The 1976 Montreal Games were marred by an African boycott involving 22 countries. The boycott was organised by Tanzania to protest the fact that the New Zealand rugby team had toured apartheid South Africa and that New Zealand was scheduled to compete in the Olympic Games.
Debuts and firsts
Women’s events in basketball, rowing and team handball all made their Olympic debut. Hockey was played on an artificial pitch for the first time, and boxer Clarence Hill of Bermuda earned a bronze medal to give Bermuda the honour of being the least populous nation (53,500) ever to win a medal at the Summer Games.
Alberto Juantorena of Cuba completed the first 400m and 800m double victory. The Japanese women’s volleyball team proved untouchable, winning all their matches in straight sets, and Miklos Németh of Hungary won the javelin to become the first son of an athletics gold medalist to win a gold of his own.
Fourteen-year-old gymnast Nadia Comaneci of Romania was the undoubted star of the Games. She shot to fame when, for her performance on the uneven bars, she was awarded the first-ever perfect score of 10.0. She went on to earn seven maximum marks in total.
Athletes 6,084 (1,260 women, 4.824 men)