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Montreal 1976

African boycott

The 1976 Montreal 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.

Debuts and firsts

Women’s events in basketball, rowing and team handball all made their Olympic debut. Hockey was played on an artificial pitch for the first time, and boxer Clarence Hill of Bermuda earned a bronze medal to give Bermuda the honour of being the least populous nation (53,500) ever to have one of its athletes win a medal at the Summer Games.

Memorable champions

Alberto Juantorena of Cuba completed the first 400m and 800m double victory. The Japanese women’s volleyball team proved untouchable, winning all their matches in straight sets, and Miklos Németh of Hungary won the javelin to become the first son of an athletics gold medalist to win a gold of his own.

Perfect Nadia

Fourteen-year-old gymnast Nadia Comaneci of Romania was the undoubted star of the Games. She shot to fame when, for her performance on the uneven bars, she was awarded the first-ever perfect score of 10.0. She went on to earn seven maximum marks in total.

NOCs: 92
Athletes: 6,084 (1,260 women, 4.824 men)
Events: 198
Volunteers: n/a
Media: n/a 

An Innovation in the transport of the flame

For the Athens to Ottawa stage of the torch relay the Olympic flame travelled by air, but not by plane. Instead, a sensor used to detect ionized particles of the Flame turned them into coded impulses. The impulses were transmitted by satellite to Ottawa where they activated a laser beam which recreated the Olympic flame in its original shape.

The African Boycott

Despite there being no African athletes present (they participated in a boycott organised by Tanzania, in which 22 countries came together to protest against a tour of South Africa by the New Zealand national rugby team), the standard of the competitions at the 1976 Olympic Games was very high.

The Medal for the least populated country

With its 53,500 inhabitants, Bermuda became the most sparsely-populated country to win a medal at the Summer Games, thanks to Clarence Hill who won the bronze medal in boxing in the heavyweight category.

An Artificial pitch

Hockey was played on an artificial pitch for the first time.

Events open to women

Women's events appeared in basketball, handball and rowing.


Montreal 17 July 1976. Flags of the nations during the Olympic oath.

Official opening of the Games by:
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

Lighting the Olympic Flame by:
Stéphane Préfontaine and Sandra Henderson (two athletes aged 16 and 15).

Olympic Oath by:
Pierre Saint-Jean (weightlifting)

Official Oath by:
Maurice Forget (athletics)

Montreal 1976 Emblem

It is made up of the Olympic rings mounted on an Olympic podium, which is also the graphic interpretation of the letter M, the initial of Montreal. In the centre, the athletics track, the focal point of the Games. This emblem invokes the universal fraternity offered by the Olympic Ideal, as well as the glory of the winners, the gallant spirit of their battles and the accession of Montreal to the rank of Olympic city.

Montreal 1976 Medals

On the obverse, the design of Guiseppe Cassioli, created for the Amsterdam Games in 1928. The principal symbols are Victory, Fraternity and Universality. The reverse was designed as intentionally bare. It comprises a stylized laurel crown, symbol of victory since the Games of Antiquity, and the emblem of the Montreal Games.


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Montreal 1976 Mascot

Amik means beaver in Algonquin, a widespread language among the North American Indians in Canada.

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Montreal 1976 Torch

Number of torchbearers: 500 in Greece and 261 in Canada
Total distance: 775 km including 514 in Greece
Countries crossed: Greece, Canada

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Montreal 1976 Poster

The Games Organising Committee made two main series of posters. The first illustrated eight key themes: - the emblem of the International Olympic Committee (here) : entitled “The Invitation” and representing the five rings reflected symbolically by successive waves, thus inviting the athletes from all the continents to the 1976 Olympic Games. - the emblem of the Organising Committee - Kingston 1976 - Olympia and the Olympic torch carrier - Montreal and Antiquity - the Olympic Stadium - the international youth camp - the mascot The second series illustrates sports.

Montreal 1976 Coins Montreal 1976 Coins
Montreal 1976 Official Reports

Published in 1978, the official report “Games of the XXI Olympiad Montreal 1976: official report” exists in French and English. Each of the three sets consists of three volumes (Organization; Facilities; Results).

  • Montreal 1976
    • 12 Mar 2014 |
      Published in 1978, the official report “Games of the XXI Olympiad Montreal 1976: official report” exists in French and English. Each of the three sets consists of three volumes (Organization; Facilities; Results).




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