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Swimming at the 1976 Montréal Summer Games

1976 Summer Games: Previous Summer Games ▪ Next Summer Games


Host City: Montréal, Canada
Date Started: July 18, 1976
Date Finished: July 25, 1976
Events: 26

Participants: 471 (262 men and 208 women) from 51 countries
Youngest Participant: ESP Antonia Real (12 years, 311 days)
Oldest Participant: AUT Steffen Kriechbaum (29 years, 203 days)
Most Medals (Athlete): 3 athletes with 5 medals
Most Medals (Country): USA United States (34 medals)


The Montréal Olympic Pool was built for the 1976 Olympics with a seating capacity of 10,000, of which just under 7,000 were temporary seating. The pool is still used for swimming competition.

After the explosion of the swimming program from 1960-68, efforts were made in 1976 to streamline the program. The men went from 15 to 13 events, with the 200 individual medley and the 4x100 freestyle relay eliminated, but both would return in 1984. The women went from 14 to 13 events, eliminating the 200 individual medley, which would also return in 1984.

The United States men dominated the events, winning 12 of 13 events, and 27 of 39 medals. However, on the women’s side, the USA was no longer in charge, as the German Democratic Republic (GDR) Germany) won 11 of 13 events and 18 of 39 medals. Overall, the USA led the medal tables, as the GDR men won only one medal, with the USA winning 13 golds and 34 medals in all.

Two swimmers won four gold medals in 1976 – East German [Kornelia Ender] and American [John Naber]. They also both added a silver medal to finish with five total medals. American [Shirley Babashoff] also won five medals, with one gold and four silvers. She was openly critical of the East German women, basically accusing all of them of using performance enhancing drugs (PEDs). Twenty years later, after German unification, release of East German documents would confirm her suspicions.


Event Gold Silver Bronze
Men's 100 metres Freestyle USA Jim Montgomery USA Jack Babashoff FRG Peter Nocke
Men's 200 metres Freestyle USA Bruce Furniss USA John Naber USA Jim Montgomery
Men's 400 metres Freestyle USA Brian Goodell USA Tim Shaw URS Volodymyr Raskatov
Men's 1,500 metres Freestyle USA Brian Goodell USA Bobby Hackett AUS Steve Holland
Men's 4 × 200 metres Freestyle Relay USA United States URS Soviet Union GBR Great Britain
Men's 100 metres Backstroke USA John Naber USA Peter Rocca GDR Roland Matthes
Men's 200 metres Backstroke USA John Naber USA Peter Rocca USA Dan Harrigan
Men's 100 metres Breaststroke USA John Hencken GBR David Wilkie URS Arvydas Juozaitis
Men's 200 metres Breaststroke GBR David Wilkie USA John Hencken USA Rick Colella
Men's 100 metres Butterfly USA Matt Vogel USA Joe Bottom USA Gary Hall
Men's 200 metres Butterfly USA Mike Bruner USA Steve Gregg USA Bill Forrester
Men's 400 metres Individual Medley USA Rod Strachan USA Tim McKee URS Andrey Smirnov
Men's 4 × 100 metres Medley Relay USA United States CAN Canada FRG West Germany
Women's 100 metres Freestyle GDR Kornelia Ender GDR Petra Priemer NED Enith Brigitha
Women's 200 metres Freestyle GDR Kornelia Ender USA Shirley Babashoff NED Enith Brigitha
Women's 400 metres Freestyle GDR Petra Thümer USA Shirley Babashoff CAN Shannon Smith
Women's 800 metres Freestyle GDR Petra Thümer USA Shirley Babashoff USA Wendy Weinberg
Women's 4 × 100 metres Freestyle Relay USA United States GDR East Germany CAN Canada
Women's 100 metres Backstroke GDR Ulrike Richter GDR Birgit Treiber CAN Nancy Garapick
Women's 200 metres Backstroke GDR Ulrike Richter GDR Birgit Treiber CAN Nancy Garapick
Women's 100 metres Breaststroke GDR Hannelore Anke URS Lyubov Rusanova URS Marina Koshevaya
Women's 200 metres Breaststroke URS Marina Koshevaya URS Maryna Yurchenia URS Lyubov Rusanova
Women's 100 metres Butterfly GDR Kornelia Ender GDR Andrea Pollack USA Wendy Boglioli
Women's 200 metres Butterfly GDR Andrea Pollack GDR Ulrike Tauber GDR Rosemarie Kother-Gabriel
Women's 400 metres Individual Medley GDR Ulrike Tauber CAN Cheryl Gibson CAN Becky Smith
Women's 4 × 100 metres Medley Relay GDR East Germany USA United States CAN Canada