1976 Summer Olympics

Last updated

Games of the XXI Olympiad
1976 Summer Olympics logo.svg
Host city Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Nations92
Athletes6,084 (4,824 men, 1,260 women)
Events198 in 21 sports (27 disciplines)
OpeningJuly 17
ClosingAugust 1
Opened by
Cauldron
Stadium Olympic Stadium
Summer
Munich 1972 Moscow 1980
Winter
Innsbruck 1976 Lake Placid 1980

The 1976 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XXI Olympiad (French: Les XXIes olympiques d'été) and commonly known as Montréal 1976, were an international multi-sport event held from July 17 to August 1, 1976 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Montreal was awarded the rights to the 1976 Games at the 69th IOC Session in Amsterdam on May 12, 1970, over the bids of Moscow and Los Angeles. It was the first and, so far, only Summer Olympic Games to be held in Canada. Toronto hosted the 1976 Summer Paralympics the same year as the Montreal Olympics, which still remains the only Summer Paralympics to be held in Canada. Calgary and Vancouver later hosted the Winter Olympic Games in 1988 and 2010, respectively.

Contents

Twenty-nine countries, mostly African, boycotted the Montreal Games when the International Olympic Committee (IOC) refused to ban New Zealand, after the New Zealand national rugby union team had toured South Africa earlier in 1976 in defiance of the United Nations' calls for a sporting embargo. The Soviet Union won the most gold and overall medals.

Host city selection

The vote occurred at the 69th IOC Session in Amsterdam, Netherlands on May 12, 1970. While Los Angeles and Moscow were viewed as the favourites, given that they represented the world's two main powers, many of the smaller countries supported Montreal as an underdog and as a relatively neutral site for the games. Los Angeles was eliminated after the first round, and Montreal won in the second round. Moscow would go on to host the 1980 Summer Olympics, and Los Angeles would host the 1984 Summer Olympics. One blank vote was cast in the second and final round. [2] [3] [4]

Toronto had made its third attempt for the Olympics, but failed to win the support of the Canadian Olympic Committee, who selected Montreal instead. [5]

1976 Summer Olympics bidding results [4]
CityCountryRound 1Round 2
Montreal Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg  Canada 2541
Moscow Flag of the Soviet Union.svg  Soviet Union 2828
Los Angeles Flag of the United States.svg  United States 17

Organization

Robert Bourassa, then the Premier of Quebec, asked Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau to advise Canada's monarch Elizabeth II to attend the opening of the games. However, Bourassa later became unsettled about how unpopular the move might be with sovereigntists in the province, annoying Trudeau, who had already made arrangements. [6] René Lévesque, the leader of the Parti Québécois at the time, sent his own letter to Buckingham Palace, asking the Queen to refuse her prime minister's request, but she did not oblige Lévesque as he was out of his jurisdiction in offering advice to the Sovereign. [7]

In 1976, Trudeau, succumbing to pressure from the People's Republic of China, issued an order barring Taiwan from participating as China in the 1976 Montreal Olympics, although it was technically a matter for the IOC. [8] His action strained relations with the United States – from President Ford, future President Carter and the press. [9] [8]

Cost and cost overrun

The Oxford Olympics Study estimates the outturn cost of the Montreal 1976 Summer Olympics at USD 6.1 billion in 2015-dollars and cost overrun at 720% in real terms. [10] This includes sports-related costs only, that is, (i) operational costs incurred by the organizing committee for the purpose of staging the Games, e.g., expenditures for technology, transportation, workforce, administration, security, catering, ceremonies, and medical services, and (ii) direct capital costs incurred by the host city and country or private investors to build, e.g., the competition venues, the Olympic village, international broadcast center, and media and press center, which are required to host the Games. Indirect capital costs are not included, such as for road, rail, or airport infrastructure, or for hotel upgrades or other business investment incurred in preparation for the Games but not directly related to staging the Games. The cost overrun for Montreal 1976 is the highest cost overrun on record for any Olympics. The cost and cost overrun for Montreal 1976 compares with costs of USD 4.6 billion and a cost overrun of 51% for Rio 2016 and USD 15 billion and 76% for London 2012. Average cost for the Summer Games from 1960 to 2016 is 5.2 billion 2015 US dollars, average cost overrun is 176%.

