Host City: Innsbruck, Austria
Venue(s): Artficial Bob and Luge Track, Igls
Date Started: February 13, 1976
Date Finished: February 14, 1976
Format: Four runs, total time determined placement.
Theoretically the Olympic title should been contested between West Germany, Switzerland and Austria as those countries had dominated the FIBT World Championships over the preceding three years. The problem with that theory was the emergence, in less than an Olympic cycle, of a strong East German bobsleigh programme. Formed with a backbone of converted track and field athletes the GDR had threatened to break through to the podium positions over the previous seasons and in Innsbruck this was achieved in spectacular fashion. The reigning world champion [Erich Schärer], driving Switzerland II, reined in the gap on the second day of competition but [Manfred Nehmer]’s GDR I bob had built up too much of an advantage to be overhauled in the contest for gold. Nehmer began only the second man to secure victory in both events at the same Games and the first to do so at his début Olympics.