1976 Winter Olympics

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XII Olympic Winter Games
1976 Winter Olympics logo.png
The emblem represents the coat of arms of Innsbruck, which shows the bridge on the Inn River that connects the old town and the Hötting district. The bridge and the Olympic rings symbolize the link that ties the many peoples of the world with friendship through the Olympic Games. The top of the coat of arms has two indents which match two of the Olympic rings and represent the 1964 and 1976 Winter Games which Innsbruck celebrates.
Host city Innsbruck, Austria
Nations participating 37
Athletes participating 1123
(892 men, 231 women)
Events 37 in 6 sports (10 disciplines)
Opening ceremony February 4
Closing ceremony February 15
Officially opened by President Rudolf Kirchschläger
Athlete's Oath Werner Delle-Karth
Judge's Oath Willy Köstinger
Olympic Torch Christl Haas and Josef Feistmantl
Stadium Bergisel

The 1976 Winter Olympics, officially known as the XII Olympic Winter Games (French: Les XIIes Jeux olympiques d'hiver) (German: Olympische Winterspiele 1976), were a winter multi-sport event which was celebrated February 4–15, 1976 in Innsbruck, Austria. It was the second time the Tyrolean city hosted the Games, which were awarded to Innsbruck after Denver, the original host city, withdrew in 1972.

As these were the first Olympics held following the murder of eleven Israeli athletes at the Munich games, security for the Innsbruck games was much more rigid.

Host selection[edit]

The cities of Denver, Colorado, United States; Sion, Switzerland; Tampere, Finland; and Vancouver (with the Garibaldi mountains), Canada, made bids for the Games.

The games were originally awarded to Denver on May 12, 1970, but a 300% rise in costs and worries about environmental impact led to Colorado voters' rejection on November 7, 1972, by a 3 to 2 margin, of a $5 million bond issue to finance the games with public funds.[1][2]

Denver officially withdrew on November 15, and the IOC then offered the games to Whistler, British Columbia, Canada, but they too declined owing to a change of government following elections. Whistler would go on to be associated with neighbouring Vancouver's successful bid for the 2010 games.

Salt Lake City, Utah, a 1972 Winter Olympics final candidate who would eventually host in 2002 Winter Olympics, offered itself as a potential host after the withdrawal of Denver. The IOC, still reeling from the Denver rejection, declined and selected Innsbruck, which had hosted the 1964 Winter Olympics games twelve years earlier, on February 5, 1973.

The chart below displays the original vote count for the 69th IOC meeting at Amsterdam, Netherlands, in 1970, before the Denver rejection and the installation of Innsbruck, Austria, as alternate host.

Original 1976 Winter Olympics bidding results[3]
City Country Round 1 Round 2 Round 3
Denver  United States 29 29 39
Sion   Switzerland 18 31 30
Tampere  Finland 12 8
VancouverGaribaldi  Canada 9

Mascot[edit]

Schneemann, the mascot of the Games

The mascot of the 1976 Winter Olympics is a Tyrolean snowman called Schneemann and represents the Games of Simplicity.

Highlights[edit]

  • Austrian favorite Franz Klammer won the men's downhill event in alpine skiing in 1:45.73, after great pressure from his country and defending champion Bernhard Russi of Switzerland.
  • Dorothy Hamill of the US won the gold in Figure Skating, and inspired the popular "wedge" haircut.[4]
  • Elegant British skater John Curry altered his routine to appeal to Olympic judges, winning gold.[5]
  • American skater Terry Kubicka attempted – and completed – a dangerous backflip in figure skating.
  • Rosi Mittermaier of West Germany nearly swept the women's alpine skiing events, earning two golds and a silver, missing the third gold by 0.13 seconds.[6]
  • Soviet speed skater Tatiana Averina won four medals. The U.S. team won six medals in speed skating.[7]
  • In the 4-man bobsled, the East German team won for the first of three consecutive titles.
  • The USSR won its fourth straight ice hockey gold medal; for the second consecutive Olympics Canada refused to send a team.
  • Sports technology, in the guise of innovative perforated skis, sleek hooded suits and streamlined helmets appeared in alpine skiing, speed skating and ski jumping, making headlines in Innsbruck.[8]
  • A second cauldron for the Olympic flame was built to represent the 1976 Games, and together with the 1964 Winter Games cauldrons were lit.
  • The Soviet Union won the most medals with 13 gold, 6 silver, and 8 bronze.
  • Bobsleigh and luge competed on the same track for the first time ever.

Venues[edit]

Bergisel in 2004

Medals awarded[edit]

There were 37 events contested in 6 sports (10 disciplines). Ice dancing made its debut to the Olympics. See the medal winners, ordered by sport:

Participating nations[edit]

37 nations participated in the 1976 Winter Olympic Games. The '76 Winter Olympics marked the final time the Republic of China (Taiwan) participated under the Republic of China flag and name. After most of the international community recognized the People's Republic of China as the legitimate government of all China, the ROC was forced to compete under the name Chinese Taipei, under an altered flag and to use its National Banner Song instead of its national anthem. Andorra and San Marino participated in their first Winter Olympic Games.

Medal count[edit]

(Host nation highlighted)

Rank Nation Gold Silver Bronze Total
1 Soviet Union 13 6 8 27
2 East Germany 7 5 7 19
3 United States 3 3 4 10
4 Norway 3 3 1 7
5 West Germany 2 5 3 10
6 Finland 2 4 1 7
7 Austria 2 2 2 6
8 Switzerland 1 3 1 5
9 Netherlands 1 2 3 6
10 Italy 1 2 1 4

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Colorado only state ever to turn down Olympics". Denver.rockymountainnews.com. Retrieved March 23, 2011. 
  2. ^ "The Games that got away – 2002 Winter Olympics coverage". Deseretnews.com. Retrieved March 23, 2011. 
  3. ^ "Past Olympic host city election results". GamesBids. Archived from the original on March 17, 2011. Retrieved March 17, 2011. 
  4. ^ Dorothy Hamill bio. Factmonster.com. Retrieved on July 7, 2011.
  5. ^ Olympic.org
  6. ^ Infoplease. Infoplease (2009-02-01). Retrieved on July 7, 2011.
  7. ^ Kiat.net. Kiat.net. Retrieved on July 7, 2011.
  8. ^ CBC.CA. CBC.CA. Retrieved on July 7, 2011.

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Sapporo
Winter Olympics
Innsbruck

XII Olympic Winter Games (1976)
Succeeded by
Lake Placid