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List of people who have opened the Olympic Games

Queen Elizabeth II opened the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, and the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, UK
Adolf Hitler opened the 1936 Winter Olympics and 1936 Summer Olympics, both of which were hosted in Germany

The Olympic Games are an international multi-sport event featuring both summer and winter sports, held every two years with Summer and Winter Olympic Games alternating. During Olympic Games opening ceremonies, the sitting president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) will make a speech before inviting a representative from the host country to officially declare that particular Games open. The current Olympic Charter requires this person to be the head of state of the host country,[1] although this has not always been the case. This article lists the people who have had the ceremonial duty to declare each Olympic Games open.

Contents

Opening ceremonyEdit

The IOC factsheet on the opening ceremony states: "According to the Olympic Charter protocol, the duty of declaring the Games officially open falls to the head of state of the host country. Those who have performed this task are royalty and presidents, or their representatives, whether it was a vice-president, a member of the royal family, or a governor-general".[2] Rule 56 of Chapter 5 of the Olympic Charter sets out the exact words that are to be declared by the person opening the Games. If at a Summer Olympic Games, the words to be said are:

I declare open the Games of [name of host city] celebrating the [number of the Olympiad] Olympiad of the modern era.[1]

When at a Winter Olympic Games, the dignitary opening the Games is to proclaim:

I declare open the [number of the Olympic Winter Games] Olympic Winter Games of [name of host city].[1]

However, this has not always been followed strictly; at the 2010 Winter Olympics the Governor General of Canada, Michaëlle Jean, used the format of a Summer Games declaration to open the Games by saying "I declare open the Games of Vancouver, celebrating the 21st Winter Olympic Games."[3]

  • In 1964, Emperor Hirohito of Japan, open the Summer Olympics in Tokyo by speaking in Japanese:

Celebrating the 18th Modern Olympiad, I will declare the opening of the Olympic Games Tokyo competition here.

  • In 1976, Elizabeth II, as Queen of Canada, opened the Montreal Olympics (first in French followed by the English) with:

I declare open the Olympic Games of 1976, celebrating the XXI Olympiad of the modern era.

  • In 1980, Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev opened the Moscow Summer Olympics with (speaking in Russian):

Dear Mr. President of International Olympic Committee! Athletes of the world! Dear guests! Comrades! I declare open the Olympic Games of 1980, celebrating the XXII Olympiad of the modern era.

  • In 1984, U.S. President Ronald Reagan opened the Los Angeles Summer Olympics with:

Celebrating the XXIII Olympiad of the modern era, I declare open the Olympic Games of Los Angeles.

  • In 1988, President of the Republic of Korea, Roh Tae-woo opened the Summer Olympics in Seoul by speaking in Korean:

I declare that I hold the Seoul Olympic Games while celebrating the 24th modern Olympic Games.

  • In 1992, King Juan Carlos I of Spain opened the Barcelona Summer Olympics with:

(In Catalan) Welcome all to Barcelona. (In Spanish) Today, 25 July of the Year 1992, I declare open the Barcelona Olympic Games that celebrate the XXV Olympiad of the modern era.

  • In 1998, Emperor Akihito of Japan open the Olympic Winter Games in Nagano by speaking in Japanese:

Here, I will declare the opening of the 18th Olympic Winter Games in Nagano.

  • In 2002, U.S. President George W. Bush opened the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, which took place five months after the September 11 attacks, with:

On behalf of a proud, determined and grateful nation, I declare open the Games of Salt Lake City, celebrating the Olympic Winter Games.

  • In 2004, Konstantinos Stephanopoulos, President of the Hellenic Republic, declares open the Athens 2004 Summer Olympics by speaking in Greek:

I declare the opening of the Olympic Games in Athens and the celebration of the XXVIII Olympiad of the modern era.

  • In 2006, Carlo Azelio Ciampi, President of the Italian Republic, declares the 2006 Olympic Winter Games open by speaking in Italian:

I open the celebration of the XX Winter Olympic Games in Torino.

  • In 2008, Hu Jintao, the President of the People's Republic of China, formally announced the opening of the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics by speaking in Mandarin:

I declare, the 29th Olympic Games of Beijing, open.

In 2014, Vladimir Putin, the President of the Russian Federation, formally announced the opening of the 2014 Winter Olympics by speaking in Russian:

  • In 2016, Brazilian Vice President Michel Temer, as acting president, opened the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro with (speaking in Portuguese):

After this wonderful spectacle, I declare open the Rio Olympic Games, celebrating the XXXI Olympiad of the Modern Era.

