Nadia Comaneci (left) and Alberto Juantorena

I think it's fair to say that the 1976 Olympic Games were not far off being an unmitigated disaster for host nation Canada.

For a start, the Montreal Olympic Stadium was not finished in time for the opening ceremony - the tower and retractable roof were only completed a decade after the Games.

The rising costs of construction meant that Canadians only finished paying the C$1.5bn (£729m) debt in December 2006. Yes, that's right, it took 30 years to pay off the cost of staging the Games.

And in that 30 years, the stadium seemed to lurch from one problem to another.

At the Games themselves, the Olympic torch was extinguished by a downpour, prompting an official to use a cigarette lighter to ignite the flame. Organisers quickly doused the flame again and re-lit it using a backup of the original flame.

More than 20 African nations boycotted and for the first time in Olympic history, the host nation did not win a solitary gold medal.

Thankfully it was not all bad news.

Fourteen-year-old Romanian gymnast Nadia Comaneci provided the story of the Games when she scored the first perfect 10.0 in Olympic history. Comaneci went on to score another six maximums as she secured three gold medals and a silver.

And on the track, Cuba's Alberto Juantorena achieved a unique double in winning the 400m and 800m - the latter in a world-record time.

But Montreal will always be remembered for the stadium, which was dubbed the 'Big Owe' by locals, and Montreal mayor Jean Drapeau's comments that: "The Olympics can no more have a deficit than a man can have a baby."

With all the advertising and television revenue around the Games today, surely Montreal will never be repeated, will it?

Peter Scrivener is a BBC Sport Journalist. Our FAQs should answer any questions you have.


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