Winter Olympics Through the Years: 1976

Updated February 21, 2017 | Factmonster Staff


The IOC originally gave the 1976 Winter Games to Denver, but in 1972 Colorado voters rejected a $5 million bond issue to finance the undertaking. Denver immediately withdrew as host and the IOC called on Innsbruck, site of the 1964 Games.

For the second straight Winter Carnival the USSR and East Germany finished 1–2 in overall medals. In 1972, Dutch speed skater Ard Schenk and Soviet cross-country skier Galina Kulakova each won three gold medals. In '76, nobody won three, but 25–year-old West German skier Rosi Mittermaier almost did—winning two golds and a silver in the women's Alpine events.

The Russian hockey team, which had won the gold medal in 1972 and then battled the NHL's Team Canada to a virtual standoff six months later, returned with most of the same players and won its fourth straight Olympic title.

In figure skating, 19–year-old Dorothy Hamill of the U.S. and John Curry of Britain won gold medals. Both were coached by Carlo Fassi, who also coached Peggy Fleming in 1968.

Also, Bill Koch became the first U.S. skier to ever win an Olympic cross-country medal when he placed second in the 30–kilometer race.

Top 10 Standings

National medal standings are not recognized by the IOC. The unofficial point totals are based on 3 points for a gold medal, 2 for a silver and 1 for a bronze. Total medals are in parentheses.

1USSR (27)136859
2East Germany (19)75738
3USA (10)33419
 West Germany (10)25319
5Norway (7)33116
6Finland (7)24115
7Austria (6)22212
8Switzerland (5)13110
 Holland (6)12310
10Italy (4)1218

Leading Medal Winners

Number of individual medals won on the left; gold, silver and bronze breakdown to the right.


No SportG-S-B
3Hans van Helden, NEDSp. Skate0-0-3
2Bernhard Germeshausen, E. Ger.Bobsled2-0-0
2Nikolai Kruglov, USSRBiathlon2-0-0
2Meinhard Nehmer, E. Ger.Bobsled2-0-0
2Ivar Formo, NORX-country1-1-0
2Piet Kleine, NEDSp. Skate1-1-0
2Nikolai Bazhuko, USSRX-country1-0-1
2Aleksandr Elizarov, USSRBiathlon1-0-1
2Arto Koivisto, FINX-country1-0-1
2Hans Rinn, E. Ger.Luge1-0-1
2Sergei Saveliev, USSRX-country1-0-1
2Karl Schnabl, AUTSki Jump1-0-1
2Sten Stensen, NORSp. Skate1-1-0
2Neikki Ikola, FINBiathlon0-2-0
2Yevgeny Beliaev, USSRX-country0-1-1
2Josef Benz, SWIBobsled0-1-1
2Valery Muratov, USSRSp. Skate0-1-1
2Erich Scharer, SWIBobsled0-1-1
2Manfred Schumann, W. Ger.Bobsled0-1-1
2Wolfgang Zimmerer, W. Ger.Bobsled0-1-1
2Ivan Garanin, USSRX-country0-0-2


No SportG-S-B
4Tatiana Averina, USSRSp. Skate2-0-2
3Rosi Mittermaier, W. Ger.Alpine2-1-0
3Raisa Smetanina, USSRX-country2-1-0
3Helena Takalo, FINX-country1-2-0
3 Sheila Young, USASp. Skate1-1-1
2Galina Kulakova, USSRX-country1-0-1

Alpine Skiing


Event  Time
DownhillFranz Klammer, AUT1:45.73
SlalomPiero Gros, ITA2:03.29
G.SlalomHeini Hemmi, SWI3:26.97


Event  Time
DownhillRosi Mittermaier, W. Ger.1:46.16
SlalomRosi Mittermaier, W. Ger.1:30.54
G.SlalomKathy Kreiner, CAN1:29.13
Note: Mittermaier finished second in the GS, missing the first women's alpine sweep by an eighth of a second.


Event MTAdj.Time
20 kmNikolai Kruglov, USSR21:14:12.26
4x7.5kmUSSR (Elizarov, Biakov, Kruglov,


Event  Time
2-ManE. Ger. (Meinhard Nehmer 
 & Bernhard Germeshausen)3:44.42
4-ManE. Ger. (Meinhard Nehmer, Jochen Babock, Bernhard Germeshausen,
 Bernhard Lehmann)3:40.43

Figure Skating

Event  Points
MenJohn Curry, GBR192.74
WomenDorothy Hamill, USA193.80
PairsIrina Rodnina & Aleksandr Zaitsev, USSR140.54
DanceLyudmila Pakhomova 
 & Aleksandr Gorshkov, USSR209.92

Ice Hockey

Group A

(Overall records in parentheses)

1USSR (6-0-0)55-0-0104011
2Czechoslovakia (3-2-0)42-2-061710
3West Germany (3-3-0)52-3-042124
4Finland (3-3-0)52-3-041918
5USA (3-3-0)52-3-041521
6Poland (1-4-0)50-4-00937
Note: Czechoslovakia's 7–1 win over Poland was disallowed when a Czech player flunked a random postgame drug test. The Czechs were given a loss and their goals vs. Poland were deleted from the records. The U.S. missed a bronze medal in its final game with a 4–1 loss to West Germany.



Event  Time
1-SeatDettlef Günther, E. Ger.3:27.688
2-SeatHans Rinn & Norbert Hahn, E. Ger.1:25.604


Event  Time
1-SeatMargit Schumann, E. Ger.2:50.621

Nordic Skiing


Cross Country

Event  Time
15kmNikolai Bazhukov, USSR43:58.47
30kmSergei Saveliev, USSR1:30:29.38
50kmIvar Formo, NOR2:37:30.05
4x10kmFIN (Pitkänen, Mieto, 
 Teurajärvi, Koivisto)2:07:59.72

Ski Jumping

Event  Points
70mHans-Goerg Aschenbach, E. Ger.252.0
90mKarl Schnabl, AUT234.8

Nordic Combined

Event Points
15km/JumpUlrich Wehling, E. Ger.423.39


Cross Country

Event  Time
5kmHelena Takalo, FIN15:48.69
10kmRaisa Smetanina, USSR30:13.41
4x5kmUSSR (Baldycheva, Amosova,
 Smetanina, Kulakova)1:07:49.75

Speed Skating


Event  Time  
500mYevgeny Kulikov, USSR 39.17OR
1000mPeter Mueller, USA1:19.32 
1500mJan Egil Storholt, NOR1:59.38OR
5000mSten Stensen, NOR7:24.48 
10,000mPiet Kleine, NED14:50.59OR


Event  Time  
500mSheila Young, USA42.76OR
1000mTatiana Averina, USSR1:28.43OR
1500mGalina Stepanskaya, USSR2:16.58OR
3000mTatiana Averina, USSR4:45.19OR
Sources +