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Olympic Bid: Desperate measures for Montreal and Banff

It might be the most ruthless of all Olympic competitions: the race for the right to host the Games. At stake are hundreds of millions of dollars in potential profit, and an indelible mark on the global map. To opponents it's a colossal waste of tax dollars, a carnival of hype, spin and speculation. CBC Archives looks back at Canada's winning and losing Olympic bids.

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It's a sprint to the finish for two Canadian cities vying to host Canada's first Olympics. Tomorrow in Rome, Italy, the International Olympic Committee will decide the sites of both the 1972 Summer and Winter Games. Banff wants the Winter Games and is making its third run at them. Meanwhile it's Montreal's first bid for the Summer Games. As we hear in this CBC Radio news item, dynamo Montreal mayor Jean Drapeau is making outlandish last-minute offers. 
. Only cities, not countries, may bid to host the Olympics. Only one city from any country may bid on a particular Summer or Winter Olympic Games. The country's national Olympic Committee selects the candidate city to present to the International Olympic Committee. After a lengthy evaluation process IOC members gather to vote on the host city. The vote takes place seven years before the Games are to be held.

. Until 1992, the Summer and Winter Olympics were held during the same calendar year. After 1992 their dates were staggered two years apart. Until that change, host cities for both Games were decided on the same day.
. Montreal mayor Jean Drapeau got the notion to bid on the Olympics while visiting Lausanne, Switzerland, to get ideas for Expo 67. He met a city official whose office happened to be in the IOC building, and inspiration struck.

. The candidates to host the 1972 Summer Games were:
- Detroit, USA
- Madrid, Spain
- Montreal, Canada
- Munich, Germany
. 1972 Winter Games candidates:
- Banff, Canada
- Lahti, Finland
- Salt Lake City, USA
- Sapporo, Japan

. Host cities for the 1972 Winter and Summer Games were decided on May 25, 1966, in Rome, Italy.
. In Summer Games voting, Detroit was eliminated in the first round. In the second round of voting, Munich won the Games with 31 votes to Madrid's 16 and Montreal's 13.
. In Winter Games voting, Sapporo won in the first round with 32 votes. Banff finished in second place with 16 votes; Lahti and Salt Lake City had seven each.

. After losing both bids, Canadian delegates blamed IOC president Avery Brundage for turning voters against the Canadian cities.
. Brundage, an American art collector and philanthropist, competed in pentathlon and decathlon at the 1912 Olympics.
. IOC president from 1952 to 1972, Brundage is remembered for his opposition to allowing professionals to compete in the Olympics, and his controversial decision to continue the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich after 11 Israeli athletes and coaches were killed by terrorists

. In previous years, Canada's emphasis had been on trying to obtain the Winter Games. Montreal had bid for the 1932 and 1956 Games; Calgary had bid for the 1964 and 1968 Games.
Medium: Radio
Program: CBC Radio News
Broadcast Date: April 25, 1966
Reporter: David Halton
Duration: 2:02

Last updated: May 24, 2012

Page consulted on September 26, 2014

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