Host City: Sarajevo, Yugoslavia
Venue(s): , TrebeviÄ
Date Started: February 10, 1984
Date Finished: February 11, 1984
Format: Four runs, total time determined placement.
Switzerland had won the world title through [Hans Hiltebrand] in 1982 and [Ralph Pichler] in 1983 and expected to contend for the Olympic title alongside East Germany. But the GDR crews were untouchable and the gold medal was decided between their two crews. The gold and silver winning drivers were both converted brakeman although with differing levels of experience. Silver medalist [Bernhard Lehmann] had already won an Olympic title as a member of Meinhard Nehmerâs quartet in 1976 before becoming a driver whilst [Wolfgang Hoppe] did not sit in a bob until 1981.
Hoppe, a converted decathlete with a family background in motor-cycling, had emerged as a threat at the 1983 World Championship but in Sarajevo he posted the fastest time in three of the runs, and took victory with half a second to spare and started his illustrious Olympic career. Behind the two East German crews was a surprise in the shape of the USSR crews who took 3rd and 4th positions ahead of the more fancied Swiss.