Host City: Montréal, Canada
Venue(s): Olympic Basin, Notre Dame Island, Montréal, Québec
Date Started: July 18, 1976
Date Finished: July 25, 1976
The quadruple sculls was a new event at the Olympics and had made its début at the World Championships only two years prior, where it had been won both times by crews from East Germany. In the absence of other metrics, therefore, it was this nation that was favored in Montreal, and it sent Wolfgang Güldenpfennig (1972 Olympic bronze medalist in the single sculls and 1975 World Champion), Rüdiger Reiche (1974 World Champion), Karl-Heinz Bußert, and Michael Wolfgramm to the 1976 Games. It was thought that the remaining podium spots would be determined between the Soviets and the Czechoslovakians, each of whom had won one silver and one bronze medal at the World Championships.
It was the Soviet Union, however, who had the fastest time in the opening round, defeating the East Germans in their heat by over three seconds. The Czechoslovakians, meanwhile, bested the nearest competitors in their heat, the West Germans, by over four seconds. The final soon developed into an affair between the Soviets and the East Germans, the latter of whom emerged victorious to capture the first Olympic gold medal in quadruple sculls, while the former settled for silver. As expected, the Czechoslovakians came in comfortably ahead of the West Germans for bronze.