Comite Organisateur des Jeux Olympiques de Montreal 1976

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3eme Congrès Olympique Canadien
Legacy of the OLYMPIC GAMES in Montreal – An Introduction

 
 
 
 

 

par
Michel Guay

 


 

Association Olympique Canadienne                                                                                Montréal, 27 avril, 1996

 

Legacy of the OLYMPIC GAMES in Montreal – An Introduction

 

Introduction

Let me first thank the Canadian Olympic Association for this invitation to talk about of the benefits from the Games of the XXI Olympiad held in Montreal in 1976. In addressing you to-day, I have some very mixed feelings.

 

On one hand, I am very proud about the great achievement that resulted from the excellent work of all my colleagues at COJO and the other Canadians that made possible the tremendous great success of 1976. Once, in a while we, the people of C07076, are still boost up by the comments of people like:

• Dr. Havelange, president of FIFA, who stated that: "the Montreal Games are still the reference in terms of the quality of the organization"

• the Canadian athletes winning a Gold Medal and saying that the Montreal Games were their trigger in their pursuit of excellence, and

• the many events that take place and which are almost direct descendant of the Games.

 

But at the same time, I feel like the "Athlete" that has worked very hard to achieve the world's highest level of performance in his sport but is prevented to participate in "his Olympic games" by some event beyond his control! Obviously, you know that I am referring to the negative image of the Montreal Games that is too often presented in relationship with one aspect of the Olympic project, the costs of the Olympic Park installations (Stadium, Swimming Pool and Velodrome) and the political football the whole situation has become since the closing of the Games in August 1976. (Cost, work remaining, operations, architecture, the retractable roof, etc.)

But as you can expect, the impacts of the games are numerous and most diversified. " Financial statements or a balance sheet of the Olympics games can take different forms dependent on accounting economic, environmental or social aspects. Accounting principles consider the language of financial numbers only. Therefore to fully appreciate the impact of the Games, one must take into consideration the costs and benefits, pecuniary or otherwise, direct and indirect, quantifiable or not which had an impact on the socio-economic environment and particularly on the urban fabric of Montreal" during a certain period before and after the games."

For the time being, I have decided to use as principal themes the headings of the summary report of a Conference held in 1988 and titled: Hosting the Olympics: The long-term Impact". The conference was organized by the "East Asian Architecture and planning Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the "Graduate school of Environmental studies of the Seoul National University". (4)

The selected themes were the following: Sports, Physical, Economic, Institutional, Social and Cultural. In many instances the impacts considered were arbitrarily associated with a theme but could have been treated under one or more than the chosen one.

 

1-      SPORTS

 

The impacts of hosting the Olympics Games begins long before their culmination, characterized by that grand sport festival that takes place every four year and is attended by top athletes from around the world. There is a tendency though to analyze the post-Olympic effects end to neglect what took place before the event. In Montreal, the impacts of the Games originate long before 1976. In fact, we have to go back to the 60s when the city of Montreal submitted an application for hosting the 1972 Olympics Games which were awarded to Munich. Then, in 1970, Montreal has submitted its candidacy and won the exclusive privilege of hosting the 1976 Olympic Games. The immediate consequences of those 2 events were most significant; lets mention the organization of many sport federations in Quebec, the creation of La Confédération des Sports du Québec, Le Haut Commissariat aux Sports (the first Quebec government department for sports), les Jeux du Québec, Mission Québec 76, and more closely to the Games, les Compétitions Internationales de Montréal en 1975 (CIM 75)

 

All of these and many other initiatives took place or happened prior to 1976 and because Montreal had sought to organize the 1972 Games and then those of 1976. I will not this presentation cover the impact of the Games on the sport sector in any exhaustive way. But I will to describe some of them.

Canadian Olympic Association

The COA, the Canadian Olympic Association, is now a modern , efficient and well structured organization in great part because of the Olympic Games in Montreal.. Following the closing of the Games, the COA seriously questioned itself and started developing programs to improve the performance level of the Canadian Athletes. At the same time a number of young Canadians interested in practicing sport made the bet that they could, in due time, climb to the highest step of the podium. Sylvie Bernier and Mark Tewksbery are two Canadian Gold medalists that gave themselves this highest objective while watching the Montreal Games on their home TV sets.

