1976 Summer Olympics

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Games of the XXI Olympiad
1976 Summer  Olympics
Host city Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Nations participating 92
Athletes participating 6,028 (4,781 men, 1,247 women)
Events 198 in 21 sports
Opening ceremony July 17
Closing ceremony August 1
Officially opened by Queen Elizabeth II
Athlete's Oath Pierre St.-Jean
Judge's Oath Maurice Fauget
Olympic Torch Stéphane Préfontaine and
Sandra Henderson
Stadium Olympic Stadium

The 1976 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XXI Olympiad, were held in 1976 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. These are the summer Olympic Games organized by the International Olympic Committee. Montreal was awarded the rights to the 1976 Games in May of 1970 over the bid of Moscow and Los Angeles, who later hosted the 1980 and 1984 Summer Olympic Games respectively.


[edit] Highlights

  • The Games were opened by Queen Elizabeth II (as head of state of Canada) and the entire Canadian Royal Family attended the opening ceremonies.
  • Canada, the host country, left with only five silver and six bronze medals. It was the first time in Olympic history that the host country of the Summer Games won no gold medals. This feat had occurred previously only in the Winter Games — 1924 in Chamonix, France and 1928 in St. Moritz, Switzerland. This later occurred at the 1984 Winter Games in Sarajevo, Yugoslavia, and once more for Canada at the 1988 Calgary Games.
  • Taiwan withdrew after Canada informed them that they could not compete under the name "Republic of China". This was done because Canada officially recognized the People's Republic of China. Canada did try and compromise by saying that the Taiwanese could retain their national flag and anthem, but the Taiwanese refused.
  • In protest at a tour of South Africa by the New Zealand All Blacks rugby team early in the year, Congo's official Jean Claude Ganga led a boycott of 28 African nations as the IOC refused to bar the New Zealand team. Some of the nations (including Morocco, Cameroon and Egypt) had already participated however, as the teams withdrew only after the first day. From Southern and Central Africa, only Senegal and Ivory Coast took part. Both Iraq and Guyana also opted to join the Congolese-led boycott.
  • Because of the Munich massacre, security at these games was in evidence, as they it been earlier in the year at the Winter games in Innsbruck, Austria, though far lower than the norm for today's olympic games.
  • The organisation of the Olympics was financially bad for Montreal, as the city faced debts well after the Games had finished. The Olympic Stadium, a daring design of French architect Roger Taillibert, remains a lasting monument to the huge deficit, as it never had an effective retractable roof, and the tower was completed only after the Olympics. The Montreal games of 1976 are the most expensive Games ever organised.
  • The Olympic Flame was "electronically" transmitted via satellite from Athens to Ottawa, by means of an electronic pulse derived from the actual burning flame. From Ottawa, it was carried by hand to Montreal. After a rainstorm that doused the Olympic flame a few days after the games had opened, an official relit the flame using his cigarette lighter. Organizers quickly doused it again and relit it using a backup of the original flame.
  • 14-year-old Nadia Comaneci of Romania scored seven perfect 10s and won three gold medals, including the prestigious All Around. The score board could hold only 3 digits and the score was shown as 1:00. In women's gymnastics three gold medals were also been won by Nellie Kim of USSR. Nikolai Andrianov of USSR won four gold medals, including All Around, in men's gymnastics.
  • Viktor Saneyev (Soviet Union) won his third consecutive triple jump gold medal, while Klaus Dibiasi of Italy did the same in the platform diving event.
  • Alberto Juantorena of Cuba became the first man to win both the 400 m and 800 m at the same Olympics. Finland's Lasse Virén also achieved a double in the 5000 and 10,000 m and finished 5th in the marathon, thereby failing to equal Emil Zátopek's 1952 achievements.
  • Boris Onischenko, a member of the Soviet Union's modern pentathlon team, was disqualified after it was discovered that he had rigged his épée to register a hit when there wasn't one. Because of this the USSR modern pentathlon team was disqualified. Onischenko earned the enmity of other Soviet Olympic team members and, for example, USSR volleyball team members threatened to throw him out of the hotel's window if they met him.
  • Women's events were introduced in basketball, handball and rowing.
  • Five American boxers - Sugar Ray Leonard, Leon Spinks, Michael Spinks, Leo Randolph and Howard Davis Jr. won gold medals in boxing. This has been often called the greatest Olympic boxing team the United States ever had, and, out of the five American gold medalists in boxing, all but Davis went on to become professional world champions.
  • Princess Anne of the United Kingdom was the only female competitor not to have to submit to a sex test. She was a member of her country's equestrian team.
  • Japanese gymnast Shun Fujimoto performed on a broken right knee, and helped the Japanese team win the gold medal for the team championship. Fujimoto broke his leg on the floor exercise, and due to the closeness in the overall standings with the USSR, he hid the extent of the injury. With a broken knee, Fujimoto was able to complete his event on the rings, performing a perfect triple somersault dismount, maintaining perfect posture. He scored a 9.7 thus securing gold for Japan. Years later, when asked if he would do it again, he stated bluntly "No, I would not."
  • The East German women's swim team, which won all but two gold medals, was later found to have taken huge amounts of anabolic steroids. Each woman was given a certain amount based on her condition. They had been duped by their doctors and told the pills were vitamins, and many of the women and/or their children now have defects.