Much of the cost overruns were caused by the Conseil des métiers de la construction union, whose leader was André "Dede" Desjardins, and who kept the construction site in "anarchic disorder" as part of a shakedown. [11] French architect Roger Taillibert, who designed the Olympic stadium, recounted in his 2000 book Notre Cher Stade Olympique that he and Montreal mayor Jean Drapeau tried hard to buy off Desjardins, even taking him to a lunch at the exclusive Ritz-Carlton hotel in a vain attempt to end the "delays". [11] Ultimately Quebec Premier Robert Bourassa made some sort of secret deal to buy off Desjardins, which finally allowed work to proceed. [11] Taillibert wrote in Notre Cher Stade Olympique "If the Olympic Games took place, it was thanks to Dede Desjardins. What irony!" [11]

Opening ceremony

External video
Nuvola apps kaboodle.svg 1976 Montreal Olympic Opening Ceremony
Prefontaine and Henderson lighting the Olympic Flame Stephane Prefontaine, Sandra Henderson 1976.jpg
Préfontaine and Henderson lighting the Olympic Flame

The opening ceremony of the 1976 Summer Olympic Games was held at the Olympic Stadium in Montreal, Quebec on Saturday, July 17, 1976, in front of an audience of some 73,000 in the stadium and an estimated half billion watching on television. [12]

East German athletes Waldemar Cierpinski, Hans-Georg Reimann and Karl-Heinz Stadtmuller at the Olympic Village Bundesarchiv Bild 183-R0716-0111, Montreal, XXI. Olympiade, Cierpinski, Reimann, Stadtmuller.jpg
East German athletes Waldemar Cierpinski, Hans-Georg Reimann and Karl-Heinz Stadtmüller at the Olympic Village

Following an air show by the Canadian Forces Air Command's Snowbirds aerobatic flight demonstration squadron in the sunny skies above the stadium, the ceremony officially began at 3:00 pm with a trumpet fanfare and the arrival of Elizabeth II, as Queen of Canada. [13] The Queen was accompanied by Michael Morris, Lord Killanin, President of the International Olympic Committee, and was greeted to an orchestral rendition of 'O Canada', an arrangement that would be used for many years in schools across the country, as well as in the daily sign-off of TV broadcasts in the country. [14]

The queen entered the Royal Box with her consort, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, and her son, Prince Andrew. (Her daughter, Princess Anne, was an equestrian competitor for the team from Great Britain. Prince Philip was also president of the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) at the time of the 1976 Summer Olympics.) She joined a number of Canadian and Olympic dignitaries, including: Jules Léger, Governor General of Canada, and his wife, Gabrielle; Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau and wife, Margaret; Robert Bourassa, Premier of the Province of Quebec; Roger Rousseau, chief of the Montreal Olympic Organizing Committee (COJO); Sheila Dunlop, Lady Killanin, wife of the IOC President; Mayor of Montreal, Jean Drapeau, and his wife, Marie-Claire.

The parade of athletes began moments later with the arrival of the Greek team, and concluded with the entrance of the Canadian team. All other teams entered the stadium according to French alphabetical order. The ceremony was marked by the adorning of Israel's flag with a black mourning ribbon, in memory of the eleven athletes and coaches killed by Palestinian terrorists at the previous Summer Olympic Games in Munich four years earlier. Although most would eventually boycott the Games in the days to follow, a number of African delegations did march in the parade. Much of the music performed for the parade was arranged by Vic Vogel and was inspired by late Quebec composer André Mathieu. [15]

Immediately following the parade, a troupe of 80 women dancers dressed in white (representing the 80th anniversary of the revival of the Olympic Games) performed a brief dance in the outline of the Olympic rings. Following that came the official speeches, first by Roger Rousseau, head of the Montreal Olympic organizing committee, and Lord Killanin. Her Majesty was then invited to proclaim the Games open, which she did, first in French, then in English.

