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Montreal 1976

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I found a great cache of photos from the Montreal Olympics...Enjoy!1976.jpg

The Opening Ceremony, July 17, 1976.

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Team Canada nears Stade Olympique.

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Team Canada rounds out the Athletes Parade.

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The Olympic flag is carried around the track at Stade Olympique.

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The flag is hoisted.

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And the flame is lit.

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Flag bearers prepare to take the Olympic Oath.

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The flame burns beneath the giant ring of the stadium's roof.

0723stadium5-v2.jpg

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The Facilities.

Scale model of the Olympic Complex.

0723stadium-model1-v2.jpg

Model of Stade Olympique.

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Model of the Velodrome.

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Model of the Olympic Village.

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The Olympic Village at Games time.

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The Olympic Complex...with its unfinished tower.

0723stadium3-v2.jpg

Inside the boxing venue.

0723boxing-v2.jpg

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Amazing pictures!!

That stadium is monolithic!! :shocked:

What exactly went wrong with it's roof?

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Thanks so much for the pictures.

To this day, Stade Olympique is still my favorite Olympic stadium of all time.  It is just a shame it became a symbol of all that was wrong with the Montreal games, despite the fact that they were run very well and were very successful.

The problem with the roof is essentially that it was way before it's time.  A Rube Goldberg contraption was utilized which, from todays engineering standpoint, would never work correctly.  

With today's technology they would proobably put retracting panels on instead of trying to use an umbrella inspired idea.

Now that it is paid for, I hope the people of Montreal eventually realize what an architectural gem they have and will work to preserve it.   :)

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I find it so strange that the Montreal Games ended up costing as much as they did and being as behind schedule as they were because it was only 9 years earlier that the city welcomed the world to the 6 month birthday party that was Expo 67.  Montreal's Olympics are often considered a failure while Man and His World, the sweeping theme for Expo, was a wickedly brilliant succes - perhaps the most successful of the 20th century.  For Expo, they even built islands in the middle of the Saint Lawrence River, a whole new subway line and all within a few short years.  The city attracted global attention and visits from many celebrities and political figures.

Yet, 9 years later, the Montreal Olympics opened despite the fact that constructions cranes still loomed where the tower was to stand and a slew of planning errors, stikes, corrupt dealings and other problems that plagued these Games.  They could build islands in time, but not a stadium.

Where Expo was Montreal's highest achievement, the Olympics were probably marked the start of the city's decline.  A billion dollars in the hole, eclipsed by Toronto, growing support for separatism, and a period of decline, the Olympics ended nearly a decade of Montreal uphoria.

Still, I wish I wasn't just 2 years old at the time - would have loved to be part of the experience.  It will be years before the Summer Games come to Toronto, and I hope within my lifetime, but at least I'll be there for Vancouver's party in 2010.

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Did the proposed restaurant for the overhanging tower ever open?

I think it did but then closed.  The top floor is an observation deck.

The ride to the top btw is awesome!

The last time I was in Montreal I asked the concierge at my hotel about going out there and he laughed!  :Oo:

Last year I understand that they started renting out space in the tower as office space.  

It is so sad, especially with how well organized the '76 games that the arrogance that went into building the stadium/velodrome/Olympic Village did indeed start Montreal's downfall as the premier Canadian city.

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I think Montrealers are raised to hate that stadium.  I think it was the cost that lingers with them and perhaps the arrogance that surrounded it, but other cities have had similar projects with similar results and similar egos but don't seem to hold as much bitterness as Montrealers do toward Stade Olympique.  There are many people in the world that think it is a wonderful piece of architecture and the marvel that Drapeau and Taillibert intended.  Nearly every travel book I've ever on the topic of Montreal mentions it as one of the top attractions in the city.

Too bad - the city should realize what it has and embrace it instead of threatening to implode it or laughing at tourists when they want to visit.

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These are cool pictures.  With all that money spent, putting Montreal into debt for decades afterwards, even, you would think they would have at least finished the tower at the stadium in time for the opening ceremonies.