Sport Officials (judges, referees, administrators etc.)

 

In 1972, very few Canadians were accredited by the sport federations to act as official for international events. Most of the Canadian and Quebec sports federations initiated programs to train minor officials and some of them have carried on their formation and training to become full fledged officials at the international level.

 

Also, key COJO employees in the sport sectors went on to become very active within the governing body of their sport at the International level. May I mention: Carl Schwende in Fencing , Philippe St-Cyr in Weight Lifting, Bill Dientsman in Canoe, Martin Biltz in Rowing, Lise Simard in Gymnastic.

 

Since 1976, Canadians have also become President of their international sport federation governing body; lets mention Paul Henderson for Yachting, Bob Story for the Bobsleigh and Luge, and Les Macdonald for Triathlon.

 

International sport events

 

As new World class facilities were developed for the Games, and as the quality and capacity of several others were greatly enhanced, Montreal was now equipped to present international sport events. Since the closing of the Games, International sport competitions have increased notably in Montreal: (6)

 

1979 World Cup Athletics, 1982 World Cup Boxing, 1983 World Handball Championships for Women, 1985 World Pentathlon Championship for women; 1985 World Championship Gymnastics;

1985 World rowing Championship (lightweight); 1986 World Championship Canoe-Kayak;

1987 World football Cup for under 16;

 1987 World Short Track Speed Skating.

 

 Prior to the Montreal Games, only 2 World events had been hosted in Montreal in the 20th century. In just over 10 years after the games, more than 9 world-class sports events took place in Montreal.

 

Athletes from Quebec in the Canadian Olympic Team

 

A feeling of pride has developed in respect to sport excellence; there has been a definite increase of athletes participating in and striving for high level sports ability. As it is normal in a country with such a large territory as Canada, some of the benefits of the Games have a somewhat more localized influence. As you will see, for the 76 Games and since, there has been a definitive increase in the number of athletes from the Montreal region and of the Province of Quebec in the Canadian Olympic delegation:

 

• I have looked at the records of the Canadian Olympic Association for the Summer Games since 1960. In the 4 Olympics Games preceding the Montreal Games, 11% of the athletes declared the Province of Quebec as their home while for the 4 Games following the Montreal Games, this membership has grown to 20%.

   1976                       99 out of 414  or 24%

 

   Period 60-72           66 out of 566  or 11%

    Period 80-92          262 out of 1318  or 20%

Here is the data used to compile these results

 

Olympic Games of

60

64

68

72

76

80

84

88

92

Quebec residency

9

11

22

24

99

46

81

71

64

Canadian Team

85

118

143

220

414

214

436

354

314

% Que. Res. in team

10

9

15

11

24

19

18

20

20

 

Other studies considering only Montréalais in the Canadian Olympic Delegation also show an increase in participation. These 2 studies (6) have shown that:

 

• In 1972 there were 8 Montréalais out of a delegation of 225 Athletes for the Munich Games, none were in the top 8 and obviously there were no medal winners;

• in 1976, 26 Montréalais were members of the Canadian delegation of 387 athletes, 5 were placed in the top eight, but no medals;

 

• At Moscow in 1980, 16 athletes from Montreal were to compete but unfortunately Canada did not participate to the Games

• In Los Angeles in 1984, there were 38 athletes from Montreal in a delegation of 450: 14 Montréalais were classed in the top 8 in 11 different events and they came back with 1 Gold, 2 Silver and 1 Bronze medals.

 

These studies show very clearly a net progression in the number and quality of Montreal athletes at the Games. It can be conclude that a definite positive influence as has  resulted from hosting the Olympic Games in 76.

 

Sport participation by ordinary citizen

 

Following the Montreal Olympics, the attention of the community focused on upcoming sport events of the highest level such as the Montreal Marathon; little known sports were given great exposure, such as Gymnastic, Volleyball, Handball, Archery, etc. In 1988, twice as many people in Montreal as in Toronto did their stint of physical exercise with more than 500,000 registering their 15 minutes or more of sport or fitness (6). Further, in June 1996, more than 40,000 people will participate in the annual "Tour de l'Île à bicyclette".

