The Olympic Games are an international multi-sport event featuring both summer and winter sports, held every two years with Summer and Winter Olympic Games alternating. During Olympic Games opening ceremonies, the sitting president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) will make a speech before inviting a representative from the host country to officially declare that particular Games open. The current Olympic Charter requires this person to be the head of state of the host country,although this has not always been the case. This article lists the people who have had the ceremonial duty to declare each Olympic Games open.
The IOC factsheet on the opening ceremony states: "According to the Olympic Charter protocol, the duty of declaring the Games officially open falls to the head of state of the host country. Those who have performed this task are royalty and presidents, or their representatives, whether it was a vice-president, a member of the royal family, or a governor-general".Rule 56 of Chapter 5 of the Olympic Charter sets out the exact words that are to be declared by the person opening the Games. If at a Summer Olympic Games, the words to be said are:
I declare open the Games of [name of host city] celebrating the [number of the Olympiad] Olympiad of the modern era.
When at a Winter Olympic Games, the dignitary opening the Games is to proclaim:
I declare open the [number of the Olympic Winter Games] Olympic Winter Games of [name of host city].
However, this has not always been followed strictly;
In 1960, Giovanni Gronchi, President of the Italian Republic, declares the Summer Olympics in Rome open by speaking in Italian:
In 1964, Emperor Hirohito of Japan, opened the Summer Olympics in Tokyo by speaking in Japanese:
In 1968, Mexican president Gustavo Diaz Ordaz opened the Games of Mexico City in Spanish:
In 1972, German president Gustav Heinmann opened the Games of Munich speaking in German:
In 1976, Elizabeth II, as Queen of Canada, opened the Montreal Olympics (first in French followed by the English) with:
In 1980, Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev opened the Moscow Summer Olympics speaking in Russian:
In 1984, U.S. President Ronald Reagan opened the Los Angeles Summer Olympics with:
In 1988, President of the Republic of Korea, Roh Tae-woo opened the Summer Olympics in Seoul by speaking in Korean:
In 1992, King Juan Carlos I of Spain opened the Barcelona Summer Olympics with:
In 1996, U.S. President Bill Clinton opened the Atlanta Summer Olympics with:
In 1998, Emperor Akihito of Japan opened the Olympic Winter Games in Nagano by speaking in Japanese:
In 2000, Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia Sir William Deane opened the Sydney Summer Olympics with:
In 2002, U.S. President George W. Bush opened the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City using the format of the Summer Games declaration (which took place five months after the September 11 attacks) with:
In 2004, Konstantinos Stephanopoulos, President of the Hellenic Republic, opened the 2004 Athens Summer Olympics by speaking in Greek:
In 2006, Carlo Azeglio Ciampi, President of the Italian Republic, opened the Turin Olympic Winter Games using the format of the Summer Games declaration by speaking in Italian:
In 2008, Hu Jintao, the President of the People's Republic of China, opened the Beijing Summer Olympics by speaking in Mandarin:
In 2010, the Governor General of Canada, Michaëlle Jean, opened the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver using the format of the Summer Games declaration by saying in French and English:
In 2012, Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, declares the opening of the 2012 London Summer Olympics, following the 60th anniversary of her accession to the throne, with:
In 2014, Vladimir Putin, the President of the Russian Federation, declares the opening of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics by speaking in Russian:
In 2016, Brazilian Vice President Michel Temer, as acting president during the suspension of President Dilma Rousseff, opened the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro with (speaking in Brazilian Portuguese):
In 2018, Moon Jae-in, President of the Republic of Korea declares the opening of the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics by speaking in Korean:
As of 2018, there have been 47 different individuals who opened the Olympic Games. Four of them have done so more than once. German führer Adolf Hitler was the first person to open more than one Olympic Games; he opened the 1936 Winter and Summer Olympics, both of which were hosted in Germany. He remains the only one to open more than one Games in the same year.
Italian president Giovanni Gronchi opened the 1956 Winter Olympics in Cortina d'Ampezzo and the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome. He was the first democratically elected head of state to open more than one Olympic Games.
Japanese emperor Hirohito opened the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo and the 1972 Winter Olympics in Sapporo. He was the first non-European to open more than one Olympic Games.