Dignitaries who have opened the Olympic GamesEdit

Year games Host city Officially opened by[a] Office of opener[a] Notes
1896 I Olympiad   Athens, Greece George I King of the Hellenes [4]
1900 II Olympiad   Paris, France No official opening No official opening [5]
1904 III Olympiad   St. Louis, United States Francis, David R.David R. Francis President of the Louisiana Purchase Exposition[b] [6]
1908 IV Olympiad   London, Great Britain Edward VII King of the United Kingdom [7]
1912 V Olympiad   Stockholm, Sweden Gustaf V King of Sweden [8]
1920 VII Olympiad   Antwerp, Belgium Albert I King of the Belgians [9]
1924 I Winter   Chamonix, France Vidal, GastonGaston Vidal Undersecretary for Physical Education of the French Republic[c] [10]
1924 VIII Olympiad   Paris, France Doumergue, GastonGaston Doumergue President of the French Republic [11]
1928 II Winter   St. Moritz, Switzerland Schulthess, EdmundEdmund Schulthess President of the Swiss Confederation[d] [12]
1928 IX Olympiad   Amsterdam, Netherlands HendrikPrince Hendrik Prince Consort of the Netherlands[e] [13]
1932 III Winter   Lake Placid, United States Roosevelt, Franklin D.Franklin D. Roosevelt Governor of the State of New York[f] [14]
1932 X Olympiad   Los Angeles, United States Curtis, CharlesCharles Curtis Vice President of the United States[f] [15]
1936 IV Winter   Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany Hitler, AdolfAdolf Hitler Führer and Reich Chancellor of the German People[g] [16]
1936 XI Olympiad   Berlin, Germany [17]
1948 V Winter   St. Moritz, Switzerland Celio, EnricoEnrico Celio President of the Swiss Confederation[d] [18]
1948 XIV Olympiad   London, Great Britain George VI King of the United Kingdom [19]
1952 VI Winter   Oslo, Norway RagnhildPrincess Ragnhild Princess of Norway [h] [20]
1952 XV Olympiad   Helsinki, Finland Paasikivi, Juho KustiJuho Kusti Paasikivi President of the Republic of Finland [21]
1956 VII Winter   Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy Gronchi, GiovanniGiovanni Gronchi President of the Italian Republic [22]
1956 XVI Olympiad (equestrian)   Stockholm, Sweden Gustaf VI Adolf King of Sweden [23]
1956 XVI Olympiad   Melbourne, Australia PhilipThe Duke of Edinburgh Consort of the Queen of Australia[i] [24]
1960 VIII Winter   Squaw Valley, United States Nixon, RichardRichard Nixon Vice President of the United States[j] [25]
1960 XVII Olympiad   Rome, Italy Gronchi, GiovanniGiovanni Gronchi President of the Italian Republic [26]
1964 IX Winter   Innsbruck, Austria Schärf, AdolfAdolf Schärf Federal President of the Republic of Austria [27]
1964 XVIII Olympiad   Tokyo, Japan Hirohito Emperor of Japan [28]
1968 X Winter   Grenoble, France de Gaulle, CharlesCharles de Gaulle President of the French Republic [29]
1968 XIX Olympiad   Mexico City, Mexico Díaz Ordaz, GustavoGustavo Díaz Ordaz President of the United Mexican States [30]
1972 XI Winter   Sapporo, Japan Hirohito Emperor of Japan [31]
1972 XX Olympiad   Munich, West Germany Heinemann, GustavGustav Heinemann President of the Federal Republic of Germany [32]
1976 XII Winter   Innsbruck, Austria Kirchschläger, RudolfRudolf Kirchschläger Federal President of the Republic of Austria [33]
1976 XXI Olympiad   Montreal, Quebec, Canada Elizabeth II Queen of Canada [34]
1980 XIII Winter   Lake Placid, United States Mondale, WalterWalter Mondale Vice President of the United States[k] [35]
1980 XXII Olympiad   Moscow, Soviet Union Brezhnev, LeonidLeonid Brezhnev Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics[l] [36]
1984 XIV Winter   Sarajevo, Yugoslavia SpiljakMika Špiljak President of the Presidency of Yugoslavia [37]
1984 XXIII Olympiad   Los Angeles, United States Reagan, RonaldRonald Reagan President of the United States [38]
1988 XV Winter   Calgary, Alberta, Canada Sauvé, JeanneJeanne Sauvé Governor General of Canada[m] [39]
1988 XXIV Olympiad   Seoul, Republic of Korea Roh Tae-woo President of the Republic of Korea [40]
1992 XVI Winter   Albertville, France Mitterrand, FrançoisFrançois Mitterrand President of the French Republic [41]
1992 XXV Olympiad   Barcelona, Spain Juan Carlos I King of Spain [42]
1994 XVII Winter   Lillehammer, Norway Harald V King of Norway [43]
1996 XXVI Olympiad   Atlanta, United States Clinton, BillBill Clinton President of the United States [44]
1998 XVIII Winter   Nagano, Japan Akihito Emperor of Japan [45]
2000 XXVII Olympiad   Sydney, Australia Deane, WilliamWilliam Deane Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia[n] [46][47][48][49][50]
2002 XIX Winter   Salt Lake City, United States Bush, George W.George W. Bush President of the United States [51]
2004 XXVIII Olympiad   Athens, Greece Stephanopoulos, KonstantinosKonstantinos Stephanopoulos President of the Hellenic Republic [52]
2006 XX Winter   Turin, Italy Ciampi, Carlo AzeglioCarlo Azeglio Ciampi President of the Italian Republic [53]
2008 XXIX Olympiad   Beijing, China PR Hu Jintao President of the People's Republic of China [54]
2010 XXI Winter   Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada Jean, MichaëlleMichaëlle Jean Governor General of Canada[m] [55]
2012 XXX Olympiad   London, Great Britain Elizabeth II Queen of the United Kingdom [56]
2014 XXII Winter   Sochi, Russian Federation Vladimir Putin President of the Russian Federation [57]
2016 XXXI Olympiad   Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Michel Temer Vice President of the Federative Republic of Brazil[o]
2018 XXIII Winter   Pyeongchang, Republic of Korea Moon Jae-in (expected) President of the Republic of Korea
2020 XXXII Olympiad   Tokyo, Japan Naruhito (expected) Emperor of Japan[p]

