Thursday, July 17, 2014
Summer Olympics Kick Off In Montreal, Canada
On July 17, 1976, the XXI (21) running of the Summer Olympics took place in Montreal, Canada. This also marked the first time the Olympics had been held in Canada, and up until the late 1980’s it was the only time the Olympics were held in Canada before the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary.
The Soviet Union captures the most medals in the 1976 Olympics, including the most Gold medals 49, nine over East Germany, the most Silver medals, 41, six over the United States and most Bronze medals with 35, 10 over East Germany and the United States.
Canada who hosted the Olympics did not compete at the highest level during the Olympics, being the 27th ranked Nation as far as medal count went. Canada only accumulated 11 medals, five silver medals and six bronze medals.
If West Germany and East Germany had combined forces, as they would in future Olympic games, they would held the most medals by four, as East Germany accumulated 90 medals ranking them third in medal count, and West Germany accumulated 39 medals, ranking them fourth in medal count.
The United States took home the second most Olympic medals with 94.
Although 92 nations participated in the 1976 Olympic Games, 28 countries including South Africa who had been banned from the Olympics in 1964 due to apartheid policies.
The Olympics ended up being a financial disaster for Montreal, as the city faced debts up until six years ago. The Quebec provincial government took over construction when it became evident in 1975 that work had fallen far behind schedule; work was still under way just weeks before the opening date, and the tower was not built. Mayor Jean Drapeau had confidently predicted in 1970 that "the Olympics can no more have a deficit than a man can have a baby", but the debt racked up to a billion dollars that the Quebec government mandated the city pay in full.
With Montreal's own Canadiens winning the Stanley Cup the following year, Canada hosting an Olympics has been seen as a good omen to the NHL team in the host city the following year. A year after Calgary hosted the 1988 Winter Olympics, their Flames won the Stanley Cup. The Vancouver Canucks hoped to continue this in the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals, a year after Vancouver hosted the 2010 Winter Olympics. However, they ended up losing to the Boston Bruins.