 Whether or not these activities are a consequence of the 1976 Games in Montreal is not that important. What is key is that they happened or they are happening and that sport and fitness activities are important for more and more people. In that sense I am convinced that the 1976 Games have been the key influencing factor.

The Olympic basin that is easily accessible by metro (the only city offering such a facility), is used by rowers (there is also an interior practice basin), canoeists, sailors and wind surfers and accounts for 250,000 to 300,000 visits in the summer (7). It is the site of a sailing school with 2,500 participants and a Sailing Club grouping more than 150 members. A beach has also been created next to the basin; it is greatly appreciated by Montréalais who cannot afford to go out of town in the hot and humid period of the summer. During the winter, over 300,000 presences were registered from skaters, cross-country skiers and attendees to the "Fête des Neiges". It has been so for the more than 15 years!

The Claude-Robillard Center, a modern multidisciplinary sport center is shared 18 hours a day by top elite athletes and citizens of all ages trying to stay in shape". The center hosts 14 elite clubs and is a national training center for more than 8 sports. This remarkable venue was designed entirely by the City of Montreal Public Work Department and 20 years after its construction, it is still visited by facility planners from all over the world. They have learned how much the venue is a success in its integration in the life of the city and its inhabitants. Very few multidisciplinary sport venues have achieved a performance level that is comparable. Let's see some figures for 95/96 (7)

 registrations: from 7,000/yr in the 70s to more than 30,000 in the 90s.

 visits/year: 1,700,000

   13 Sporting clubs

   8 High performance national training centers

  45 National and International events

   1600 "ad hoc" events

   1 Senior Sport Club, 1,500 members

   Hosts "Sport Montreal"; revenues generating organization

  Hosts the Montreal Professional Soccer Club, L' IMPACT

 

As you know, The Olympics Games leave an indelible mark on the places where they were held. It is certainly true in Montreal. Ask those people that are using the facilities. Increased athletic participation by residents result in measurably benefits, improved health and lowered morbidity. An Australian study says that every 10% increase in participation in regular physical activity would bring $600m in net benefit to Australia. (5) Fitness is a benefit, regardless of how it impacts economics.

 

2- Facilities and physical installations (Physical)

The games of the first Olympics of the modern times held in Athens in 1896 does not only mark the renaissance of the Olympic ideal has also influenced the type of architecture it inspired. The audacious constructions and urban improvements realized by the cities where the games have been held are witness to this ideal and constitute a concrete inheritance for many of the world's cities and have made them proud. Montreal is no exception to the rule.

To accommodate the games and the people involved, a country must offer facilities to service the games such as the sport venues; accommodate the participants, (Olympic Village) facilitate the work of the Press, (accommodation and press facilities); and very often must improve the infrastructure, (metro, roads, new sport complex etc.).

The Montreal Olympic Games have been responsible for a tremendous improvement of the sports installations in Montreal and the surrounding area. A number of the facilities were built specifically to be ready for the games; six of them were built by the City of Montreal for its benefits. They are the Olympic Complex (Stadium, Swimming Pool and the Vélodrome), le Centre Claude-Robillard, le Bassin Olympique, and Le Centre Etienne-Desmarteau.

Other facilities were also built for the Organizing Committee, C07076: in Kingston, Ontario for the Yachting, in Bromont for the Equestrian events and the city of Joliette, for Archery and l'Acadie for Shooting.

Renovation and improvement were made in a number of sites including 4 University Campus: Montreal, McGill, Laval in Quebec and Toronto. Several sport halls and gymnasia were improved and half of them were located in educational institutions.

In 1972, Montreal had no Olympic size swimming hall and not one 8-track running track. After the games, Montreal was equipped with 3 Olympic size swimming pools, 3x400 meter tracks of international level with state of the art surface material, 3 stadium with artificial turf for field hockey, a flexible rowing and canoeing basin right in the middle of city; a versatile multi-sports complex, the Claude-Robillard Center, now the site of several national training centers; improved sport facilities at McGill University and Université de Montreal, new and improved arenas.

 

The Olympic Park, is a sport complex that integrates the Stadium and the Swimming facilities in a structure of revolutionary conception and in harmony with the Velodrome, they form a spectacular architectural ensemble. It is more than a sport complex, as we will see later on.