[edit] Venues

[edit] Montréal Olympic Park

[edit] Venues in Greater Montréal

[edit] Venues outside Montréal

[edit] Medals awarded

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

See the medal winners, ordered by sport:

[edit] Medal count

Rank Country Gold Silver Bronze Total
1 Soviet Union Soviet Union 49 41 35 125
2 East Germany East Germany 40 25 25 90
3 United States United States 34 35 25 94
4 West Germany West Germany 10 12 17 39
5 Japan Japan 9 6 10 25
6 Poland Poland 7 6 13 26
7 Bulgaria Bulgaria 6 9 7 22
8 Cuba Cuba 6 4 3 13
9 Romania Romania 4 9 14 27
10 Hungary Hungary 4 5 13 22
Further information: 1976 Summer Olympics medal count

[edit] Participating nations

Participating nations
Participating nations

[edit] Boycotting countries

The following 28 countries boycotted the Games.[2] The boycott was due to the participation of New Zealand, because the All Blacks continued to play Rugby union with South Africa.[3]

Boycotting countries shown in yellow, green and orange
Boycotting countries shown in yellow, green and orange

Note: Zaire did not compete, but claimed financial causes rather than political. Both the Republic of China and the People's Republic of China boycotted the games over issues concerning the legitimacy of the other country.

[edit] Montreal — Host City

[edit] Selection

Other candidate cities in the bid to host the 1976 summer Olympic Games were Moscow and Los Angeles. The final choice was made on May 12, 1970 during the 69th IOC session in Amsterdam. Los Angeles was eliminated in the first round of voting. In the second round, Montreal defeated Moscow, 41 votes to 28 (with one blank vote). The two cities hosted the very next two summer games: Moscow in 1980 and Los Angeles in 1984.

[edit] The Olympics in Canada

1976 was the first time Canada hosted the Olympics, and it did so in what was, at the time, its largest city. Canada has subsequently hosted the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, the largest city in the province of Alberta, and was selected to host the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, the largest city in the province of British Columbia, and it will become the largest city ever to host a Winter Olympics. Coincidentally, Toronto hosted the 1976 Summer Paralympics.

[edit] The Olympics in Montreal

Jean Drapeau, mayor of Montréal — The Olympics can no more lose money than a man can have a baby
Jean Drapeau, mayor of Montréal — The Olympics can no more lose money than a man can have a baby

Montreal saw the 1976 games as a chance to build on the prestige that it had gained during the 1967 World's Fair, known as Expo 67, held in Canada's centennial year.

Montreal massively overspent on the Olympics, following Mayor Jean Drapeau's adage, The Olympics can no more lose money than a man can have a baby (a statement mocked in a political cartoon depicting him on the telephone asking for a "Morgentaler"). However, with rampant corruption, and lack of financial controls, Montreal did indeed lose money, over US$2 billion, when it was all said and done. In fact, the Quebec government — afraid the province would be humiliated internationally — stepped in at the eleventh hour and essentially put the entire municipal Olympic organizing effort under trusteeship. The facilities would likely not have been ready in time for the games had this not happened, a reality trumpeted by the provincial government in a series of "Because of Quebec, we've done it all!" TV commercials. The Olympic Stadium is still known colloquially as the Big Owe (a play on the stadium nickname, the Big O, for the shape of its opening). In December 2006, Montreal finished paying its Olympic debt.[4] For the 1976 Olympics, Montreal expanded the Montreal Metro rapid mass transit system first built for Expo 67.

[edit] The Olympics after Montreal

Following the news of the massive financial losses of the Montreal Games, few cities wished to host the Olympics. This was seen as a major threat to the future of the Olympic Games, and was not until the financially successful 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles that cities began to line up to be hosts again. The Los Angeles and Montreal Games are seen as examples of what to do and not to do when organizing the Olympics, and serve as object lessons to prospective host cities. Since then, additional object lessons have been drawn from Atlanta in 1996 (the need to avoid commercialization) and Athens in 2004 (the need to organize and build to schedule).

The capital of the host province of the Olympics, Quebec City, was a candidate city of the 2002 Winter Olympics. It lost to Salt Lake City. The cost overruns in Montreal's 1976 games were a factor in Quebec City's loss. [1]

[edit] See also

[edit] Olympics with significant boycotts

[edit] Notes and references

  1. ^ a b c Athletes from Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia competed on July 18-20 before these nations withdrew from the Games.
  2. ^ Africa and the XXIst Olympiad. Olympic Review. IOC (1976). Retrieved on 03 April, 2006.
  3. ^ http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/july/17/newsid_3555000/3555450.stm
  4. ^ http://www.cbc.ca/cp/sports/061219/s121949A.html

[edit] External links

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