This picture really gets me:

0723opening4-v2.jpg

Oh those 70s fashions!  Bellbottoms and polyester suits!  Hehe!  But I shouldn't talk, for LA 1984, we had breakdancers in the opening ceremonies and Lionel Richie singing "All Night Long" during the closing ceremonies.  Hehe!

So were ALL of the venues brand-spanking new for the Montreal Olympics, or were some already existing facilities utilized too?

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If I can find it, you should see what Team Australia wore at the opening ceremonies of LA 84.

Mix steriotypical Australian cliche's, with early 80's "christian summer camp-esque) clothing and you've got it.

I'll try and find a pic..

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The reason for the high costs and the reason the tower wasn't compete in time are the same - a labour dispute compounded by a brutal Montreal winter mixed in with a difficult piece of architecture and thrown together with corruption, recession and political intrigue.  Their make-up schedule made Athens look like a picnic.

This is what Stade Olympique looked like in 1975 - just one year before the Opening Ceremony.

stade.jpg

For the record, the Government of Quebec, which owns/operates Stade Olympique, just completely re-did the website (en francais seulement pour maintenant) and it is a HUGE improvement over the previous site.

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Montreal and Athens have a lot in common...

1/1/1976 - The velodrome is complete

2/2/1976 - Organizers reassure the IOC that the project will be ready

8/2/1976 - the final piece of the roof is installed (the "concrete awning", not the fabric roof)

29/3/1976 - the technical ring around the roof is complete (includes lighting etc)

7/4/1976 - the track and grass are installed in the stadium

15/4/1976 - the aquatic centre is finished.

10/5/1976 - the video screens and seats are installed in the stadium

15/5/1976 - the Olympic Village is complete

9/7/1976 - all construction at the Stadium ends

16/7/1976 - exterior landscaping is complete

17/7/1976 - 3:00 pm exactly - in front of her Majesty Elizabeth II, 73,000 spectators in the stadium and a half billion televison viewers world wide, the Opening Ceremony of the Games of the XXI Olympiad commence - and thousands of busy workers wipe the sweat from their collective brow.

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Montreal and Athens have a lot in common...

1/1/1976 - The velodrome is complete

2/2/1976 - Organizers reassure the IOC that the project will be ready

8/2/1976 - the final piece of the roof is installed (the "concrete awning", not the fabric roof)

29/3/1976 - the technical ring around the roof is complete (includes lighting etc)

7/4/1976 - the track and grass are installed in the stadium

15/4/1976 - the aquatic centre is finished.

10/5/1976 - the video screens and seats are installed in the stadium

15/5/1976 - the Olympic Village is complete

9/7/1976 - all construction at the Stadium ends

16/7/1976 - exterior landscaping is complete

17/7/1976 - 3:00 pm exactly - in front of her Majesty Elizabeth II, 73,000 spectators in the stadium and a half billion televison viewers world wide, the Opening Ceremony of the Games of the XXI Olympiad commence - and thousands of busy workers wipe the sweat from their collective brow.

One other comparison to add to your list:

1976 - The games begin with an unfinished tower next to the stadium

2004 - The games begin with a promised roof over the acquatic center not completed.

:oo:

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The Games invest huge amounts in security following a terrorist attack (the Munich hostage taking for the 1976 Games, the September 11, 2001 attacks for the 2004 Games)

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The Games invest huge amounts in security following a terrorist attack (the Munich hostage taking for the 1976 Games, the September 11, 2001 attacks for the 2004 Games)

Sad but true.   :(

Thanks for sharing that website.  

Refresh my memory if anyone can.  I know most all the venues and Olympic Village were new for '76.  But didn't the organizers also utilize some leftover venues from Expo '67?

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From what I could tell, the only new facilities built for 1976 were the massive Olympic complex (stadium, pool, & velodrome), the Olympic Village and the Olympic Basin (rowing & kayaking) near the old Expo site.  The Stadium of course hosted the ceremonies, athletics, soccer and possibly the final equestrian event.  The pool held all aquatic events and the velodrome had the cycling time trials.

