Host City: Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany
Venue(s): Olympic Artificial Ice Stadium, Garmisch-Partenkirchen
Date Started: February 13, 1936
Date Finished: February 13, 1936
Format: Each judge ranked each pair by Ordinal Placement from first through last place. The Ordinal Placement for each judge was based on Total Points awarded by that judge to the pairs, with the tiebreaker being Sporting Merit (2nd mark). Final placement was determined by a Majority Placement rule. Thus, if a pair were ranked first by a majority of the judges, that pair was placed first overall, and the process was repeated for each place. If no absolute majority for a place existed, the tiebreakers were, in order: 1) Total Ordinals, 2) Total Points, 3) Compulsory Figure Points.
When double Olympic Champions Andrée and Pierre Brunet left the international scene after 1932, Hungarians Emilia Rotter/László Szollás emerged as the World’s leading pair, winning the World Championships in 1933, 1934 and 1935 and the European Championships 1934. The Germans had developed an outstanding pair in Maxi Herber/Ernst Baier. Baier was a former single skater, coming 5th in the 1932 Olympics. He started training for pairs skating with Maxi in November 1932 when she was 12, and they was able to win a bronze medal in the 1934 World Championships, only 15 months later. They won the European Championships 1935 with Rotter/Szollás not participating. Three weeks before the Olympics 1936, they really impressed by winning a unanimous victory at the European Championships in Berlin, still without the presence of Rotter/Szollás. The excellent figure skating milieu in Vienna had been able to produce a really outstanding young pair in the siblings Ilse and Erik Pausin. At their first international championships, the World in 1935, they came second after Rotter/Szollás, she aged 16 and he only 14. They did not show up for the Europeans in Berlin, but reports from Vienna told that they were making great progress in training.
Emilia Rotter and László Szollás, both Jewish, hoped to crown their career with an Olympic victory in Garmisch. But in front of the home crowd Herber/Baier won convincingly, out of nine judges, seven had them as winners. The Austrian judge voted Pausin/Pausin as first, and the Hungarian judge had Rotter/Szollás in first place. It ended with silver to the Austrians, and the young and fresh couple became favorites of the crowd. The Hungarians ended their career with another Olympic bronze medal.
In the years to come, Herber/Baier won every international championships between 1936 and 1939, the Pausins always in second place (except for Europeans 1936 and Worlds 1939, when they did not participate). At the outbreak of the Second World War, Ilse was still only 20 and Erik 19, but they ended their career with eight silver medals from international championships as their only championships medals. Maxi Herber and Ernst Baier revolutionized pair skating by being the first to perform side by side jumps in competition. They married in 1941 and had three children.