 

" The vitality of the Olympic Park has made the area a sport, leisure and environment friendly part of the city. The Olympic stadium is used for professional sports events, shows, and trade fairs for almost 300 days of occupation a year and a clientele of over 3,000,000 per year." (1)

I said previously that I would come back to the subject of the Olympic Stadium that is more than a huge building. In reality it is a six building complex serviced by an underground city that provides for its respective activities. The Stadium Tower complex occupies 78,000 square meters serving 6 vocations

 

1- a versatile stadium with a seating capacity of 50,000 2- 2- a 40,000 square meters exhibition hall

3- a backstage area of 13,000 square meters on 3 levels

4- a 4 basin Olympic swimming center with a seating capacity of 3,000

5- a tourist accommodation center of some 4,OOO square meters with 3 observation levels at 170 meters accessible by a spectacular "funicular" (60 people)

6- a 17 floor building in the tower (vocation to be established)

 

All of this would have no value or would have a limited one if it were not for the purpose of being accessible and used by the general population. And any observer of the Montreal scene knows that most of the facilities built or enhanced for the Games are in good working order.

All of the permanent installations built for the games and administered by the City of Montreal Sport and Leisure department are dedicated to the practice of sport by the Montreal population and are kept in excellent condition. Ice hockey arenas, outdoor tracks for Athletics, artificial grass stadium for football and soccer, indoor gymnasia for volleyball, basketball, handball, gymnastics, etc. More than 70 sites were renovated and equipped with the latest sport equipment; half of them were located at educational institutions that have benefited from these investments.

 

There are few dark areas though; some of the facilities built for the games have been abandoned because of lack of interest in these sports such as the venues for Archery and Shooting. The most troublesome site was the conversion of the Velodrome in what is now the Biodôme, a center dedicated to the ecology and the environment concerns, valid themes, but very questionable as the occupant of sport venue.  There is a positive aspect since the Biodôme attracts many visitors who have the opportunity to enjoy environmental education in a most unique site!

And other sour area is the usage of some of the facilities within the Olympic Park Complex in particular the swimming hall, the outside track etc. Unfortunately, the local area residents cannot enjoy these facilities for the practice of their favorite sports, as they should be able. If the operation of the center were fully integrated with other activities of the City of Montreal Sport Department, one would certainly see a much improved presence of these facilities in the day to day life of the Montrealers.

 

 

 

3- Economics

 

 

Often considered the most comparable of the impact topics between Olympics Cities or the easiest one to perform, it turns out that the issue of the economics associated with the hosting of the Olympics Games is a very difficult one to tackle. Economics impacts are very difficult to assess; should you consider only the aggregate expenditure in the impacted region or go to a complex cost/benefit analysis approach or who pays and who benefits and over which period? When to you start your analysis?  Impacts generators are many. Here are a few:

 

• expenditure by visitors, media, officials, athletes etc,

• outlay on fixed capital formation for sport and other infrastructure

 • impact on fitness and health

• methods used to finance the games (lottery, taxation, borrowing,

• the contribution on Gross Domestic Product

 the % of revenues from outside the country

 *enhanced visibility (tourism) from games exposure

 • improved international presence

 

To be fair, all of these components should be measured, analyzed and assessed. It is a very demanding process that would require tremendous effort from a number of people. I suggest that it could become the subject of an important study for someone in the academic world with the help of the IOC.

 

Naturally, I cannot proceed further on this subject without saying a few words about Montreal controversial financial costs. You may suspect that I am often defensive about some undeserved flack we have received from the media and others over the past twenty years.

 

 

COJO 76 finance

First, there never was a deficit for COJO 76, the Olympic Games Organizing Committee. In fact, COJO76 has shown a surplus and has remitted over $223m dollars to the Government of Quebec. COJO76 has even absorbed several cost elements in relation to the preparation of many competition and training venues and did provide all the necessary sport apparatus and equipment.  

