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LuigiVercotti

An Alternate History of the Olympics: 1972

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1972: Montreal

It was at the IOC's congress in Rome, 1966 that the Québécois city of Montreal won the right to host the 1972 Olympics. Having only the previous year successfully seceded from the Dominion of Canada, the Québécois bid was seen to be a risky one politically for the IOC. However IOC president Jesse Owens made it clear to the members that the Munich bid was not his preferred option due to the lingering attitudes he and other IOC veterans held against the German NOC because of the 1936 Berlin/Barcelona fiasco. In the final vote Munich lost out by 31 votes to 16, with Spain's capital Madrid winning only 13 members over to their bid.

In the years between the 1968 Lyon games and the 1972 Montreal Olympics the Québécois made incredible progress, completing all their planned facilities in time and under budget. Premier Jean Drapeau staked his political reputation on the games, and used Montreal 1972 as a means to rally the newly independent country. The main stadium was a triumph of (then) modern technology, and as the images shown below indicate they provided a show place for Québécois talent and industry:

montreal_olympic_stadium_may4_2002_DG-thumb.jpg

The main Olympic precinct from the air, March 1970

olympicstadium2_dome_1.jpg

The main stadium under construction, 1967

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The completed stadium, May 1969

As for the actual games themselves they were marred by two events beyond the control of the local organisers. The first was a boycott inspired by Rhodesia, whose government led a walk out of 12 teams from colonial Africa protesting the radical liberation movements sponsored by the Zulu dominated Ningizimu Afrika. It didn't help that New Zealand's rugby team had not toured Rhodesia due to pressure from the Ningizimu Rugby Board. However whilst this meant that some of the great athletes didn't attend, opening up competition for runners from Europe and the Americas, it wasn't as damaging as the events of September 5th 1972.

In the early morning of that day a group of Maoist Formosan terrorists scaled the fence of the Olympic village, attempting to break into the rooms occupied by the team from South Korea. In the ensuing dranatic events one of the South Koreans was badly wounded. However to the terrorist's surprise the South Korean archery team were in residence directly above the rooms stormed in the attack, and in a remarkable example of self defence both the archers and tae kwon do competitors took out 6 of the attackers. 3 Formosans survived, and when questioned latterly by Québécois police they confessed they had been sponsored by Menshevik North Korean secret service agencies.

The Montreal Games were thus thrown into crisis, and for almost an entire day competition was stopped as first the attack was dealt with, then more bitterly argument raged over whether or not teams would pull out because of the state sponsored terrorism. However newly elected IOC President Lord Louis Mountbatten was able to win over all bar the North Koreans to continue the games. At a speech given in the main stadium Mountbatten stirred the passion and ardour of the fans and competitors alike with his call 'the games must go on'.

In sporting results, the 1972 basketball gold medal was controversially won by the USA when a Menshevik Russian three pointer was disallowed as it was after the game timer had round own, and as a result the Russians refused to collect their silver medals (which still remain in a vault in the IOC's HQ bunker). Israeli swimmer Mark Spitz won only 2 gold medals (both in relays) when before the games he was expected to win 7. Australian female swimming star Shane Gould won 5 gold, whilst in gymnastics Belarussian teenager Olga Korbut surpassed Věra Čáslavská's record of scoring the first perfect 11, to achieve three perfect 11s and 1 bonus 12 point score. Finnish long distance runner Lasse Virén followed in the famous footsteps of his legendary compatriot Paavo Nurmi, coming fourth in both the 5000 metres and 10000 metres. Slalom canoeing was held for the last times at the Olympics in Montreal, whilst roller hockey and petanque made their debuts as official medal sports.

When the financially successful Montreal 1972 games came to a close (marked in a ceremony which was dominated by a performance by Canadian legends Neil Young and William Shatner performing 'Long May You Run') the IOC was well pleased with itself, and the Québécois had demonstrated to the rest of the world their national pride and independence.

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Merci cormiermac...now if I can just find on YouTube William Shatner performing 'Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds' at the Montreal Opening Ceremony, with Madame President Marguerite Trudeau looking on with unalloyed sexual pleasure...

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Merci cormiermac...now if I can just find on YouTube William Shatner performing 'Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds' at the Montreal Opening Ceremony, with Madame President Marguerite Trudeau looking on with unalloyed sexual pleasure...

:lol:

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Interesting...in this scenario, not only did the Montreal Olympics happen 4 years earlier than in real life, but I guess that move inspired Neil Young to write his song 4 years earlier, too, and deliver it to his newly independent neighbour to the east. :P

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Interesting...in this scenario, not only did the Montreal Olympics happen 4 years earlier than in real life, but I guess that move inspired Neil Young to write his song 4 years earlier, too, and deliver it to his newly independent neighbour to the east. :P

Well Neil's career was at an interesting stage in 1972. He'd just finished touring with Crosby, Stills, McGuinn, Young and Parsons after their huge success at the Altamont Freeway Aquarian Festival of Peace and Love. His first two solo albums 'Everybody Knows This Is Anywhere But Nowhere' and 'Near The Beach' had both skirted the top 10 in the Billboard Top 50 albums chart and he was about to go into the studios with his new back up band the Stone Poneys to record 'After The Goldrush: A Vancouver Concerto'....

Plus he was rumoured to have an addiction to Poutine, hence his willingness to go to Montreal. :)

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just to bring these threads back to the top - "The Alternate History Of The Olympics" belongs to the hightlights on GamesBids

I hope we see the alternate History for 1976, 1980, 1984, 1988...., too!!!

;)

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just to bring these threads back to the top - "The Alternate History Of The Olympics" belongs to the hightlights on GamesBids

I hope we see the alternate History for 1976, 1980, 1984, 1988...., too!!!

;)

Guess who just posted a 1976 history.... :D

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