Figure Skating at the 1976 Winter Olympics

Dates 4 – 13 February 1976
Medal Events 4

For the first time ice dancing was added to the Olympic Program as a medal sport. Ice dancing exhibitions had been given at 1948 (little is known about that event) and 1968. Ice dancing had been contested at the World Championships since 1952, and at the European Championships since 1954. The 1976 Olympic figure skating was conducted indoors at the Olympic Ice Stadium. Scoring in the men’s and ladies’ events was changed again. It had been changed in 1971, adding more emphasis to free skating, but the new system was not used at the 1972 Olympics. In 1974, even more emphasis was placed on free skating. The free skating would now count toward 50% of a skater’s total score, with the free skate 20% and compulsory figures now only 30%. Ice dancing consisted of three phases, a compulsory dance phase of three compulsory dances, followed by the optional set pattern dance, and then a free dance. In the 1950s and 60s the British had been the leading practitioners of ice dancing, but by the 1970s the Soviets had become pre-eminent in this event, and as the leading pairs skaters in the world, the Soviets would dominate couples skating for the next several decades. One other change that began in 1976 was that on the last night of the Olympics, prior to the closing ceremony, the figure skating medalists skated exhibition programs to the delight of an always packed stadium and a large television audience.


Event Status Date Participants NOCs
Singles, Men Olympic 8 – 11 February 1976 20 12
Singles, Women Olympic 10 – 13 February 1976 21 15
Pairs, Mixed Olympic 5 – 7 February 1976 28 9
Ice Dancing, Mixed Olympic 4 – 9 February 1976 36 9
105 (52/53) 18 (16/16)


Event Gold Silver Bronze
Singles, Men John CurryGBR Vladimir KovalyovURS Toller CranstonCAN
Singles, Women Dorothy HamillUSA Dianne de LeeuwNED Christine ErrathGDR
Pairs, Mixed Soviet Union 1URS East Germany 1GDR East Germany 2GDR
Ice Dancing, Mixed Soviet Union 1URS Soviet Union 2URS United States 1USA

Medal table

NOC Gold Silver Bronze Total
Soviet Union URS 2 2 0 4
United States USA 1 0 1 2
Great Britain GBR 1 0 0 1
East Germany GDR 0 1 2 3
Netherlands NED 0 1 0 1
Canada CAN 0 0 1 1