Accompanied by the Olympic Hymn, the Olympic flag was carried into the stadium and hoisted at the west end of the stadium. The flag was carried by eight men and hoisted by four women, representing the ten provinces and two territories (at the time) of Canada. As the flag was hoisted, an all-male choir performed an a cappella version of the Olympic Hymn.

Once the flag was unfurled, a troupe of Bavarian dancers representing Munich, host of the previous Summer Olympics, entered the stadium with the Antwerp flag. Following a brief dance, that flag was then passed from the Mayor of Munich to the IOC President and then to the Mayor of Montreal. Next came a presentation of traditional Québécois folk dancers. The two troupes merged in dance together to the strains of "Vive le Compagnie" and exited the stadium with the Antwerp Flag, which would be displayed at Montreal City Hall until the opening of the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow. Three cannons were then fired, as the 80-member troupe of female dancers unfolded special crates that released doves and ribbons in the five Olympic colours.

Another trumpet fanfare announced the arrival of the Olympic Flame. The torch was carried by 15-year-olds Stéphane Préfontaine and Sandra Henderson, chosen as representatives of the unity within Canada's linguistic heritage. This would also be the first time two people would light the Olympic flame, and Henderson would become only the second woman to do the honours. The duo would make a lap of the stadium and then climbed a staircase on a special dais at the center of the stadium to set the Olympic flame alight in a temporary white aluminum cauldron. The flame was later transported to a more permanent cauldron just outside the running track to burn throughout the duration of the Games. A choir then performed the Olympic Cantata as onlookers admired the Olympic flame.

The "Youth of Canada" took to the track to perform a colourful choreographed segment with flags, ribbons and a variety of rhythmic gymnast performers. The flag bearers of each team then circled around the speaker's dais as Pierre St-Jean recited the Athletes' Oath and Maurice Forget recited the Judges' Oath, in English and in French, with right hand over the heart and the Canadian flag clutched in the left. Finally, a choral performance of "O Canada" in both French and English marked the close of the opening ceremony, as the announcers concluded with a declaration of 'Vive les Jeux de Montreal! Long Live the Montreal Games'.

The Montreal ceremony would be the last of its kind, as future Olympic ceremonies, beginning with the 1980 Moscow Games, would become more focused on theatrical, cultural and artistic presentations and less on formality and protocol.

Highlights

Venues

The Olympic Village in January 2008. Olympic Village Montreal Jan 2008.JPG
The Olympic Village in January 2008.

Montreal Olympic Park

Venues in Greater Montreal

Venues outside Montreal

Sports

Velodrome (foreground) and Olympic Stadium (its tower completed after the Games), Montreal MontrealOlympicTowerAndBiodome1.jpg
Velodrome (foreground) and Olympic Stadium (its tower completed after the Games), Montreal

There was a desire by the IOC's program commission to reduce the number of competitors and a number of recommendations were put to the IOC's executive board on February 23, 1973, which were all accepted. Rowing was the only sport where the number of competitors was increased, and women were admitted for the first time in Olympic history. The 1976 Summer Olympic programme featured 196 events with 198 medal ceremonies in the following 21 sports: [24]

Participating National Olympic Committees

Participating nations 1976 Summer Olympic games countries.png
Participating nations
Number of athletes 1976 Summer olympics team numbers.gif
Number of athletes

Four nations made their first Summer Olympic appearance in Montreal: Andorra (which had its overall Olympic debut a few months before in Innsbruck Winter Olympics), Antigua and Barbuda (as Antigua), Cayman Islands, and Papua New Guinea.

Numbers in parentheses indicate the number of athletes from each nation that competed at the Games.

Participating National Olympic Committees

^  WD: Athletes from Cameroon, Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia competed on July 18–20 before these nations withdrew from the Games.
^  Note: Athletes from Guyana, Mali and Swaziland also took part in the Opening Ceremony, but later joined the Congolese-led boycott and withdrew from all competitions.

