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The 1976 Olympics: 40 Years Later

The 1976 Olympics: 40 Years Later

July 17 will mark the 40th anniversary of the opening of the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal. To celebrate this spectacular event, we’ve put together a playlist featuring some of the NFB films produced during these games, including the official Olympic film. From marathon running, gymnastics and cycling to a mammoth security operation involving the Canadian Armed Forces, these films have it all. So, sit back and enjoy a nostalgic view of that wonderful summer 40 years ago.

Albert Ohayon

Having viewed over 8,000 films, Albert Ohayon is our resident collections expert. He studied film production and journalism at Concordia University in Montreal and has been working at the National Film Board since 1984.

  • Games of the XXI Olympiad
    1977|1 h 57 min

    Edited from almost 100 km of film footage shot during the Games, this feature documentary is a breathtaking portrait of the 1976 Montreal Olympics. Much more than a simple record of the Games, the film approaches each event with the intention of revealing the athlete - whether winner or loser - as a unique individual.

  • I'll Go Again
    1977|41 min

    This documentary by director Paul Cowan is about four athletes and a team that competed in the 1976 Olympics. They had trained courageously to be among those who would mount the podium to receive a medal. None of them did, but was it worth the effort? I'll Go Again answers the question.

  • 26 Times in a Row
    1978|23 min

    This short documentary revisits the 1976 Olympic Marathon. A modern-day addition to the Games, the marathon commemorates the soldier who ran cross-country, in 490 B.C., to announce the Greek victory at Marathon and then died. Here, great film footage of the 1976 Summer Olympics captures the physical demands of the race, while its emotional counterpart is related by Waldemar Cierpinski, the event’s 1976 gold medalist. This emotion-charged film proves that although the winner of the Decathlon is the best all-round athlete, the “toughest” is the winner of the Marathon.

  • Nelli Kim

    A member of the Soviet Union's women's gymnastic team at the 1976 Olympic Games, Nelli Kim was seventeen when she won two gold medals for her superb performance on the horse vault and for the floor exercises. The slow-motion camera highlights the best moments of her performance. It also shows the person behind the athlete, and the nervousness that is generated by the presence of a new star, Nadia Comeneci of Romania.

  • Operation Gamescan 76
    1977|57 min

    This short documentary profiles the Canadian military’s organization, logistical, and security operations at the XXI Olympiad held in 1976 in Montréal. The scale of the operation was large: 16,000 troops were mobilized to provide protection for 7,500 athletes, countless VIPs, and the general public on 138 sites located in Montreal, Bromont, and Kingston. This film offers a behind-the-scenes look at the planning and synchronization necessary to mount a successful international event of massive proportions.

  • Cycling: Still the Greatest
    1980|27 min

    This short documentary is an ode to the thrills and excitement of cycling. Including highlights from the 1976 Olympics and the 1978 Commonwealth Games, the film features some of the world's best cyclists and their coaches, in training and in competition.