| Event type

Two, Men

Date27 – 28 January 1956
LocationPista del Bob, Ronco, Cortina d'Ampezzo
Participants50 from 14 countries
FormatFour runs, total time determined placement.
Venue detailsCurves: 16
Length: 1700 m
Start Altitude: ?
Vertical Drop: 153 m

In the years since the Oslo Olympics world championship medals have been spread evenly with nine crews each taking a medal apiece. Allied to the fact that, for various reasons, none of the previous three world champion pilots, Felix Endrich and Fritz Feierabend of Switzerland and Guglielmo Scheibmeier of Italy were present in Cortina this should in theory have made predictions difficult. Whether it was the local knowledge of Italian pilots Lamberto Dalla Costa and Eugenio Monti, the innovative design of their Podar-designed sleds, or just superior driving ability that conspired to give the host nation a resounding victory mattered little. The truth of the matter was that as soon as the first Italian bob reached the finish of its’ first run it was obvious that, barring a crash, a home victory was assured. Dalla Costa, who rarely competed on any track other than Cortina, led his compatriot by 0.8 seconds at the halfway stage but was four seconds clear of the third-place team. By the finish of the competition six seconds separated the Italians from the rest of the field. In comparison the battle for bronze was hard fought between Switzerland, the United States and Olympic bobsleigh débutants Spain and was only decided in favour of the Swiss on the final run. Piloting the Spanish bob was the remarkable multi-talented sporting aristocrat, the Marquis de Portago.

De Portago was the driving force behind the creation of the Spanish bobsleigh team and populated it with friends and relations. In the modern era he may well have been described as an “adrenalin junkie” because as well as his bobsleigh career he was a racing driver who was placed second at the British Formula One Grand Prix in 1955, three-times champion amateur jockey of France and a competitor in the English Grand National Steeplechase as well as being a top-class swimmer and squash player. He would pilot Spain to a bronze medal in the 1957 World Championship but would be dead by the end of the year, the victim of a gruesome crash that also claimed 11 other lives in the classic Italian sports car race, the Mille Miglia.

Eugenio Monti, a former national skiing champion, would go on to dominate this event for the next decade and won six of the next seven world titles. If bobsleigh had been contested at the 1960 Winter Games he would have started as a red hot favourite but instead he had to wait another twelve years to become Olympic champion.

PosNrBobsleighNOCTimeRun 1Run 2Run 3Run 4
1Italy IITA5:30.141:22.00 (1)1:22.45 (1)1:22.95 (1)1:22.74 (1)Gold
Lamberto Dalla CostaGiacomo Conti
2Italy IIITA5:31.451:22.73 (2)1:22.53 (2)1:23.37 (2)1:22.82 (2)Silver
Eugenio MontiRenzo Alverà
3Switzerland ISUI5:37.461:24.71 (5)1:23.81 (5)1:24.27 (4)1:24.67 (4)Bronze
Max AngstHarry Warburton
4Spain ESP5:37.601:24.81 (7)1:23.77 (=3)1:24.03 (3)1:24.99 (5)
Fon, Marquis de PortagoVicente Sartorius
5United States IUSA5:38.161:24.82 (8)1:24.15 (7)1:24.78 (7)1:24.41 (3)
Bud WashbondPiet Biesiadecki
6United States IIUSA5:40.081:25.41 (9)1:23.77 (=3)1:24.44 (5)1:26.46 (17)
Art TylerEdgar Seymour
7Switzerland IISUI5:40.111:24.74 (6)1:24.50 (8)1:24.70 (6)1:26.17 (13)
Franz KapusHeiri Angst
8Germany IIGER5:40.131:24.63 (4)1:24.89 (10)1:25.07 (8)1:25.54 (8)
Anderl OstlerHans Hohenester
9Germany IGER5:41.341:26.92 (14)1:24.08 (6)1:25.21 (9)1:25.13 (6)
Hans RöschLorenz Nieberl
10Great Britain IIGBR5:42.831:25.63 (10)1:24.53 (9)1:26.73 (=16)1:25.94 (11)
Stuart ParkinsonChristopher Williams
11Great Britain IGBR5:43.361:24.52 (3)1:26.57 (16)1:25.88 (11)1:26.39 (15)
Keith SchellenbergJohn Rainsforth
12Austria IAUT5:43.971:26.32 (12)1:25.82 (12)1:26.61 (15)1:25.22 (7)
Paul AsteHeinrich Isser
13Belgium BEL5:44.811:27.30 (18)1:25.93 (13)1:25.60 (10)1:25.98 (12)
Marcel LeclefAlbert Casteleyns
14Romania IROU5:46.221:26.51 (13)1:26.83 (17)1:26.44 (14)1:26.44 (16)
Heinrich EneaMărgărit Blăgescu
15Austria IIAUT5:46.291:26.15 (11)1:27.06 (20)1:26.73 (=16)1:26.35 (14)
Karl WagnerAdolf Tonn
16Poland IIPOL5:46.351:27.70 (21)1:26.49 (15)1:26.24 (13)1:25.92 (10)
Stefan CiapałaAleksander Habela
17Sweden ISWE5:46.651:27.15 (15)1:27.82 (22)1:26.01 (12)1:25.67 (9)
Olle AxelsonTryggve Sundström
18Romania IIROU5:50.161:27.22 (17)1:26.42 (14)1:27.57 (19)1:28.95 (20)
Constantin DragomirGheorghe Moldoveanu
19Poland IPOL5:50.851:27.21 (16)1:27.23 (21)1:27.87 (20)1:28.54 (18)
Aleksy KoniecznyZbigniew Skowroński
20Norway IINOR5:52.331:27.57 (20)1:26.90 (18)1:28.81 (21)1:29.05 (21)
Arne RøgdenOdd Solli
ACNorway INOR1:29.04 (24)1:27.93 (23)– (AC)1:28.86 (19)DNF1
Reidar AlvebergArnold Dyrdahl
ACSweden IISWE2:29.66 (25)1:25.01 (11)– (DNS)DNF
Sven ErbsWalter Aronson
ACFrance IFRA1:27.41 (19)1:28.33 (24)– (DNS)DNF
André RobinLucien Grosso
ACFrance IIFRA1:27.76 (22)1:26.95 (19)1:27.41 (18)– (DNS)DNF
André DonnetSerge Giacchini
ACLiechtenstein LIE1:28.17 (23)1:28.41 (25)– (DNS)DNF
Moritz HeideggerWeltin Wolfinger