Olympic Games 1976 Montreal

21th Olympiad

CANADA

Sports: 23            National Teams: 92

Torch and Torch Relay


  The Torch

Being a primary symbol of the Olympic Games, the Flame demands an appropriate setting. With this uppermost in mind, Georges Huel and Michel Dallaire of COJO's Graphics and Design Directorate set out to create the torch that would carry the Flame.

Its design was functional. The torch was made of aluminium, and its weight did not exceed 836 grams, a significant factor as each bearer had to run one kilometre holding it with one hand. The top of the torch was designed to provide the required ventilation for the fuel. Painted black, it offered a contrast that accentuated the Flame's photogenic qualities. In its function and design, this torch was a reminder of the ancient Greek torch, recreated in modern and refined lines.


Protection of the Flame

There were at least three replacement flames per convoy: one burning propane gas (researched and designed by the chief armorer), and two burning a commercial lamp oil. Three replacement flames were also maintained throughout the duration of the Games, at the Olympic Stadium and at the operations centre located at COJO headquarters, so that the urn could be relit with the original Flame if necessary.

The Torch-bearers and Escorts

More than 700 persons were chosen to relay the Flame from Ottawa to Montréal, and from there to Kingston where the yachting competition was held. Those who were not chosen as bearers could be part of the escort that accompanied the torch-bearers from one kilometre to the next.

 


Normal Torch



Special Torch

See images

 



Since 1936, the torch-bearers have been chosen from among athletes of the countries along the Flame's route. An innovation for the Montréal Games was the selection of bearers by computer, which took into account the aforementioned criteria.

Finally, every bearer and escort in Greece and Canada received, at the end of the relay, a certificate signed by the presidents of COJO and the HOC attesting to their participation in the Flame Relay of the Games of the XXI Olympiad. The uniform, consisting of a T-shirt bearing the COJO emblem and shorts, remained the property of the bearer, together with the torch. Several months before the Games, COJO published a pamphlet entitled Flame Bearer's Guide.
 

Protection of the Flame

There were at least three replacement flames per convoy: one burning propane gas (researched and designed by the chief armorer), and two burning a commercial lamp oil. Three replacement flames were also maintained throughout the duration of the Games, at the Olympic Stadium and at the operations centre located at COJO headquarters, so that the urn could be relit with the original Flame if necessary.
 

The Fuel

Investigations on fuel to feed the Flame were entrusted to Dr. Lucien Piché of the University of Montréal Chemistry Department. After study, the researchers chose olive oil because it contained all of the characteristics required, while evoking a tradition that linked it to ancient Greece. But first it had to be produced in a form that could be handled safely by bearers relaying the torch hundreds
of times.

 




Other criteria governing the composition of the fuel were as follows:

a) it had to ensure rapid lighting of one torch from another at each relay;
b) the flame had to burn for a minimum of ten minutes in each torch (the average runner taking about five minutes to cover the kilometre between relays);
c) the flame had to be resistant to wind and rain;
d) the flame had to be a photogenic color for photographers and television cameras;
e) the flame had to leave a white, non-toxic, and non-lacrimatory smoke trail;
f) the Flame had to evoke a symbolic correlation with the sun.



General torch and torch relay information 1976
Description: Stem painted red, with Montreal logo, top painted black.
Material Aluminium
Fuel: Olive oil with octane
Torch measure: Lenght:   66 cm     Weight: 836 gr
Torches total: 1,250
Design by: Georges Huel and Michel Daillaire
Manufacturer: Queensway Machine Products
Date of the torch relay: 13. Juli - 17. Juli 1976
Duration: 5 days
Numbers of runners: abfout 1,200
Distance total: 775 km
Name of the last runner: Stéphane Préfontaine and
Sandra Henderson


 
Description of the route:



Program in Greece   -   Olympia-Athens

 
1  Olympia, Departure July 13, 1976
2  Krestena
3  Zaharo
4  Kyparissia
5  Filiatra
6  Gargalioni
7  Nestor
8  Pylos
9  Messene
10  Kalamata
11  Sparta
12  Tripolis
13  Nauplia  -  Night stop
14  Argos
15  Corinth
16  Megara
17 Eleusis  -  Arrival in Athens




Relay Stages   -   Ottawa-Montréal

 
1  Ottawa, Departure  -  Parliament Hill
2  Ottawa
3  Masson
4  Thurso
5  Montebello  -  Night stop
6  Hawkesbury 
7   Rigaud
8   Vaudreuil
9   St. Anne de Bellevue
10  Lachine
11  Montréal
      Arrival on Mount Royal
 




Relay Stages  -  Montréal-Kingston

 
1  Ile Perrot  -  Automobile
2  Cornwall  -  Night stop  -  Runners
3  Long Sault  -  -Canoeing
4  Upper Canada Village  -  Bicycling
5  Maitland  -  Rowing
6  St. Lawrence  -  Horseback
7  Gananoque  -  Runners
8  Kingston  -  Runners
    Arrival at Olympic
    Yachting Centre,  Kingston

 

Source document:   Official Report 1976, Vol. 1, page 282)
Read more: Official Report, Vol. 1, page 280 - 295


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