| Event type

1,000 metres, Men

Date12 February 1976 — 10:00
LocationEisschnellaufbahn im Olympiaeisstadion, Innsbruck
Participants31 from 16 countries
StarterGerhard SpinkaAUT
RefereeViktor KapitonovURS

This was the first time men would skate the 1,000 at the Olympic Games. The 1,000 was one of the two distances at the World Sprints, held since 1970, and its popularity in that tournament led to its inclusion on the Olympic Program. The world record holder was Valery Muratov, who skated 1:16.92 at Medeo in 1975. But the favorite was probably his Soviet teammate, Aleksandr Safranov, whose record Muratov had broken. Safronov had won the 1975 World Sprints and won both 1,000s at that meet, and in 1974 was fourth at the World Sprints, also winning one of the 1,000s. In the opening pair, Canada’s Gaétan Boucher posted the inaugural Olympic record for the event, finishing in 1:21.23. The second pair saw unheralded American Peter Mueller well under Boucher’s time, crossing the line in 1:19.32. And that would win the gold medal in a major upset as nobody got close to Mueller’s time. In the fifth pair, Norway’s Jørn Didriksen finished in 1:20.45, over a second behind Mueller, but it would be good for the silver medal. Muratov came up in the eighth pair and was close to Mueller’s time at 600 metres, but faded on the last lap to 1:20.57, which brought him a bronze medal. Skating in the ninth pair, Safranov would not make the podium, finishing fourth. Mueller would win only other one other major race in his career, a 500 at the 1977 World Sprints. His wife was Leah Poulos-Mueller, who won three speed skating silver medals in 1976 and 1980, although they would later divorce. Mueller later had an extensive coaching career, coaching the US team, and later the Dutch and Norwegian national teams.

12IPeter MuellerUSA1:19.32GoldOR
25IJørn DidriksenNOR1:20.45Silver
38OValery MuratovURS1:20.57Bronze
49IAleksandr SafronovURS1:20.84
56IHans van HeldenNED1:20.85
61OGaétan BoucherCAN1:21.23OR
78IMats WallbergSWE1:21.27
83IPertti NiittyläFIN1:21.43
91IHorst FreeseFRG1:21.48
107IKlaus WunderlichGDR1:21.67
114IColin CoatesAUS1:21.72
1210IDan ImmerfallUSA1:21.74
1310OJohan GranathSWE1:22.63
147OBruno ToniolliITA1:22.83
156OLee Yeong-HaKOR1:22.88
1612ITerje AndersenNOR1:22.92
172OEmmanuel MichonFRA1:22.99
1812OPiet KleineNED1:23.00
193OMasaki SuzukiJPN1:23.40
209OHarald OehmeGDR1:23.88
214OArchie MarshallGBR1:24.00
2215IKay Arne StenshjemmetNOR1:24.71
2311OTom OverendCAN1:25.06
2413IMikio OyamaJPN1:25.91
255OBerend SchabusAUT1:26.50
2611IFloriano MartelloITA1:26.54
2713ORichard TourneFRA1:26.75
2816ODan CarrollUSA1:27.37
2915OAndrey MalikovURS1:27.57
3014ONorio HirateJPN1:29.42
3116IBernt JanssonSWE1:30.27
DNS14IJan BazenNED