Calendar

All times are in Eastern Daylight Time (UTC-4)
  Opening ceremony  Event competitions  Event finals  Closing ceremony
DateJulyAugust
17th
Sat
18th
Sun
19th
Mon
20th
Tue
21st
Wed
22nd
Thu
23rd
Fri
24th
Sat
25th
Sun
26th
Mon
27th
Tue
28th
Wed
29th
Thu
30th
Fri
31st
Sat
1st
Sun
Archery
Athletics






Basketball
Boxing

Canoeing

Cycling
Diving
Equestrian
Fencing
Field hockey
Football
Gymnastics

Handball
Judo
Modern pentathlon
Rowing

Sailing
Shooting
Swimming





Volleyball
Water polo
Weightlifting
Wrestling



Total gold medals478914112621101211817361
Ceremonies
Date17th
Sat
18th
Sun
19th
Mon
20th
Tue
21st
Wed
22nd
Thu
23rd
Fri
24th
Sat
25th
Sun
26th
Mon
27th
Tue
28th
Wed
29th
Thu
30th
Fri
31st
Sat
1st
Sun
JulyAugust

Medal count

These are the top ten nations that won medals at the 1976 Games. Canada placed 27th with only 11 medals in total, none of them being gold. Canada remains the only host nation of a Summer Olympics that did not win at least one gold medal in its own games. It also did not win any gold medals at the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary. However, Canada went on to win the most gold medals at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

RankNationGoldSilverBronzeTotal
1Flag of the Soviet Union.svg  Soviet Union 494135125
2Flag of East Germany.svg  East Germany 40252590
3Flag of the United States.svg  United States 34352594
4Flag of Germany.svg  West Germany 10121739
5Flag of Japan (1870-1999).svg  Japan 961025
6Flag of Poland (1928-1980).svg  Poland 761326
7Flag of Bulgaria (1971-1990).svg  Bulgaria 69722
8Flag of Cuba.svg  Cuba 64313
9Flag of Romania (1965-1989).svg  Romania 491427
10Flag of Hungary.svg  Hungary 451322
11Flag of Canada.svg  Canada*05611
Totals (11 nations)169157168494

Non-participating National Olympic Committees

Twenty-nine countries boycotted the Games [25] [26] due to the refusal of the IOC to ban New Zealand, after the New Zealand national rugby union team had toured South Africa earlier in 1976. [27] The boycott was led by Congolese official Jean-Claude Ganga. Some of the boycotting nations (including Morocco, Cameroon and Egypt) had already participated, however, and withdrew after the first few days. Senegal and Ivory Coast were the only African countries that competed throughout the duration of the Games. Elsewhere, both Iraq and Guyana also opted to join the Congolese-led boycott. South Africa had been banned from the Olympics since 1964 due to its apartheid policies. Other countries, such as El Salvador and Zaire, did not participate in Montreal for purely economic reasons. [25]

Countries boycotting the 1976 Games are shaded blue 1976 Summer Olympics (Montreal) boycotting countries (blue).png
Countries boycotting the 1976 Games are shaded blue

Republic of China boycott

An unrelated boycott of the Montreal Games was the main issue between the Republic of China (ROC) and the People's Republic of China (PRC). The ROC team withdrew from the games when Canada's Liberal government under Pierre Trudeau told it that the name "Republic of China" was not permissible at the Games because Canada had officially recognized the PRC in 1970. Canada attempted a compromise by allowing the ROC the continued use of its national flag and anthem in the Montreal Olympic activities; the ROC refused. Later in November 1976, the IOC recognized the PRC as the only recognized name of any Olympic activities representative of any Chinese government. In 1979 the IOC established in the Nagoya Resolution that the PRC agreed to participate in IOC activities if the Republic of China was referred to as "Chinese Taipei". Another boycott would occur before the ROC would accept the provisions of the 1979 Resolution although the reason that so many other countries boycotted were not all the same as the ROC.

Non-participating National Olympic Committees

Legacy

The legacy of the Montreal Olympics is complex. Many citizens regard the Olympiad as a financial disaster for the city as it faced debts for 30 years after the Games had finished. The retractable roof of the Olympic Stadium never properly worked and on several occasions has torn, prompting the stadium to be closed for extended periods of time for repairs. The failure of the Montreal Expos baseball club is largely blamed on the failure of the Olympic Stadium to transition into an effective and popular venue for the club – given the massive capacity of the stadium, it often looked unimpressive even with regular crowds in excess of 20,000 spectators.