This surplus derived from very successful programs (8):

            Programs

                Net proceeds $

Coins and Stamps

115,000,000

Lottery

235,000,000

TV Rights

32,000,000

Tickets sales

27,000,000

Sponsorships, merchandising

21,000,000

Total revenue

430,000,000

Expenses

207,000,000

Surplus *

223,000,000

 

It would be logical to add to the "surplus" the following items:

• the value of the equipment left in various sport sites, gymnasium etc. $30m

 • and the proceeds from the Lottery distributed to the amateur sports, $25m

 

Then, the net surplus of COJO76 would be more like: $278m

 

The economics of the Games

The study (4) by Professor John Eton from the Department of Economics at McGill University has come to the conclusion that the various levels of government have received a revenue of more than $526.7m from the construction expenditures, and an other $13.5 M from the additional tourist activities due the Games in 1976.

 

In the same study, Professor Eton has calculated that the total Business Output and Employment generated by the Olympic Park and City of Montreal construction activity have been evaluated to 2.95 billion and 82,802 person years of employment.

 

As a comparison, a study by Economic Research Associates (2) on the LA Games of 84 shows a net $1.4 Billion in direct added economic activity with 26,000 person-year of added employment; with secondary benefits, it amounts to $2.4 billion or 76,000 person-years of economic activities.

If one considers the net surplus of C07076 and the net contribution to the various level of government brought by the construction projects directly associated to the hosting of the Games, a total of more than $800m, the so called Olympic Construction debt would have been established at just over $400m. According to the originally planned extinction program, that "debt" would have eliminated very quickly.

 

But the 1976 Olympic games became an occasion for governments to appropriate revenues and to borrow money and to attribute the inherent costs to the Games. The overall Olympic enterprise, even if it involved large expenditures, was however beneficial to the various levels of government as it was shown by the study of Professor Eton. Further, it also gave the governments the necessary excuse for appropriating itself the lottery programs. They would not have dared do so in normal circumstances. The "self financing operation" would have been successful were it not for those political considerations and would have lasted a minimum number of years.

At its inception, the lottery program was to continue after the games but, it quickly became impossible due to the divergent self-interests of the parties involved. Further, the Quebec Government has reduced a number of times the % of the tobacco tax that was ear marked for the extinction of the so-called "Olympic debt", ... each time prolonging the necessary period to eliminate the debt and increasing the interest charges attributed to the so well publicized costs of the Olympics Games etc.

According to the Quebec Government original estimates in the budget for 76-77 (8), (when the new tobacco tax for the Olympic debt repayment was established), the repayment of the “Olympic debt” was to done by fiscal year 1981-82; and now, 15 years later than the planned date, there is still "an Olympic debt". Many thanks to our politician friends!

That said, one must recognize that the Olympic Park Complex as well as the other permanent installations, while built for the Games, were done also for the future; the desire and the need for new sport facilities had been on the city of Montreal mind and drawing board for decades. You should not amortized such construction projects on one event, whatever size and importance the event may represent; it should be amortized more likely over a 50 period. Future users also can be expected to make their contribution!

So, the fact there was an “Olympic Installation debt”, the Montreal Games of 1976 did not generate a financial a disaster; it is much more what has been done with it that is a catastrophe. The fallout from the investments in the sport facilities has been highly valuable. Remember the statistics mentioned earlier about Le Centre Claude-Robillard, le Bassin Olympique, and even the Olympic Park

Economics of the Olympic Park operations

Studies by the Montreal Expos and the Régie des Installations Olympiques have established the economic fallout of the Olympic Park between 100 and 220m$ a year. More than 100 permanent jobs exist because of the Olympic Park generates revenue of $35m, expenses of $38m, and federal, provincial and municipal taxes to the extent of $20m a year. (1)

The contribution of the Olympic Complex to the increased flux of tourism in Montreal is difficult to assess. But we know that the Tower is a major tourist attraction. Day and night thanks to the lighting, the Tower projects a fascinating silhouette into the Montreal sky for many kilometers around. Like an enormous beacon it attracts over 500,000 visitors a year, the Michelin guide has awarded it 3-stars (1). The Montreal Tower has joined the federation of great towers with London, Munich, Moscow, Paris and Toronto on the initiative of the Eiffel tower for its 100th birthday.

