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Luge at the 1976 Innsbruck Winter Games

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Host City: Innsbruck, Austria
Date Started: February 4, 1976
Date Finished: February 7, 1976
Events: 3

Participants: 94 (67 men and 26 women) from 16 countries
Youngest Participant: ITA Maria Luise Rainer (16 years, 288 days)
Oldest Participant: URS Rolands Upatnieks (43 years, 59 days)
Most Medals (Athlete): GDR Hans Rinn (2 medals)
Most Medals (Country): GDR East Germany (5 medals)


The luge competitions were held on the same track as the Olympic events in 1964, at the small village of Igls. However, since 1964, the track had been made artificial, marking the first time Olympic luge events were not held on natural ice. Several teams had used the Olympics to show off their new equipment. The West German team showed up with aerodynamically designed helmets, which were nicknamed “eggheads” due to their shape. Their Eastern counterparts entered with an even more revolutionary improvement. They abandoned the strap that was used to steer with, instead only using their legs to move the runners. These improvements led to suspicion that some countries were bending the rules of the sport, and the International Luge Federation (FIL) decided to do a technical check-up of the sleds after each run for the top four finishers plus four random competitors.