Host City: Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy
Venue(s): Bobsleigh Run, Ronco, Cortina d'Ampezzo
Date Started: February 3, 1956
Date Finished: February 4, 1956
Format: Four runs, total time determined placement.
The World Championship winning pilots from 1953 and 1954, Lloyd Johnson of the USA and [Fritz Feierabend] of Switzerland were not present but the reigning World Champion, [Franz Kapus], appeared in Cortina with the same Switzerland I crew that he had steered to victory in 1955.
Whilst the two-man event had been completely dominated by Italy the four-man event was a very different competition. At the end of day one, during which temperatures had dipped to -16° C. (3° F.), four crews were left in contention for the medals. Switzerland I and II topped the leader board in that order with USA I and Italy’s II bob in close proximity. The decisive run was Switzerland I’s third as they blazed down the track over a second faster than their rivals and ensured that victory would be a formality. A disastrous final run from Switzerland II eliminated them from medal contention so it was left to [Eugenio Monti]’s Italian crew to sneak past American veteran [Art Tyler] for the second place on the podium.
For winning pilot [Franz Kapus], at 46 years of age and in his third Olympics, it was a fitting climax to his career. Kapus remains the oldest man to pilot a bob to Olympic gold and the second oldest, after 48 year old [J.J. O’Brien], of any Olympic bobsleigh champion.