The 1976 Games had been awarded to Denver, but after the American city withdrew in November 1972, Innsbruck offered to step in and its offer was accepted by the IOC Executive Board. The city had previously hosted the Winter Games 12 years earlier.
Ice dancing debuted at the Games as a full medal discipline and was dominated by the Russians. In figure skating, American Terry Kubicka performed a back flip - the first time in the history of figure skating this dangerous move had been successfully performed.
This was the second time the Games had taken place in this city, the first being in 1964. For this reason, two Olympic cauldrons were lit.