Olympics 1976

July 9, 1976

Report Outline
XXI Summer Games in Montreal
U.S. Amateur Athletic Problems
Future of Olympic Competition
Special Focus

XXI Summer Games in Montreal

Problem of Completing Montreal Facilities

The city of montreal, where the XXI Summer Olympics are to begin July 17, has faced a herculean task in preparing for the Olympic Games. Even now, a major question is: Will the Olympic facilities be completed on time? Widespread inflation, large cost overruns and severe labor problems over the last three years combined to put the city far behind its construction schedule. The provincial government of Quebec took over responsibility for construction last November and embarked on a crash program.

A financial transfusion from the province seems to have assured that the Games will begin on time. But the total cost has risen to about $1.4-billion, so far above original estimates of $100-million that there have been calls for an investigation into alleged mismanagement and corruption on the part of the city government. A Canadian journalist wrote: “If there has been a greater scandal in our history, it has yet to come to light.”

In addition to construction and financial problems, preparations have been plagued by other worries that have made the Olympics a subject of controversy and criticism in the last two decades. Security will be extremely heavy in Montreal to prevent incidents such as the kidnapping and murder of 11 members of the Israeli Olympic team by Arab terrorists in Munich in 1972. Political boycotts to protest various nations internal policies have been threatened (see box, p. 507). There is likely to be further grumbling about the “amateur” versus “professional” status of some athletes whose home countries subsidize their competition. And there is fear that the Games again may be soured by the politically biased judging that has marred recent Olympics.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
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