Wednesday, July 18, 2012

1976 Summer Olympic Opening Ceremony - Montreal (entire ceremony)


The Games of the XXI Olympiad
Montreal, Canada
1976
The Opening Ceremony of the 1976 Olympics in Montreal
Olympic Ceremony Records 
italics indicate records at the time
  • First Olympic Cauldron Lit by Two People
  • First Parade of Nations Not Enforcing a Strict Marching Step Order (athletes could now walk casually out of step)
  • First Videoboard
  • Most Olympic Events (198) - previous Munich 1972 (195)
Olympic Torch Relay Records
italics indicate records at the time

  • Shortest Olympic Torch Relay - 775km (previous Rome 1960 - 1,863km)
  • First Electronically Transmitted Olympic Flame (as described in the official report:  "She then presents the Olympic Flame to the sensor, which detects the ionized particles, converting them into coded impulses that are transmitted by satellite to Ottawa, where they activate a laser beam which instantly recreates the Olympic Flame in its original shape."  - while the statement that it could recreate the flame in its original shape is laughably false, this statement is hyperbole  - simply, the flame touched a sensor in Athens causing a computer in Ottawa to shoot a laser)
  • First Olympic Cauldron Lit by Two People
Opening Ceremony
Olympic Stadium (73,000)
July 17, 1976

Video
THIS IS THE WORLD'S FIRST PUBLICLY AVAILABLE DIGITAL FILM OF THE 1976 OLYMPIC OPENING CEREMONY
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If you are having trouble, click here


Opening Ceremony Highlights
Montreal displayed a ceremony quite similar to that of Munich in 1972.  It was however somewhat odd, in that they "electronically transferred" the Olympic Flame to Canada as a demonstration of scientific innovation, even though this gimmick was nothing more than a computer creating a spark (not necessarily advanced technology if you consider that thousands of nuclear bombs were exploded this way, and long range communication wasn't difficult - humans were visiting the moon only 4 years before).  Also, with new construction (you can see that the Olympic Stadium isn't even complete) these games were so expensive that the city of Montreal is still paying off loans almost 40 years later.
  • Queen Elizabeth II and dignitaries arrive
  • National Anthem performed by the World Youth Orchestra
  • Parade of Nations, marching to "March of the Athletes" arranged from music by Andre Mathieu performed by the Olympic Orchestra - interesting, the Official Report designates this music as neo-romantic, but it is certainly not; if anything, it is a pop fusion of the classical tradition and "modern" dance - e.g. rock, disco
  • Queen Elizabeth II declares the games open
  • Olympic Flag enters stadium; Olympic Hymn performed by the Orpheus Choir; flag raised
  • 64 dancers, 16 musicians, 8 singers dressed in Bavarian costume accompany "Antwerp" flag dancing to Bayrischer Defilir; Flag presented from Munich to Montreal; same number of Quebec dancers dance to a medley of French dances
  • Canons fired; pigeons released from bow containers
  • Olympic Fanfare played; Olympic Flame enters the stadium; Cauldron is lit by Sandra Henderson and Stephane Prefontaine (15 year-old athletes selected for their heritage, representing Canada's founding peoples); Olympic Cantata by Louis Chantigny performed
  • Children of Montreal perform gigantic ballet on the track to music by Andre Mathieu
  • Athlete's and Official's Oaths
  • National Anthem
Photos
Gold Medal from the 1976 Olympics in Montreal

Olympic Torch from the 1976 Games in Montreal

Official Poster of the 1976 Olympics in Montreal

Lighting the Olympic Cauldron in Montreal 1976 - this was the only Olympic Flame to  be extinguished because of rain. It was relighted using a reserve flame.
Montreal Olympic Stadium - the tower nor retractable roof were complete by the beginning of the Olympics in 1976

1 comment:

  1. I'm sure the 1976 games were opened by the Queen of Canada ... the fact that she is also Queen of England, and the rest of her realm, is purely coincidental.

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