New ventures on the local and international scene

 

DMR, then a young company of Information Technology specialists, founded in 1973, takes responsibility for the operations of the computerized sport result system called SIJO. The SIJO System was subsequently used in Moscow 80 as well as LA 84 (this was also a first). In the early 80s, DMR had initiated an international expansion program and naturally California was one of the targeted area. DMR had set up an office in LA and has been there since. DMR has also extended its operations to nearby Washington and Oregon states where they have received several multi-millions $ contracts. Several Canadians have been assigned to their execution.

The Lavalin Group, now merged with SNC to form SNC-LAVALIN has received multi­millions dollars turnkey construction projects due to their involvement in the construction of the Olympic Park Complex. In particular, hundreds of Canadians have been involved during several years in the design and construction of large projects in Algeria. The Desourdy Group, the main contractor on the Olympic Park construction site, was awarded major construction projects in Saudi Arabia. Many Canadian have received employment opportunities here or abroad because of the Olympics in Montreal.

Teleglobe Canada was involved in 1976 in the transmission of multiple simultaneous video signals across the Atlantic to Europe. In 1988, the Seoul Organizing Committee turned to Teleglobe to resolve the problem of transmitting their multiple video signals to overseas countries and contracted with them for the execution.

Le Cirque du Soleil et l'École Nationale du Cirque

Le Cirque du Soleil was founded in 1984 and its existence is related to the hosting of the Games in 1976. It has been the main stream of employment for several young persons that had practiced gymnastics. It is currently the employer of 1250 persons and has revenues of $125m of which close to 98% come from abroad.

L'École National du Cirque, created in 1977 by two gymnasts, participated in the 1976 Games, Pierre Leclerc and Guy Caron, was initially integrated within the Centre Immaculée Conception activities before they moved and became an independent organization in 1989. Some of their students have achieved international recognition such as Hélène Turcotte and Luc Martin who won Gold in Paris in 89. Guy Caron is now the technical director of the Cirque du Soleil and Mr Jean-Roch Achard is now the general director.

 

4- Institutional

 

More commonly, the games are seen as an accelerator and a concentrator of changes already taking place. Under pressure to produce, the host city demonstrated the ability to develop the organizational capacities necessary to carry out the enormously complex job of hosting.

Olympics can provide the impetus for effective leadership to emerge, differences to be overcome. Daniel Robin (6) refers to a communications explosion in Montreal in sports and in cultural spheres making Montreal one of the best-organized cities for the summer Olympics and a city that include the elite sports organization with a carefully considered integration between elite and basic sports activities for their mutual benefits

One of the least mention residues of the Olympic games in Montréal has been in the area of the media, the written press as well as the electronic one. Prior to the Games in Montreal there were few knowledgeable sport writers and sports commentators that could be assembled to cover all the sports that were presented at the Olympics. Richard Garneau and a few others had been delegated by Radio-Canada to the Rome, Tokyo and Mexico Games but beside these there were few reporters across the province of Quebec that had an interest in sports other than Hockey, Baseball and Football.

Because of the Montreal games, a number of initiatives took place to prepare for the extensive covering of the Games; in particular, Radio Canada made significant room in its programming for the "amateur sport events". This has created a need for more commentators. Large newspapers did likewise and as the games approached the ORTO had an extensive program to help improve the performance of both the technical people, the analysts and the commentators.

In my view, these new apostles of the sports had a lot of influence in the tremendous impact of the games on the ordinary people in the last 20 years. We have been reading and hearing them almost daily during that period of time, and they know their subjects as well as anyone else in the world.

Professor Lee of MIT (4) suggests that the impact of the Games could also be measured in terms of number, size, effectiveness, professionalism, outlook and coordination of organizations.

Notable after the 1976 Games was a reinforcement of attitude that promoted a better quality of life and health through more structured recreation and exercise programs, recreational sports and a fundamental encouragement in the pursuit of sports excellence. These new attitudes were further reinforced by the availability of sports facilities and equipment.