The Quebec provincial government took over construction when it became evident in 1975 that work had fallen far behind schedule. Work was still ongoing just weeks before the opening date, and the tower was not built. Mayor Jean Drapeau had confidently predicted in 1970 that "the Olympics can no more have a deficit than a man can have a baby", but the debt racked up to a billion dollars that the Quebec government mandated the city pay in full. This would prompt cartoonist Aislin to draw a pregnant Drapeau on the telephone saying, "Allo, Morgentaler?" in reference to a Montreal abortion provider. [28]

Olympic Stadium, seen next to the Montreal Botanical Garden. OlympicStadium.jpg
Olympic Stadium, seen next to the Montreal Botanical Garden.

The Olympic Stadium was designed by French architect Roger Taillibert. It is often nicknamed "The Big O" as a reference to both its name and to the doughnut-shape of the permanent component of the stadium's roof, though "The Big Owe" has been used to reference the astronomical cost of the stadium and the 1976 Olympics as a whole. It has never had an effective retractable roof, and the tower (called the Montreal Tower) was completed only after the Olympic Games were over. In December 2006 the stadium's costs were finally paid in full. [29] The total expenditure (including repairs, renovations, construction, interest, and inflation) amounted to C$1.61 billion. Today the stadium lacks a permanent tenant, as the Montreal Alouettes and Montreal Expos have moved, though it does host some individual games of the Alouettes as well as the Montreal Impact.

One of the streets surrounding the Olympic Stadium was renamed to honor Pierre de Coubertin, the founder of the Olympics.

The boycott by African nations over the inclusion of New Zealand, whose rugby team had played in South Africa that year, was a contributing factor in the massive protests and civil disobedience that occurred during the 1981 Springbok Tour of New Zealand. Official sporting contacts between South Africa and New Zealand did not occur again until after the fall of apartheid.

Australia's failure to win a gold medal led the country to create the Australian Institute of Sport. [30]

In 2016, the 40th anniversary celebrations were held. In conjunction with the celebrations, the 2016 Quebec Games were held. [31]

