Host City: Innsbruck, Austria
Venue(s): Olympic Ice Stadium, Innsbruck
Date Started: February 5, 1976
Date Finished: February 7, 1976
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. The points were based on 25% for the Original Program, and 75% for Free Skating. 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. Ties were broken by a Subsequent Majority rule, i.e., if the pairs were ranked for the same position by the same number of judges, Majority Placement for the next higher position for each pair determined who was ranked higher. The tiebreakers were then, in order, 1) Number of Majority Placements, 2) Total Ordinals of Majority, 3) Total Ordinals, 4) Total Points.
After splitting with her original partner, [Aleksey Ulanov], with whom she won the gold medal in 1972, [Irina Rodnina] began the nationwide search for a new partner, assisted by the Soviet figure skating factory. This resulted in [Aleksandr Zaytsev] being chosen as her new partner. Together they would become one of the great pairs in figure skating history, winning the World Title every year from 1973-78, and the Europeans in 1973-78 and 1980 (Rodnina gave birth to a baby in 1979). Their victory in Innsbruck was a foregone conclusion, and they easily won both phases of the event, ranking first on all judges’ cards. The other medals went to East German pairs – [Romy Kermer] and [Rolf Oesterreich] won silver while [Manuela Groß] and [Uwe Kagelmann] won bronze. Rodnina had been romantically spurned by her first partner, Ulanov, but in Zaitsev she found a skating partner and her eventual husband – they had married in April 1975, although they would later divorce.