Policies were required to make rational use of the new facilities. Here was an ideal opportunity to combine basic sports with high level ones which often seem opposed to one another and instead allow them to draw upon each other in a mutually, beneficial way.  This sort of harmony relies on coherent attitudes, policies and actions. For some time now, the Canadian Government has combined 2 orientations, physical fitness and amateur sports within the same department, specifically to ensure this kind of coherence. (6)

 

5- Social & cultural

 

 

The most profound impacts of the Olympics are the larger social and cultural one. Hosting the Olympic Games are the “Passport” to join the western world advanced society. The Games bring a broader exposure of the nation to the world community, internally it strengthen the sense of community, heighten civic spirit, invigorate national economy.

A city discovers an extraordinary amount about itself when it organizes the Olympic Games. It finds out about the quality and range of its own human resources. It discovers its own capacity for creativity and innovation. One of the impacts of the Games in Montreal has been its legacy of knowledge and developed ability so vital in the organization of further prestigious sports and other events

Montreal's International Competitions in 1975 and the 1976 Games sparked energy that contributed enormously to the technical success of both events. Montreal was referred by Mr. Juan Antonio Samaranch, as " technically one of the best organized Olympic Games". The president of FIFA still refers to the Montreal games when someone asks him a question about the organization of the Games or of a Championship; in 1995, he said to Quebec 2002, "do as in Montreal".

Montreal has become the site for permanent cultural and sport events. The organization of the Olympic Games, nine year after the great success of Expo 67 has enhanced the communications explosion in cultural spheres by adding one in sport spheres. From the successful hosting of the 2 most appreciated world events came the promotion, conception, selling, acceptance and hosting of top scale events which in world terms, have come to be associated with Montreal. Such as:

The Montreal International Marathon,

The Montreal Cycling Tour de L'Ile, where more than 40,000 will participate in 1996;

The Formula 1 Grand Prix;

The Benson and Hedges Fireworks Championship;

The Montreal Jazz Festival;

The Montreal World Film Festival; etc;

 

They all contribute to an elevated "national" image and help improve the quality of life of the citizens of the greater Montreal region. It is a difficult impact to measure but the widened contacts with the world's nations through all of the international events that have taken place in Montreal and elsewhere in Canada because of the 76 games have impacted the nation's political and economic scene.

 

 

Conclusion

In spite of the controversy on the significant expenditures associated with the construction of some of the new facilities, the success and the value of the Montreal Games is confirmed by its installations on the one hand and the economics and social benefits on the other hands. One of the best evidence to confirm those aspects, comes from the following story:

“In 1991, 15 years after the presentation of the Games in Montreal, the newspaper, "La Presse" had a contest for its readers about their souvenir of the Games. There were over 2,000 responses that, by number, is considered very high; 2 out of these responses were negative, one said that the athletes were not "amateur" and the other said " the Games had cost too much".

Considering the efforts of certain people to stress back the construction cost item by accumulating and publicizing year after year statements showing an always enlarging costs attributed to the Games or the Olympic debt, that "témoignage" is the strongest indication that the population had really appreciated the fact that Montreal was the host the 1976 Olympic and that people were prepared to accept the financial burden that came with it. Their appreciation is far from being governed by the very vocal "oiseaux de malheur".

 

 

 

 

References

1-Berthiaume, Ted        On the Montreal 1976 Olympic Games

                                                For the Canadian Olympic Association, June 1994.

 

2-Economic Research Executive Summary: Community Economic Impact of the 1984 Associates          Olympic Games in Los Angeles, Oct 84 & updated June 1986

3-Herr, Prof. Philip B. Hosting the Olympic: The Long-Term Impact Summary Report of the Conference, 1988

4-Iton, Prof. John         The Economic Impact of the 1976 Olympic Games Office of the Industrial Research McGill, 1977

5-Mazitelli, David         The Economic Impact of Sport and Recreation-Regular Physical Activity, Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra, 1988

6-Robin, Daniel            Hosting the Olympic Games: Long-Term benefits to Sport and Culture 1988, East Asian Architecture and Planning Program, M.LT.

7- City of Montreal       Statistics provided by

Mr. Marc Campagna for Le Bassin Olympique

Mr. Jean-Guy Rochon for Le Centre Claude-Robillard

 Mr. Daniel Robin,

8- COJO76                 Jeux de la XXIe Olympiade, Montréal, 1976 Rapport Officiel, Volumel, Organisation

 

 
 
 
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