For the only time in Winter Games history there had been no bobsleigh competition at the 1960 Winter Olympics at Squaw Valley. The Squaw Valley organizers polled the Winter Olympic nations and found that only nine countries were planning on entering a bobsled team so they elected to scrap the entire bobsleigh programme. The Fédération Internationale de Bobsleigh et de Tobogganing (FIBT) was furious and asked the IOC to overrule the decision, but to no avail. The FIBT decided instead to hold a World Championship, not usually held in Olympic years, in 1960 at Cortina d’Ampezzo, and both the two and four man titles were won by bobs piloted by Italy’s Eugenio Monti. The FIBT would not again hold World Championships in the Winter Olympic year until 1992.
For the 1964 Games a track was built 7 km south from the centre of Innsbruck in the district of Igls near to the site that held the disastrous 1935 World Championship which was marred by a brace of fatal accidents. The artificial track, the first of its’ kind to feature in Olympic competition, measured 1506 m in length, and had 14 curves. The start was located at 1133 m above sea level, and the finish line 138 m lower, making for an average descent of 9.2%. The track was completed in time to host the 1963 World Championship.
One oddity of the 1964 bobsleigh events was that neither of the gold medal winning crews came from a country which had a bobsled track. The British two man crew made the Sankt Moritz track in Switzerland their regular winter base whilst the Canadian quartet trained below the border in Lake Placid, New York.