August 28, 2006

30th Anniversary of Montreal Olympics

Montreal hosted the 1976 summer Olympics and yesterday I celebrated by visiting
The futuristic looking stadium has a tower with a tram that takes you high above the city. (model shown in photo.) Unfortunately the tower wasn’t completed in time for the Olympics and it ran into huge construction issues and cost overruns. The retractable roof on the stadium wasn’t a huge success either proving that it could not retract nor hold up under the weight of snow. All this added up to my anxiety attack when I took the tram to the top. But I did get out (with prodding from the staff) and see the view.

Park planners were thinking beyond the Olympics and incorporated all kinds of features that would be of use after the games. The swimming pool arena has a children’s pool that was covered up during the games and used as an area for presenting medals. Now the building is a public swimming pool and workout gym.

The stadium was used by the Montreal Expos baseball team, who now play in Washington, DC. The day we visited it was used for registering runners in the Montreal Marathon. It still isn’t used in the winter since the roof has a habit of falling in on occasion.

Another interesting feature of Olympic Park is the Biodome which housed the indoor bike track during the games but is now a environmentally conscious interactive museum. It features four different climate zones and has all kinds of wildlife including children running, jumping, and screaming in every imaginable language. Please don’t feed the animals.