1940 Winter Olympics

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III Olympic Winter Games
Host cityGarmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany
Opening2 February
Closing11 February
Garmisch 1936 St. Moritz 1948
Cortina 1944
Berlin 1936 London 1948
Helsinki 1940

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 from 3 to 12 February 1940 in Sapporo, Japan, but the games were eventually cancelled due to the onset of World War II. Sapporo subsequently hosted the 1972 Winter Olympics.


Sapporo was selected to be the host of the sixth edition of the Winter Olympics, scheduled 3–12 February 1940, but Japan gave the Games back to the IOC in July 1938, after the outbreak of the Second Sino-Japanese War in 1937. The IOC then decided to give the Winter Olympics to St Moritz, Switzerland, which had hosted it in 1928. However, the Swiss organizers believed that ski instructors should be considered professionals. The IOC was not of that mind, and the Games were withdrawn again.

In the spring of 1939, the IOC gave the 1940 Winter Olympics, now scheduled for 2–11 February, to Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, where the previous Games held. Five 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 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