Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
1976 Summer Olympics
|Games of the XXI Olympiad|
|Athletes participating||6,028 (4,781 men, 1,247 women)|
|Events||198 in 21 sports|
|Opening ceremony||July 17, 1976|
|Closing ceremony||August 1, 1976|
|Officially opened by||Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada|
|Athlete's Oath||Pierre St.-Jean|
|Judge's Oath||Maurice Fauget|
|Olympic Torch|| Stéphane Préfontaine and |
The 1976 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XXI Olympiad, were held in 1976 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Other candidates in the bid to organise the Olympics were Moscow and Los Angeles. The final choice was made on May 12 1970 on the 69th IOC session. Los Angeles was eliminated in the first round of voting. In the last round, Montreal defeated Moscow, 41 votes to 28 (with one blank vote).
- Canada, the host country, unfortunately left with only 5 silver medals and 6 bronze medals. It was the first time in Olympic history that the host country won no gold medals (the only other time this occurred was in Calgary in 1988).
- In a protest to a tour of South Africa by the New Zealand rugby team, Tanzania led a boycott of 22 African nations as the IOC refused to bar the New Zealand team. Some of the nations had already participated however, as the teams only withdrew after the first day.
- Following the Munich massacre, high security was part of the scene for these games.
- The organisation of the Olympics turned out bad financially for Montreal, as the city remained faced with 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 only completed after the Olympics.
- The Olympic Flame was "electronically" transmitted 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. Following a rainstorm that doused the Olympic flame a few days after the opening of the games, 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 3 gold medals in gymnastics. Comaneci is still the only person to have scored a perfect 10 in competition.
- 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 10000 m and finished 5th in the marathon, thereby failing to equal Emil Zátopek 1952 achievements.
- Boris Onischenko, a member of the Soviet Union's modern pentathlon team, was disqualified after he had rigged his épée to register a hit when there wasn't one.
- Women's events were introduced in basketball, handball and rowing.
- Five American boxers, including 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.
See the medal winners, ordered by sport:
Top medal-collecting nations:
(for the full table, see 1976 Summer Olympics medal count)
|1976 Summer Olympics medal count|
|2||East Germany (GDR)||40||25||25||90|
|4||West Germany (FRG)||10||12||17||39|
Articles about Montreal Summer Olympics by nation:
The Olympics in Canada
1976 was the first time Canada hosted the Olympics; it has subsequently hosted the Olympics once more, at the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, and will host the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. Coincidentally, Toronto hosted the 1976 Summer Paralympics.
The Olympics in Montreal
Montreal saw the 1976 games as a chance to build on its world prestige that was first rewarded with a World's Fair on Canada's centennial. It used the opportunity to expand its rapid mass transit system (subway) first built for Expo '67, the Metro.
With the Olympic massacre from the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich on everyone's minds, security was topflight for the 1976 games. Montreal 1976 pointed the way to the future in Olympic security, which was further increased for the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.
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. However, with rampant corruption, and lack of financial controls, Montreal did indeed lose money, over $2 billion dollars (US), when it was all said and done. As of 2004, Montreal is still paying off the debt, and the Montreal Olympic Stadium (formerly the home of Major League Baseball's Montreal Expos) is still not complete, and still under construction, needing a new roof, as previous designs have proved inadequate for the climate.
The Olympics after Montreal
With the massive losses at Montreal, 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. 1984 and 1976 are seen as examples of what to do and not to do when organizing the Olympics, and serve as object lessons to prospectant host cities. However, 2004 (Athens) and 1996 (Atlanta) are also object lessons, in the need to organize and build to schedule; and the need to not be crass marketteers, respectively.
- 1976 Summer Paralympics
- International Olympic Committee
- WikiProject Sports Olympics
- IOC country codes
- 1976 in Canada
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