D'Ampezzo
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