Willkommen Zu Der Olympiahalle


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The opposing national teams of POLAND (white sweaters, red shorts) and FINLAND line-up on their respective bluelines just prior to the start their meeting on the exciting and eventful final day of the ice hockey competiton at the 1976 Winter Olympic Games hosted by Innsbruck, Austria.
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The historical OLYMPIAHALLE in the Pradl district of the Austrian city of Innsbruck is something of a hallowed shrine as far as international ice hockey goes.

The recognizable arena with an official capacity of 7,800 will always standout as the very first, fully-enclosed indoor rink to ever host the ice hockey tournament at the world-renowned Winter Olympics. Indeed, the Innsbruck Games of 1964 had propelled the sport of ice hockey into modern era, in so far as the Olympics were concerned. And, a local revolt on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean would see to it that the Olympiahalle remains the one and only venue to have ever staged Olympic ice hockey on two different occasions.

The International Olympic Committee had initially chosen Denver in the United States as the site for the XII Games of the Winter Olympiad. But the taxpayers in the city in the shadows of the famed Rocky Mountains absolutely freaked out once they finally figured what staging the Olympics was going to cost them. And so, the I.O.C. hastily relocated the 1976 Winter Games to Innsbruck, where all the requisite infrastructure had already been built a decade prior.

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A contemporary shot of the triple-tiered standing-room section inside the OLYMPIAHALLE, which was upgraded after the new millenium as the city of Innsbruck prepared to play host to the IIHF World Championships in 2005, at the one end of the rink in the Tyrolean capital.
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A modern-day view of the single-level standing-room area at the other end of the OLYMPIAHALLE, which used to serve as home ice for the now-defunct EV Innsbruck team; the historic Olympic arena has been without a tenant in Austrian professional hockey ever since the smaller Tirol Wasserkraft Arena was built right next door in 2005.
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A colorful postcard from the 1970s commemorates the the two-time Olympic city of Innsbruck and captures the scenic Tyrolean Alps, which dominate the landscape of western Austria, in addition to the iconic OLYMPIAHALLE and its adjacent outdoor speed skating track.
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The view from behind the OLYMPIAHALLE and the adjacent outdoor speed skating track stares straight into the natural beauty and wonder that are the Alps in the western Austrian state of Tyrol; to the right of the square-shaped Olympic ice hockey building is the smaller Tirol Wasserkraft Arena, the home rink for die Haie (the Sharks) of HC TWK Innsbruck, with its oval-shaped roof.
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A shot from the side of the OLYMPIAHALLE (left) shows the iconic Olympic rings on the front of the building in addition to the neighboring Tivoli-Neu Stadion, the stadium that was built in 2002 with the capacity for 17,400 spectators and serves as the home ground of FC Wacker Innsbruck, a football (soccer) team in the Austrian Bundesliga.
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A frontal view of the majestic OLYMPIAHALLE with its Olympic rings and the much-smaller Tirol Wasserkraft Arena (official capacity for 3,130 fans); HC TWK Innsbruck, who were originally founded in 1994, currently compete in the second divison of Austrian domestic hockey.
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This contemporary photograph features the colorful European automobiles parked alongside the row of national flags on display just outside the OLYMPIAHALLE (which would be on one’s left in this photo here) and can do nothing but adequately prepare one for the adventure and drama that is the “OCCUPY 1976 INNSBRUCK OLYMPICS” movement.
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Are YOU ready to flashback for some Olympic ice hockey from the 1976 Winter Games hosted by Innsbruck in the Tyrolean Alps of western Austria?

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