The 1976 Winter Olympics were awarded to the U.S. city of Denver, but the people of the state of Colorado voted to prohibit public funds from being used to support the Games. Innsbruck was subsequently selected by the IOC Executive Board to take over. By updating some facilities and building others they were able to host the Games on short notice, just 12 years after Innsbruck had first hosted an edition of the Winter Games. Rosi Mittermaier won two of the three Alpine skiing events and almost became the first woman to sweep all three events. But in the final race, Kathy Kreiner beat her by 12 hundredths of a second. The ice hockey team from the USSR won its fourth straight gold medal. A new figure skating event, ice dancing, was added to the programme and, like the pairs, it was dominated by Russian couples. The most memorable image of the Games was Franz Klammer flying wildly down the downhill course, barely keeping control, on his way to a gold medal.
37 NOCs (Nations)
1,123 athletes (231 women, 892 men)