Notes:

  1. ^ a b Names & offices in italics reflect an opener who was not head of state when he or she opened the Games. If the office is partially italicized, the non-italicized portion is the office & name of the head of state being represented.
  2. ^ Representing President Theodore Roosevelt.
  3. ^ Representing President Alexandre Millerand.
  4. ^ a b This office is technically not head of state in and of itself, but is the presiding officer of the Federal Council which collectively acts as head of state.
  5. ^ Representing his wife, Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands.
  6. ^ a b Representing President Herbert Hoover.
  7. ^ IOC records state Hitler opened these Games as "Chancellor" (head of government), but in 1934 that office was consolidated with "President" (head of state) into "Führer und Reichskanzler", or "Führer".
  8. ^ Representing her grandfather, King Haakon VII of Norway.
  9. ^ Representing his wife, Elizabeth II, Queen of Australia.
  10. ^ Representing President Dwight D. Eisenhower.
  11. ^ Representing President Jimmy Carter.
  12. ^ IOC records state Brezhnev opened the Moscow Games as "President", a title used at that time by the Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet, or de jure head of state. (The office of President of the Soviet Union was not created until 1990, a year before the nation broke up.) Though Brezhnev was also de facto ruler as General Secretary of the Communist Party, that title is not reflected in IOC records.
  13. ^ a b Representing Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada.
  14. ^ Representing Elizabeth II, Queen of Australia.
  15. ^ As Acting President, in place of incumbent President Dilma Rousseff, who was suspended from her duties as President during her impeachment trial.
  16. ^ Akihito, the present Emperor, has indicated he wishes to abdicate the throne in early 2019.

