XII Olympic Winter Games
Canadians won three medals, one of each colour, at the 1976 Games in Innsbruck. Toller Cranston, Canada’s champion men’s figure skater every year since 1971, won a bronze. Speed skater Cathy Priestner was one of five skaters to break Olympic records, taking a silver medal in the 500 m event.
The gold medal performance came from 19-year-old Kathy Kreiner, whose best Olympic performance had been 14th place in the slalom four years earlier. West Germany’s Rosi Mittermaier had already won the gold medals in downhill and slalom and she was aiming for the giant slalom gold. But Kathy streaked across the finish line 12 one-hundredths of a second ahead of Mittermaier. The greatest tribute to the gold medalist came from Mittermaier, who said, “I didn’t lose, I was beaten.”
Olympic Oath (athletes): Werner Delle-Karth (bobsleigh)
Olympic Oath (officials): WIlly Köstinger (Nordic combined)
Lighting Olympic Cauldron: Christl Haas and Josef Feistmantl
Official Opening: President Dr. Rudolf Kirschschläger