Host City: Montréal, Canada
Date Started: July 28, 1976
Date Finished: July 31, 1976
Participants: 245 (206 men and 39 women) from 28 countries
Youngest Participant: Sue Whitebrook (16 years, 178 days)
Oldest Participant: Mak Chi Wai (39 years, 183 days)
Most Medals (Athlete): Rüdiger Helm (3 medals)
Most Medals (Country): Soviet Union (9 medals)
Slalom canoeing had been held at the 1972 Olympics, but was removed from the Olympic Program in 1976 and would not return until 1992. The Montréal Organizing Committee decided not to include the discipline because they “saw no opportunity to build a course,” and after apperals from the FIC and the Organizing Committee, this was approved by the IOC Executive Board.
The flatwater canoe events for women in 1976 were the same, with kayak singles and doubles over 500 metres. But the men’s flatwater program was expanded from five to nine events, with singles and doubles now contested over both 500 and 1,000 metres, in addition to a kayak fours over 1,000 metres. This would remain the standard men’s Olympic flatwater canoeing program through 2008. These events were added after the slalom events were not included.
The 1976 canoeing (and rowing) events were held at the Bassin Olympique off l’Île Notre Dame, and artificial island in the Saint Lawrence River in Montréal. Île Notre Dame is an artificial island created in 1965 for Expo 67, which celebrated Canada’s centennial. In 1975 the Expo 67 pavilions were demolished to allow creation of the Olympic basin.