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| Event type

Four, Men

Date23 – 24 February 1980
StatusOlympic
LocationMt. Van Hoevenberg Recreation Area, Lake Placid (Bob Run)
Participants68 from 10 countries
FormatFour runs, total time determined placement.
Venue 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.

PosNrBobsleighNOCTimeRun 1Run 2Run 3Run 4
16East Germany IGDR3:59.9259.86 (1)1:00.03 (1)59.73 (1)1:00.30 (2)Gold
Meinhard NehmerBernhard GermeshausenBogdan MusiolHans-Jürgen Gerhardt
28Switzerland ISUI4:00.871:00.31 (3)1:00.41 (3)1:00.02 (2)1:00.13 (1)Silver
Erich SchärerUeli BächliRuedi MartiSepp Benz
311East Germany IIGDR4:00.971:00.24 (2)1:00.35 (2)1:00.04 (3)1:00.34 (3)Bronze
Horst SchönauRoland WetzigDetlef RichterAndreas Kirchner
414Austria IAUT4:02.621:00.75 (4)1:00.77 (4)1:00.41 (6)1:00.69 (5)
Fritz SperlingHeinrich BergmüllerFranz RednakBernhard Purkrabek
51Austria IIAUT4:02.951:00.91 (5)1:01.12 (7)1:00.25 (4)1:00.67 (4)
Walter Delle KarthFranz PaulweberGerd ZaunschirmKurt Oberhöller
612Switzerland IISUI4:03.691:01.13 (7)1:01.00 (=5)1:00.54 (7)1:01.02 (6)
Hans HiltebrandUlrich SchindlerWalter RahmArmin Baumgartner
79West Germany IFRG4:04.401:01.14 (8)1:01.22 (8)1:00.57 (8)1:01.47 (11)
Peter HellHans WagnerHeinz BuscheWalter Barfuß
82Romania IROU4:04.681:01.42 (10)1:01.32 (9)1:00.61 (9)1:01.33 (9)
Dragoș Panaitescu-RapanDorel CristudorSandu MitrofanGheorghe Lixandru
97Great Britain IGBR4:04.921:01.44 (11)1:01.42 (10)1:00.98 (11)1:01.08 (7)
Jonnie WoodallTony WallingtonCorrie BrownJohn Howell
1010West Germany IIFRG4:05.151:01.54 (14)1:01.47 (11)1:00.93 (10)1:01.21 (8)
Alois SchnorbusLothar PongratzJürgen HofmannMartin Meinberg
1113Italy ITA4:05.301:01.26 (9)1:01.66 (12)1:01.01 (12)1:01.37 (10)
Andrea JoryEdmund LanzinerGeorg WerthGiovanni Modena
1216United States IUSA4:06.111:01.49 (=12)1:01.81 (14)1:01.04 (13)1:01.77 (14)
Bob HickeyJeff JordanWillie DavenportJeff Gadley
1315United States IIUSA4:06.201:01.49 (=12)1:01.69 (13)1:01.30 (14)1:01.72 (12)
Howard Siler, Jr.Joe TylerJeff JostDick Nalley
143Romania IIROU4:07.511:01.85 (17)1:02.16 (16)1:01.74 (15)1:01.76 (13)
Constantin IancuIon DuminicelDoru FrîncuConstantin Obreja
155Great Britain IIGBR4:07.691:01.79 (16)1:01.90 (15)1:02.11 (16)1:01.89 (15)
Jackie PriceGomer LloydAndrew Ogilvy-WedderburnNick Phipps
AC4Canada CAN1:01.76 (15)1:02.25 (17)– (DNS)DNF
Martin GlynnAlan MacLachlanSerge CantinRobert Wilson
AC17Sweden SWE4:04.931:01.01 (6)1:01.00 (=5)1:00.36 (5)1:02.56 (AC)DQ1
Carl-Erik ErikssonPeter JanssonRunald BeckmanKenth Rönn