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Speed Skating at the 1976 Innsbruck Winter Games

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Sports:

Host City: Innsbruck, Austria
Date Started: February 5, 1976
Date Finished: February 5, 1976
Events: 9

Participants: 111 (66 men and 45 women) from 19 countries
Youngest Participant: KOR Lee Nam-Sun (14 years, 297 days)
Oldest Participant: SUI Franz Krienbühl (46 years, 327 days)
Most Medals (Athlete): URS Tatyana Averina-Barabash (4 medals)
Most Medals (Country): URS Soviet Union (9 medals)

Overview

The Olympia Eisstadion was in the middle of Innsbruck and was constructed specifically for the 1964 Olympic Winter Games. It would be used again for the 1976 Winter Olympics, but was significantly upgraded. The rink, built with artificial ice although it was outdoors, was open to the wind and the elements, and would prove to be somewhat slow, as no world records were set.

There was one change in the schedule in 1976 as a fifth event for men was added, the 1,000 metres. The event had been held at the World Sprint Championships, first conducted in 1970, and was popular with the skaters and fans, causing it to be included on the Olympic Program. Unlike in many years, there was no dominant skater at the 1976 Winter Olympics, with only Tatyana Averina winning two events, the 1,000 and 3,000. Averina won medals in every race, adding bronzes in the other two distances. Two skaters won three medals, Sheila Young and Hans van Helden, with Young winning a full set of medals and van Helden winning three bronzes.

Medalists