Host City: Montréal, Canada
Venue(s): Olympic Basin, Notre Dame Island, Montréal, Québec
Date Started: July 19, 1976
Date Finished: July 24, 1976
Women’s rowing events were new to the Olympic Games, but they had been contested at the European Championships since 1954 and the World Championships since 1974. The quadruple sculls in particular had not been held for either men or women, and made its first appearance in 1976 (although it was coxless for the men; the women’s event did not become coxless until 1988). As with many rowing events, the East Germans were the favorites: they had won the event at the final European Championships (the tournament had been discontinued after 1973) and at the last two World Championships. Two members of the nation’s delegation to the Montreal Games, Jutta Lau and Liane Weigelt, had been among those World Champions. There were three other nations who had meddled at the Worlds: Romania, runners-up in 1974, Bulgaria, runners-up in 1975, and the Soviet Union, bronze medalists in both editions.
In the opening round, East Germany and the Soviet Union won their heats and had the two fastest times, while Bulgaria and Romania were at their heels. In the finals, the East Germans were mostly unopposed and won the gold medal with ease. Near the end of the race it appeared that the Romanians would capture silver, but the Soviets pushed forward with an impressive drive and took second place by a margin of 0.27 seconds, leaving Romania with bronze and Bulgaria in fourth.