Host City: Innsbruck, Austria
Venue(s): Olympic Ice Stadium, Innsbruck
Date Started: February 8, 1976
Date Finished: February 11, 1976
Format: Each judge ranked each skater 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 skaters. The points were based on 30% for Compulsory Figures, 20% for the Short Program, and 50% for Free Skating, with the tiebreaker for each judge being the Free Skating score. Final placement was determined by a Majority Placement rule. Thus, if a skater was ranked first by a majority of the judges, that skater was placed first overall, and the process was repeated for each place. Ties were broken by a Subsequent Majority rule, i.e., if the skaters were ranked for the same position by the same number of judges, Majority Placement for the next higher position for each skater determined who was ranked higher. The tiebreakers were then 1) Number of Majority Placements, 2) Total Ordinals of Majority, 3) Total Ordinals, 4) Total Points.
The competition was expected to come down to the artistic John Curry (GBR) against the powerful athleticism of the Soviet’s Vladimir Kovalyov. Prior to 1976, Curry had never defeated Kovalyov in a major event, but shortly before the Innsbruck Olympics, Curry won the European Championships, with Kovalyov second. European judges’ criticism of Curry’s skating was that it was too feminine and not athletic enough. By the time of the Olympics, Curry had supplemented his programs with enough jumps to satisfy the judges. In the competition, Sergey Volkov (URS) took the lead after the compulsories with Curry second and Kovalyov third. Curry then moved into the lead, placing second in the short program to Canada’s Toller Cranston. Kovalyov had problems in the short, placing only sixth, and dropping to fourth place overall, behind Curry, Volkov, and East Germany’s Jan Hoffmann. Curry won the free skating to secure the gold medal. Kovalyov placed only fourth in that phase but moved up to the silver medal as Volkov and Hoffmann struggled. Cranston, fifth after the short program, placed second in the free skate to win the bronze medal. Curry was an openly gay skater, as was Cranston, and would later die from AIDS in 1994. American Terry Kubicka performed a back flip, then still allowed and the first at the Winter Olympics, but he was not rewarded by the judges. Curry was coached by Carlo Fassi, who also coached the 1976 women’s gold medalist, Dorothy Hamill.
|1||John Curry||26||Great Britain||GBR||Gold||7×1+||7.0||11.0||192.74|
|2||Vladimir Kovalyov||23||Soviet Union||URS||Silver||5×3+||11.0||28.0||187.64|
|4||Jan Hoffmann||20||East Germany||GDR||5×3+||14.0||34.0||187.34|
|5||Sergey Volkov||26||Soviet Union||URS||6×6+||27.0||53.0||184.08|
|6||David Santee||18||United States||USA||6×6+||28.0||49.0||184.28|
|7||Terry Kubicka||19||United States||USA||5×6+||26.0||56.0||183.30|
|8||Yury Ovchinnikov||25||Soviet Union||URS||5×8+||37.0||75.0||180.04|
|10||Robin Cousins||18||Great Britain||GBR||8×10+||72.0||83.0||178.14|
|16||Glyn Jones||22||Great Britain||GBR||9×16+||141.0||141.0||157.24|