Friday, July 27, 2012

Olympics :History of the Modern Games - 1976 Montreal

The XXI Olympiad was held in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, in 1976. The first Olympic Games to be held in Canada they were opened by Elizabeth II, as head of state of Canada. The Canadian Olympics were full of controversy and ran well over budget.

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 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.

The games were marred by an African boycott involving 22 countries. The boycott was organised by Tanzania to protest the fact that the New Zealand rugby team had toured apartheid South Africa and that New Zealand was scheduled to compete in the Olympic Games. The ABC broadcast of the Summer Olympic Games in Montreal live to the US with an unprecedented 77 hours of coverage.

The mascot for Montreal Olympics was Amik the friendly beaver.

When the Israeli team walked into the stadium at the Opening Ceremonies, their national flag was adorned with a black ribbon in commemoration of the 1972 Munich massacre.

Super Fin, Virén ran a barefoot lap of honour to celebrate a gold medal victory in the 10,000 metre race. He held his Ascis runners aloft for the benefit of the cameras. Following this type of exposure the popularity in sales of certain manufacturing brands of running shoes grew expotentially.

Olmeus Charles (Haiti) was last in the 10,000 metres race. He completed the course in 42 minutes 00.11 seconds. The rest of the runners lapped him at least three times and the winner finished so far ahead he would have had time to complete another 5,000 metres. An argument broke out among the track officials as to whether he should be allowed to finish the course. Happily, the crowd were not denied this fine sight and the entire Olympic timetable was held up by fourteen minutes.

Gymnast, Nadia Comăneci (Romania) scored seven perfect 10.0 and won three gold medals. She became the first female to score a perfect ten at the Olympics and had a pair of shoes named after her.

They were designed to mimic the function of the foot in the most natural way by reinforcing the heel and the forefoot where the highest pressures occur in gymnastics.

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.

Princess Anne of the United Kingdom was the only female competitor not to have to submit to a sex test and was exempted from the mandatory physical examination. She was a member of her country's equestrian team.

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