Shooting and archery were in the small town of Joliette.  Sailing was in Kingston, Ontario.  Bromont hosted the equestrian events.

Other existing facilities were used - Molson Stadium at McGill University (for field hockey), Arena Maurice Richard near the stadium (boxing I believe?), the legendary Montreal Forum in downtown (gymnastics, I believe) - but I'm not sure if any of the Expo 67 facilities were used.

I also believe that a number of sport facilities exist at the 4 universities that call Montreal home - they could have hosted a slew of smaller sports such as volleyball and handball.

Some events don't really need facilities - like cycling road races - and others can use small halls or theatres, like fencing, weightlifting and wrestling.

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For more information on the Montreal Olympics, try this link.

CBC Archives - the Games of Montreal

The video and audio clips give a feel for what people thought of the Games, before, during and after and certainly demonstrate that the biggest problem encountered by the Montreal Games are the inflated egos of its backers and the corrupt ambitions of its builders.

The video archive on Taillibert also features a young journalist reporting on the extravagances of the Games and its architecture would ironically, some 25 years after the Montreal Games would be questioned about her extravagances...yes, that young journalist is none other than future Govenor General Adrienne Clarkson.

Also available with French language archives.

Radio-Canada - Jeux de Montreal

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For more information on the Montreal Olympics, try this link.

CBC Archives - the Games of Montreal

The video and audio clips give a feel for what people thought of the Games, before, during and after and certainly demonstrate that the biggest problem encountered by the Montreal Games are the inflated egos of its backers and the corrupt ambitions of its builders.

The video archive on Taillibert also features a young journalist reporting on the extravagances of the Games and its architecture would ironically, some 25 years after the Montreal Games would be questioned about her extravagances...yes, that young journalist is none other than future Govenor General Adrienne Clarkson.

Also available with French language archives.

Radio-Canada - Jeux de Montreal

Thanks Kendegra for the links.

A few questions - I remember during the '76 Games on ABC that Leroy Neiman was painting a mural during the Olympics and was going to present it to Montreal at the close of the games.  Do you know anything about that?

My second question is - now that Olympic Stadium is paid for, are the people of Montreal starting to see it in a different light at all?

I really really really don't want to see that thing imploded.   :verysad:

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I've seen the artwork but don't know where it is...its got a yellow background and all the flags of the world.

As for the stadium, I really don't think they will tear it down for a very long time, if ever.  Despite the problems and the cost, it has become the city's signature landmark building.  And with no plans to build a new stadium, I don't think they will implode the Big O.  The Expos may not draw huge crowds, but the stadium still has many events - concerts, tradeshows, conventions...the stadium is multipurpose and a tourist attraction.

The analogy to the Eiffle Tower holds some ground.  Both were built for extravagant events, both reared controversy in their design, both angered the citizens of the city, both have questionable usefulness, both have been threatened with destruction, yet both have become the single most recognizable structure in their city.  Can you name another building in Montreal?  Stade Olympique just needs more time to gain acceptance as an icon.

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I've seen the artwork but don't know where it is...its got a yellow background and all the flags of the world.

As for the stadium, I really don't think they will tear it down for a very long time, if ever.  Despite the problems and the cost, it has become the city's signature landmark building.  And with no plans to build a new stadium, I don't think they will implode the Big O.  The Expos may not draw huge crowds, but the stadium still has many events - concerts, tradeshows, conventions...the stadium is multipurpose and a tourist attraction.

The analogy to the Eiffle Tower holds some ground.  Both were built for extravagant events, both reared controversy in their design, both angered the citizens of the city, both have questionable usefulness, both have been threatened with destruction, yet both have become the single most recognizable structure in their city.  Can you name another building in Montreal?  Stade Olympique just needs more time to gain acceptance as an icon.

Thanks for the info .   :)

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Can you name another building in Montreal?  

Well, yeah, the geodesic dome in Expo '67 which served as the US pavilion; except it burned down.

is that giant glass golfball? how did that happen?

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