See also

Further reading

Notes

  1. 1 2 "Factsheet - Opening Ceremony of the Games of the Olympiad" (PDF) (Press release). International Olympic Committee. October 9, 2014. Archived (PDF) from the original on August 14, 2016. Retrieved December 22, 2018.
  2. "IOC VOTE HISTORY". aldaver.com.
  3. Stuart, Charles Edward (2005). Never Trust a Local: Inside the Nixon White House. Algora Publishing. p. 160.
  4. 1 2 "Past Olympic host city election results". GamesBids. Archived from the original on January 24, 2011. Retrieved March 17, 2011.
  5. "Toronto has made 5 attempts to host the Olympics. Could the sixth be the winner? – Toronto Star". The Star. July 24, 2015.
  6. Heinricks, Geoff (2000). "Trudeau and the Monarchy". Canadian Monarchist News. Winter/Spring 2000–01. Toronto: Monarchist League of Canada (published 2001).
  7. "Politics - Parties & Leaders - René Lévesque's Separatist Fight - René, The Queen and the FLQ". CBC Archives. September 26, 2003. Archived from the original on January 7, 2008.
  8. 1 2 "Montreal Olympics: The Taiwan controversy". CBC Archives: As It Happens . CBC Radio One. July 16, 1976. Retrieved January 25, 2018.
  9. Donald Macintosh, Donna Greenhorn & Michael Hawes (1991). "Trudeau, Taiwan, and the 1976 Montreal Olympics". American Review of Canadian Studies. 21 (4): 423–448. doi:10.1080/02722019109481098.
  10. Flyvbjerg, Bent; Stewart, Allison; Budzier, Alexander (2016). The Oxford Olympics Study 2016: Cost and Cost Overrun at the Games (PDF). Oxford: Saïd Business School Working Papers (Oxford: University of Oxford). pp. 9–13. SSRN   2804554 . Archived from the original (PDF) on February 7, 2017.
  11. 1 2 3 4 Bauch, Hubert (September 14, 2000). "Taillibert: blame Ottawa, Quebec". The Montreal Gazette. Archived from the original on September 18, 2018. Retrieved December 7, 2017.
  12. Cérémonie d'ouverture. City of Montreal website (in French)
  13. Video of the ceremony . Youtube
  14. CBC sign-on, sign-off video from 1987. Youtube
  15. Arthur Takacs. Sixty Olympic Years. montrealolympics.com
  16. Video on YouTube
  17. "Onischenko pushes the button and oversteps boundaries for fencing glory". Olympic Channel. Archived from the original on February 7, 2018.
  18. This has often been reported as fact as early as 1977, but never verified by the Olympics authorities. For example, see Young, Dick (1977). "THE BARBIE DOLL SOAP OPERA". New York Daily News. reprinted in Best Sports Stories 1977. p. 47. Retrieved July 25, 2012. I have it on the strongest authority that Princess Anne did not have to submit to a sex test to compete in the Olympic Equestrian events.
  19. "Fujimoto caps Japanese success", BBC, September 29, 2000
  20. "Shooting at the 1976 Montreal Summer Games: Mixed Small-Bore Rifle, Three Positions, 50 metres". Sports Reference. Retrieved February 7, 2020.
  21. Plautz, Jason (July 26, 2012). "The 21 Countries With One Olympic Medal". mentalfloss.com.
  22. "Doping Scandal of East Germany in the 1970s". YouTube . Archived from the original on January 15, 2014.
  23. CBC News (November 8, 2009). "Stasi dumped syringes in St. Lawrence in 1976: report". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation . Retrieved May 13, 2016.
  24. Official Report of the Organising Committee 1978, p. 116.
  25. 1 2 "Africa and the XXIst Olympiad". Olympic Review. IOC. 1976. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 30, 2018. Retrieved April 3, 2006.
  26. "BBC ON THIS DAY | 17 | 1976: African countries boycott Olympics". London: News.bbc.co.uk. July 17, 1976. Retrieved October 21, 2008.
  27. "The Montreal Olympics boycott | NZHistory.net.nz, New Zealand history online". Nzhistory.net.nz. Archived from the original on October 16, 2008. Retrieved October 21, 2008.
  28. Aislin looks back at the 1976 Summer Olympics, Montreal Gazette , July 29, 2016
  29. CBC News (December 19, 2006). "Quebec's Big Owe stadium debt is over". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation . Retrieved October 21, 2008.
  30. Titus O'Reily (August 20, 2018). A Thoroughly Unhelpful History of Australian Sport. Penguin Books. p. 34-36. ISBN   9780143793519.
  31. Matthew Grillo (July 12, 2016). "Nadia Comaneci to watch Jeux du Québec and attend Montreal Olympics anniversary". Global News. Global.ca.

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The Republic of China currently competes as "Chinese Taipei" at the Olympic Games. The ROC first participated at the Summer Olympic Games in 1932. After the Chinese Civil War the ROC retreated to the island of Taiwan and only Taiwan-based athletes have competed in its team since then. The ROC boycotted the Olympics starting from the 1976 Summer Games until it returned to the 1984 Winter Games, and started participating as Chinese Taipei.

Olympic Games ceremony Ceremonial events of the ancient and modern Olympic Games

The Olympic Games ceremonies of the Ancient Olympic Games were an integral part of these Games; the modern Olympic games have opening, closing, and medal ceremonies. Some of the elements of the modern ceremonies harken back to the Ancient Games from which the Modern Olympics draw their ancestry. An example of this is the prominence of Greece in both the opening and closing ceremonies. During the 2004 Games, the medal winners received a crown of olive branches, which was a direct reference to the Ancient Games, in which the victor's prize was an olive wreath. The various elements of the ceremonies are mandated by the Olympic Charter, and cannot be changed by the host nation. This requirement of seeking the approval of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) includes the artistic portion of opening and closing ceremonies.

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Preceded by
Munich
Summer Olympic Games
Montreal

XXI Olympiad (1976)
Succeeded by
Moscow