At Montreal 1976, Stephen Holland carried Australia's greatest hope of a gold medal. A multi-world record holder leading up to the Olympics, Holland came up against two crack Americans in Brian Goodell and Bobby Hackett and placed third in the 1500m freestyle. At the inaugural World Swimming Championships at Belgrade in 1973, Holland broke the world records for the 800m and 1500m in winning the gold medal in the 1500. At Montreal Holland also swam in the 400 metres where he came fifth, behind the 1500 metres winner Goodell. Soon after Montreal, Stephen Holland retired from competitive swimming.
An interesting competitor finished fifth in the 1500 metres at Montreal. Vladimir Salnikov went on to become the first person to break the 15-minute barrier in winning the 1500m freestyle at Moscow 1980. After missing Los Angeles because of the USSR-led boycott he followed up with another gold medal in the same event at Seoul 1988.