Queen Elizabeth II opened the 1976 in Montreal, Canada, and 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Great Britain. She is the first woman to open more than one Olympic Games, first person to open more than one Summer Olympics, and the only one to do so in different host countries. Aside from declaring open the Games by herself, she was represented during the declaration four times: in the 1956 and 2000 Summer Olympics – both were held in Australia – as well as the 1988 and 2010 Winter Olympics – both were held in Canada.
|Year||Games||Host city||Officially opened by||Office of opener||Notes|
|1896||I Olympiad||Athens, Greece||George I||King of the Hellenes|
|1900||II Olympiad||Paris, France||No official opening||No official opening|
|1904||III Olympiad||St. Louis, United States||David R. Francis||President of the Louisiana Purchase Exposition|
|1908||IV Olympiad||London, United Kingdom||Edward VII||King of the United Kingdom|
|1912||V Olympiad||Stockholm, Sweden||Gustaf V||King of Sweden|
|1920||VII Olympiad||Antwerp, Belgium||Albert I||King of the Belgians|
|1924||VIII Olympiad||Paris, France||Gaston Doumergue||President of the French Republic|
|1928||IX Olympiad||Amsterdam, Netherlands||Prince Hendrik||Prince Consort of the Netherlands|
|1932||X Olympiad||Los Angeles, United States||Charles Curtis||Vice President of the United States|
|1936||XI Olympiad||Berlin, Germany||Adolf Hitler||Führer and Reich Chancellor of the German People|
|1948||XIV Olympiad||London, Great Britain||George VI||King of the United Kingdom|
|1952||XV Olympiad||Helsinki, Finland||Juho Kusti Paasikivi||President of the Republic of Finland|
|1956||XVI Olympiad||Melbourne, Australia||The Duke of Edinburgh||Consort of the Queen of Australia|
|1956||XVI Olympiad (equestrian)||Stockholm, Sweden||Gustaf VI Adolf||King of Sweden|
|1960||XVII Olympiad||Rome, Italy||Giovanni Gronchi||President of the Italian Republic|
|1964||XVIII Olympiad||Tokyo, Japan||Hirohito||Emperor of Japan|
|1968||XIX Olympiad||Mexico City, Mexico||Gustavo Díaz Ordaz||President of the United Mexican States|
|1972||XX Olympiad||Munich, West Germany||Gustav Heinemann||President of the Federal Republic of Germany|
|1976||XXI Olympiad||Montreal, Canada||Elizabeth II||Queen of Canada|
|1980||XXII Olympiad||Moscow, Soviet Union||Leonid Brezhnev||Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics|
|1984||XXIII Olympiad||Los Angeles, United States||Ronald Reagan||President of the United States|
|1988||XXIV Olympiad||Seoul, Republic of Korea||Roh Tae-woo||President of the Republic of Korea|
|1992||XXV Olympiad||Barcelona, Spain||Juan Carlos I||King of Spain|
|1996||XXVI Olympiad||Atlanta, United States||Bill Clinton||President of the United States|
|2000||XXVII Olympiad||Sydney, Australia||William Deane||Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia|
|2004||XXVIII Olympiad||Athens, Greece||Konstantinos Stephanopoulos||President of the Hellenic Republic|
|2008||XXIX Olympiad||Beijing, China PR||Hu Jintao||President of the People's Republic of China|
|2012||XXX Olympiad||London, Great Britain||Elizabeth II||Queen of the United Kingdom|
|2016||XXXI Olympiad||Rio de Janeiro, Brazil||Michel Temer||Vice President of the Federative Republic of Brazil|
|2020||XXXII Olympiad||Tokyo, Japan||Naruhito (expected)||Emperor of Japan|
|2024||XXXIII Olympiad||Paris, France||Emmanuel Macron or his successor||President of the French Republic|
|2028||XXXIV Olympiad||Los Angeles, United States||Joe Biden or his successor||President of the United States|
|Year||Games||Host city||Officially opened by||Office of opener||Notes|
|1924||I Winter||Chamonix, France||Gaston Vidal||Undersecretary for Physical Education of the French Republic|
|1928||II Winter||St. Moritz, Switzerland||Edmund Schulthess||President of the Swiss Confederation|
|1932||III Winter||Lake Placid, United States||Franklin D. Roosevelt||Governor of the State of New York|
|1936||IV Winter||Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany||Adolf Hitler||Führer and Reich Chancellor of the German People|
|1948||V Winter||St. Moritz, Switzerland||Enrico Celio||President of the Swiss Confederation|
|1952||VI Winter||Oslo, Norway||Princess Ragnhild||Princess of Norway|
|1956||VII Winter||Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy||Giovanni Gronchi||President of the Italian Republic|
|1960||VIII Winter||Squaw Valley, United States||Richard Nixon||Vice President of the United States|
|1964||IX Winter||Innsbruck, Austria||Adolf Schärf||Federal President of the Republic of Austria|
|1968||X Winter||Grenoble, France||Charles de Gaulle||President of the French Republic|
|1972||XI Winter||Sapporo, Japan||Hirohito||Emperor of Japan|
|1976||XII Winter||Innsbruck, Austria||Rudolf Kirchschläger||Federal President of the Republic of Austria|
|1980||XIII Winter||Lake Placid, United States||Walter Mondale||Vice President of the United States|
|1984||XIV Winter||Sarajevo, Yugoslavia||Mika Špiljak||President of the Presidency of Yugoslavia|
|1988||XV Winter||Calgary, Canada||Jeanne Sauvé||Governor General of Canada|
|1992||XVI Winter||Albertville, France||François Mitterrand||President of the French Republic|
|1994||XVII Winter||Lillehammer, Norway||Harald V||King of Norway|
|1998||XVIII Winter||Nagano, Japan||Akihito||Emperor of Japan|
