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The awarding of the 1976 Olympics to Montreal was a major achievement for the Canadian bid process which beat out both Los Angeles and Moscow in the process. This was the first games that Canada held and seemed to be a natural follow up to Expo 67 nine years earlier. This was a period of political turmoil and change not just in Quebec, and Canada but world wide.

The 1972 Munich games had exposed the games to terrorism and the 78 games accelerated the process of politicizing the games and commercializing the athletes and the process. Many African nations demanded that New Zealand be banned from the games because of it allowed it's rugby team to tour apartheid South Africa, The IOC refused to do this which led to the withdrawal of over 26 countries, most of which were from Africa. The issue of the two China's also flared up with Taiwan who decided to boycott the games when they were not allowed to be called the Republic of China.

One of the other issues which really began to become apparent in the Montreal games was the use of drugs and steroids by athletes to improve their performance, in particular many suspected the East German women who dominated the swimming events.

The games themselves produced 32 world records which represented over 6,000 participants from 92 countries. Nadia Comăneci won 3 gold medals and for the first time in Olympic competition scored a perfect 10 not only once but 7 times. The music she used for one of her performances became the unofficial theme music of the games and was know as Nadia's theme.

The Quebec government built an impressive venue for the games known as the Olympic Oval which took on negative tones as the deficit for the games began to grow and eventually reached $2 billion dollars which was one of the largest loses for an Olympic games ever. Canada also became the first nation to ever host an Olympic games and not win at least 1 gold medal.

What had begun as a very positive event which Canadians had hoped could recapture the spirit of 67 became a controversial, debt ridden games which was to leave a negative feeling among Quebecers and the rest of Canada and did little to recapture that fading feeling of federal nationalism.


Nadia - Perfect 10

By G Scott staff writter,  2012 - - section:eras, subsection Trudeau