The 1976 Summer Olympics highlights at the Games of the XXI Olympiad held in Montreal, Quebec, Canada involve athletic performances and politics. Over 6,000 athletes arrived during the summer in Montreal to complete in 198 events. A total of ninety-two nations were represented in 21 different sports. Politics, normally not something that interferes with the games, became a major issue.
- The Boycott: Athletes from African countries ended up boycotting the 1976 Summer Olympics due to the Olympic committee's decision to allow the rugby players from New Zealand an opportunity to compete. The dispute didn't involve the Olympics directly, but the fallout was major. The New Zealand rugby team toured South Africa prior to the games and even dusted it up with the team there. That was the major problem. South Africa was banned from the Olympics due to the apartheid policy of denying Blacks equal rights in government and the policy of forcing all but the white residents of the country to live in separate reservations. The New Zealand team violated the spirit of the ban for Olympic athletes and the Olympic representatives from 26 other African nations decided a statement needed to be made. They refused to compete.
- Olga and the Gymnasts: Gymnastics were a huge highlight at the games. Romanian gymnast Nadia Comaneci earned a perfect "10" award. This was the first time judges viewed any gymnastic performance as perfect. Comaneci scored the perfect evaluation six more times. A record for the record. Nadia became the darling of the 1976 Summer Olympics and won medals for floor exercise and team competition. She took gold medals for the uneven bars, balance beam and all-around competition.
- What's Up With Anne? Princess Anne competed in the equestrian event and was given an exemption from the usual genetic sex test. Sovereigns evidentially are exempt from such just folks tests.
- Decathlon Excellence: Bruce Jenner, now stepfather to the Kardasian family of girls of television fame, competed in the track and field events for the U.S. Jenner took home the gold metal in the decathlon event with the whopping 8,634 points, a world record at that point in time.
- Ring That Bell: Boxing was also one of the 1976 Summer Olympic highlights with a handful of American boxers taking the stuffing out of the competition. Leon Spinks, Michael Spinks, Leo Randolph, Howard Davis, Jr and Sugar Ray Leonard all took gold metals.
- Take a Dive: Diving also earned a nod as an important 1976 Summer Olympic highlight. Italian diver Klaus Dibiasi won three gold medals in platform diving and a record of competing in the diving event in four consecutive Olympic games. Although his name may sound German or Austrian, Dibiasi was born in Austria to Italian parents and was coached by his father who competed in the diving events in the 1936 Olympics. Talk about keeping it in the family.
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