|2002||XIX Winter||Salt Lake City, United States||George W. Bush||President of the United States|
|2006||XX Winter||Turin, Italy||Carlo Azeglio Ciampi||President of the Italian Republic|
|2010||XXI Winter||Vancouver, Canada||Michaëlle Jean||Governor General of Canada|
|2014||XXII Winter||Sochi, Russian Federation||Vladimir Putin||President of the Russian Federation|
|2018||XXIII Winter||Pyeongchang, Republic of Korea||Moon Jae-in||President of the Republic of Korea|
|2022||XXIV Winter||Beijing, China PR||Xi Jinping (expected)||President of the People's Republic of China|
|2026||XXV Winter||Milan and Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy||Sergio Mattarella or his successor||President of the Italian Republic|
|Year||Games||Host city||Officially opened by||Office of opener||Notes|
|2010||I Summer||Singapore||S.R. Nathan||President of the Republic of Singapore|
|2012||I Winter||Innsbruck, Austria||Heinz Fischer||Federal President of the Republic of Austria|
|2014||II Summer||Nanjing, China PR||Xi Jinping||President of the People's Republic of China|
|2016||II Winter||Lillehammer, Norway||Harald V||King of Norway|
|2018||III Summer||Buenos Aires, Argentina||Mauricio Macri||President of the Argentine Republic|
|2020||III Winter||Lausanne, Switzerland||Simonetta Sommaruga||President of the Swiss Confederation|
|2024||IV Winter||Gangwon Province, Republic of Korea||TBD||President of the Republic of Korea|
|2026||IV Summer||Dakar, Senegal||TBD||President of the Republic of Senegal|
The International Olympic Committee is a non-governmental sports organisation based in Lausanne, Switzerland. It is constituted in the form of an association under the Swiss Civil Code. Founded by Pierre de Coubertin and Demetrios Vikelas in 1894, it is the authority responsible for organising the modern Summer and Winter Olympic Games.
The modern Olympic Games or Olympics are leading international sporting events featuring summer and winter sports competitions in which thousands of athletes from around the world participate in a variety of competitions. The Olympic Games are considered the world's foremost sports competition with more than 200 nations participating. The Olympic Games are normally held every four years, alternating between the Summer and Winter Olympics every two years in the four-year period.
The Summer Olympic Games also known as the Games of the Olympiad, are a major international multi-sport event normally held once every four years. The Games were first held in 1896 in Athens, Greece, and were most recently held in 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) organises the Games and oversees the host city's preparations. In each Olympic event, gold medals are awarded for first place, silver medals are awarded for second place, and bronze medals are awarded for third place; this tradition began in 1904. The Winter Olympic Games were created out of the success of the Summer Olympics.
The 1996 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XXVI Olympiad, commonly known as Atlanta 1996, and also referred to as the Centennial Olympic Games, was an international multi-sport event held from July 19 to August 4, 1996, in Atlanta, Georgia. The fourth Summer Olympics to be hosted by the United States, these Games marked the centennial of the 1896 Summer Olympics in Athens—the inaugural edition of the modern Olympic Games. This was the first Summer Olympics since 1924 to be held in a different year from a Winter Olympics, under a new IOC practice implemented in 1994 to hold the Summer and Winter Games in alternating, even-numbered years.
The 1976 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XXI Olympiad 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. Montreal is the second French speaking city to host the Summer Olympics after Paris, 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.
The 2008 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XXIX Olympiad and commonly known as Beijing 2008, was an international multisport event held from 8 to 24 August 2008 in Beijing, China. A total of 10,942 athletes from 204 National Olympic Committees (NOCs) competed in 28 sports and 302 events. This was the first time China had hosted the Summer Olympic Games, and the third time the Games had been held in East Asia, following the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan, and the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, South Korea. These were also the third Summer Olympic Games staged in a developing country after the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City and the 1980 Olympics in Moscow.
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The 1928 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the IX Olympiad, was an international multi-sport event that was celebrated from 28 July to 12 August 1928 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. The city of Amsterdam had previously bid for the 1920 and 1924 Olympic Games, but was obliged to give way to war-torn Antwerp in Belgium for the 1920 Games and Pierre de Coubertin's Paris for the 1924 Games.
The 1924 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the VIII Olympiad, were an international multi-sport event which was celebrated in 1924 in Paris, France.
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