Host City: Montréal, Canada
Venue(s): Maurice Richard Arena, Montréal, Québec; Pierre Charbonneau Centre, Olympic Park, Montréal, Québec
Date Started: July 27, 1976
Date Finished: July 31, 1976
Format: Scoring by negative points, with negative points given for any result short of a fall. Accumulation of 6 negative points eliminated the wrestler, but a wrestler could not be eliminated after a victory. When three or fewer wrestlers remained, they advanced to a final round, with preliminary results carried forward.
The defending champion and favorite was Soviet [Ivan Yarygin], who had won the World title in 1973 and the Europeans in 1972, 1975, and 1976. He was expected to be challenged by American [Russ Hellickson], who had been a medal favorite as a light-heavyweight in 1972. Hellickson, however,had lost in the 1972 Olympic Trials to [Ben Peterson], who went on to win the light-heavyweight gold medal in München. Hellickson continued to compete as a light-heavy but could not beat dominant Soviet Georgian [Levan Tediashvili], so Hellickson elected to move up to heavyweight, which was a more natural weight for him. In round five Yarygin and Hellickson met with Yarygin winning a hard-fought match 19-13 to defend his gold medal. Hellickson then defeated Bulgarian [Dimo Kostov] to take the silver medal.
|1||Ivan Yarygin||27||Soviet Union||URS||Gold|
|2||Russ Hellickson||28||United States||USA||Silver|
|7||Hans-Peter Stratz||26||West Germany||FRG|
|AC||Reza Sokhtesaraie||26||Iran||IRI||Eliminated r3/6||8,0|
|AC||Steve Daniar||21||Canada||CAN||Eliminated r3/6||8,5|
|AC||Harald Büttner||23||East Germany||GDR||Eliminated r2/6||6,5|
|AC||Enache Panait||26||Romania||ROU||Eliminated r2/6||7,0|
|AC||Keith Peache||28||Great Britain||GBR||Eliminated r2/6||7,5|
|AC||Robert N'Diaye||34||Senegal||SEN||Eliminated r2/6||8,0|
|AC||Tore Hem||31||Norway||NOR||Withdrew r2/6||4,0|