The Winter Games originally scheduled for Sapporo, Japan (1940) and Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy (1944) were cancelled because of World War II. Untouched by the war, the Swiss resort town of St. Moritz was picked to host the 1948 Games and 28 countries sent 706 athletes to compete.
The United States sent two hockey teams, one sanctioned by the American Olympic Committee and one by the American Hockey Association. The IOC ruled that the AOC team could march in the opening parade and the AHA team could play in the tournament, but neither would be eligible for a medal. Canada and Czechoslovakia each finished with 7–0–1 records, but the Canadians won the gold medal by goal differential, 64–62. Czech team member Jaroslav Drobny later distinguished himself as a tennis player, winning the men's singles title at Wimbledon in 1954.
Dick Button of Englewood, N.J., became the first American to win a figure skating gold medal, an achievement that also earned him the Sullivan Award as U.S. amateur athlete of the year.
Alpine skier Gretchen Fraser won a gold medal in the slalom and a silver in the combined for the Americans. French Alpine skier Henri Oreiller was the men's top individual performer with two golds and a bronze.