| Event type

Four, Men

Date23 – 24 February 1980
LocationMt. Van Hoevenberg Recreation Area, Lake Placid
Participants68 from 10 countries
FormatFour runs, total time determined placement.
DetailsCurves: 16
Length: 1557 m
Start Altitude: 771 m
Vertical Drop: 148 m

The German Democratic Republic had caused a surprise by winning the 1976 Olympic title but by the start of the 1980 Games they were overwhelming favourites. It was true that they did not arrive at Lake Placid as world champions as their West German rivals had used home advantage to claim the 1979 title and it was also true that Switzerland had already bested them in the two-man event but East Germany were still expected to dominate.

Manfred Nehmer’s GDR I sled put down a marker in their first run and recorded the first sub-one minute time in the track’s history. Reunited with brakeman Bernard Germeshausen after the two had competed in separate teams in the two-man event he was the class of the field in the first three runs and his time of 59.73 in run three again broke the track record. Two-man champion Erich Schärer posted the best time of the final run and this proved just enough to edge Switzerland I ahead of the other East German crew.

Further down the field as part of the US I crew that finished in twelfth place was Willie Davenport, the same Willie Davenport who twelve years earlier in Mexico City had won the 110 m hurdles gold. Jonnie Woodall of Great Britain recorded his best Olympic finish of ninth in this event but his appearance was more notable for the fact that he became the first and, to 2010, only person to compete in both singles and doubles luge and two-man and four-man bobsleigh.

PosCompetitorsNOCTimeRun #1Run #2Run #3Run #4
1East Germany 1GDR3:59.9259.86 (1)1:00.03 (1)59.73 (1)1:00.30 (2)Gold
Meinhard NehmerBernhard GermeshausenBogdan MusiolHans-Jürgen Gerhardt
2Switzerland 1SUI4:00.871:00.31 (3)1:00.41 (3)1:00.02 (2)1:00.13 (1)Silver
Erich SchärerUeli BächliRuedi MartiSepp Benz
3East Germany 2GDR4:00.971:00.24 (2)1:00.35 (2)1:00.04 (3)1:00.34 (3)Bronze
Horst SchönauRoland WetzigDetlef RichterAndreas Kirchner
4Austria 1AUT4:02.621:00.75 (4)1:00.77 (4)1:00.41 (6)1:00.69 (5)
Fritz SperlingHeinrich BergmüllerFranz RednakBernhard Purkrabek
5Austria 2AUT4:02.951:00.91 (5)1:01.12 (7)1:00.25 (4)1:00.67 (4)
Walter Delle KarthFranz PaulweberGerd ZaunschirmKurt Oberhöller
6Switzerland 2SUI4:03.691:01.13 (7)1:01.00 (=5)1:00.54 (7)1:01.02 (6)
Hans HiltebrandUlrich SchindlerWalter RahmArmin Baumgartner
7West Germany 1FRG4:04.401:01.14 (8)1:01.22 (8)1:00.57 (8)1:01.47 (11)
Peter HellHans WagnerHeinz BuscheWalter Barfuß
8Romania 1ROU4:04.681:01.42 (10)1:01.32 (9)1:00.61 (9)1:01.33 (9)
Dragoș Panaitescu-RapanDorel CristudorSandu MitrofanGheorghe Lixandru
9Great Britain 1GBR4:04.921:01.44 (11)1:01.42 (10)1:00.98 (11)1:01.08 (7)
Jonnie WoodallTony WallingtonCorrie BrownJohn Howell
10West Germany 2FRG4:05.151:01.54 (14)1:01.47 (11)1:00.93 (10)1:01.21 (8)
Alois SchnorbusLothar PongratzJürgen HofmannMartin Meinberg
11ItalyITA4:05.301:01.26 (9)1:01.66 (12)1:01.01 (12)1:01.37 (10)
Andrea JoryEdmund LanzinerGeorg WerthGiovanni Modena
12United States 1USA4:06.111:01.49 (=12)1:01.81 (14)1:01.04 (13)1:01.77 (14)
Bob HickeyJeff JordanWillie DavenportJeff Gadley
13United States 2USA4:06.201:01.49 (=12)1:01.69 (13)1:01.30 (14)1:01.72 (12)
Howard Siler, Jr.Joe TylerJeff JostDick Nalley
14Romania 2ROU4:07.511:01.85 (17)1:02.16 (16)1:01.74 (15)1:01.76 (13)
Constantin IancuIon DuminicelDoru FrîncuConstantin Obreja
15Great Britain 2GBR4:07.691:01.79 (16)1:01.90 (15)1:02.11 (16)1:01.89 (15)
Jackie PriceGomer LloydSir Andrew Ogilvy-WedderburnNick Phipps
DNFCanadaCAN1:01.76 (15)1:02.25 (17)– (DNS)
Martin GlynnAlan MacLachlanSerge CantinRobert Wilson
DQSwedenSWE[4:04.93]1:01.01 (6)1:01.00 (=5)1:00.36 (5)[1:02.56] (DQ)1
Carl-Erik ErikssonPeter JanssonRunald BeckmanKenth Rönn