Dignitaries who have opened the Youth Olympic GamesEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c International Olympic Committee (11 February 2010). Olympic Charter (PDF). p. 103. Retrieved 6 November 2010. 
  2. ^ IOC Factsheet
  3. ^ "Opening Ceremony: 2010 Winter Games declared open". Agence France-Presse. 12 February 2010. Retrieved 6 November 2010. 
  4. ^ "Athens 1896 Summer Olympics". International Olympic Committee. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  5. ^ "Paris 1900 Summer Olympics". International Olympic Committee. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  6. ^ "St Louis 1904 Summer Olympics". International Olympic Committee. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  7. ^ "London 1908 Summer Olympics". International Olympic Committee. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  8. ^ "Stockholm 1912 Summer Olympics". International Olympic Committee. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  9. ^ "Antwerp 1920 Summer Olympics". International Olympic Committee. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  10. ^ "Chamonix 1924 Winter Olympics". International Olympic Committee. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  11. ^ "Paris 1924 Summer Olympics". International Olympic Committee. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  12. ^ "St Moritz 1928 Winter Olympics". International Olympic Committee. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  13. ^ "Amsterdam 1928 Summer Olympics". International Olympic Committee. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  14. ^ "Lake Placid 1932 Winter Olympics". International Olympic Committee. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  15. ^ "Los Angeles 1932 Summer Olympics". International Olympic Committee. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  16. ^ "Garmisch-Partenkirchen 1936 Winter Olympics". International Olympic Committee. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  17. ^ "Berlin 1936 Summer Olympics". International Olympic Committee. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  18. ^ "St Moritz 1948 Winter Olympics". International Olympic Committee. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  19. ^ "London 1948 Summer Olympics". International Olympic Committee. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  20. ^ "Oslo 1952 Winter Olympics". International Olympic Committee. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  21. ^ "Helsinki 1952 Summer Olympics". International Olympic Committee. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  22. ^ "Cortina d'Ampezzo 1956 Winter Olympics". International Olympic Committee. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  23. ^ Kubatko, Justin. "1956 Stockholm Equestrian Games". Olympics at Sports-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 6 November 2010. 
  24. ^ "Melbourne-Stockholm 1956 Summer Olympics". International Olympic Committee. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  25. ^ "Squaw Valley 1960 Winter Olympics". International Olympic Committee. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  26. ^ "Rome 1960 Summer Olympics". International Olympic Committee. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  27. ^ "Innsbruck 1964 Winter Olympics". International Olympic Committee. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  28. ^ "Tokyo 1964 Summer Olympics". International Olympic Committee. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  29. ^ "Grenoble 1968 Winter Olympics". International Olympic Committee. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  30. ^ "Mexico City 1968 Summer Olympics". International Olympic Committee. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  31. ^ "Sapporo 1972 Winter Olympics". International Olympic Committee. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  32. ^ "Munich 1972 Summer Olympics". International Olympic Committee. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  33. ^ "Innsbruck 1976 Winter Olympics". International Olympic Committee. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  34. ^ "Montreal 1976 Summer Olympics". International Olympic Committee. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  35. ^ "Lake Placid 1980 Winter Olympics". International Olympic Committee. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  36. ^ "Moscow 1980 Summer Olympics". International Olympic Committee. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  37. ^ "Sarajevo 1984 Winter Olympics". International Olympic Committee. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  38. ^ "Los Angeles 1984 Summer Olympics". International Olympic Committee. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  39. ^ "Calgary 1988 Winter Olympics". International Olympic Committee. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  40. ^ "Seoul 1988 Summer Olympics". International Olympic Committee. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  41. ^ "Albertville 1992 Winter Olympics". International Olympic Committee. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  42. ^ "Barcelona 1992 Summer Olympics". International Olympic Committee. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  43. ^ "Lillehammer 1994 Winter Olympics". International Olympic Committee. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  44. ^ "Atlanta 1996 Summer Olympics". International Olympic Committee. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  45. ^ "Nagano 1998 Winter Olympics". International Olympic Committee. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  46. ^ "Sydney 2000 Summer Olympics". International Olympic Committee. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  47. ^ "Get ready to watch the Opening Ceremony: Heads of state". NBC. 24 March 2016. Retrieved 1 June 2016. 
  48. ^ Harvey, Randy (16 September 2000). "Down Wonders". LA Times. Retrieved 1 June 2016. 
  49. ^ Olsen, Lisa (10 September 2000). "History Lesson Despite the stereotypes, don't expect to run into Crocodile Dundee at the Sydney Games". New York Daily News. Retrieved 1 June 2016. 
  50. ^ "Australia: Britain's Queen Elizabeth Visit". AP Archive. Associated Press. 21 March 2000. 
  51. ^ "Salt Lake City 2002 Winter Olympics". International Olympic Committee. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  52. ^ "Athens 2004 Summer Olympics". International Olympic Committee. Archived from the original on 17 January 2013. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  53. ^ "Turin 2006 Winter Olympics". International Olympic Committee. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  54. ^ "Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics". International Olympic Committee. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  55. ^ "Governor General to Open the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games". Governor General of Canada. February 8, 2010. Retrieved 2010-02-10. 
  56. ^ "London 2012 Olympics launches with huge ceremony". BBC News. 27 July 2012. Retrieved 27 July 2012. 
  57. ^ Sam Sheringham (February 7, 2014). "Sochi 2014: Winter Olympics opens with glittering ceremony". BBC. Retrieved February 7, 2014.