Host City: Lake Placid, United States
Venue(s): Mt. Van Hoevenberg Recreation Area, Lake Placid
Date Started: February 19, 1980
Date Finished: February 19, 1980
Format: Two runs, total time determined placement.
The defending champions from East Germany, [Hans Rinn] and [Norbert Hahn], had become World Champions in 1977, and won the European title in 1978 and 1980. But as in the women’s competition, the Soviets had joined the top nations when, [Dainis Bremze] and [Aigars Krikis] (both Latvians) had won the World Championships in 1978. The West Germans put their hopes on the defending World Champions, [Hans Brandner] and [Balthasar Schwarm], who had won silver in Innsbruck four years earlier. But these latter two duos would not impress at Lake Placid. Bremze suffered from a hand injury and they placed only 11th, while Brandner/Schwarm disappointed in 6th. Instead, Rinn and Hahn won the first run, and placed second in the final run to become the first sliders to retain their Olympic title. Behind them, [Gschnitzer]/[Brunner] won silver for Italy, and [Fluckinger]/[Schrott] took Austria’s only luge medal in 1980.