List of people who have opened the Olympic Games

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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 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.

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."[2]

Dignitaries who have opened the Olympic Games[edit]

Year games Host city Officially opened by[note 1] Office of opener[note 1] Notes
1896 I Olympiad Greece Athens, Greece George I King of the Hellenes [3]
1900 II Olympiad France Paris, France No official opening No official opening [4]
1904 III Olympiad United States St. Louis, United States Francis, David R.David R. Francis President of the Louisiana Purchase Exposition [5]
1908 IV Olympiad United Kingdom London, Great Britain Edward VII King of the United Kingdom [6]
1912 V Olympiad Sweden Stockholm, Sweden Gustav V King of Sweden [7]
1920 VII Olympiad Belgium Antwerp, Belgium Albert I King of the Belgians [8]
1924 I Winter France Chamonix, France Vidal, GastonGaston Vidal Undersecretary for Physical Education of France [9]
1924 VIII Olympiad France Paris, France Doumergue, GastonGaston Doumergue President of France [10]
1928 II Winter Switzerland St. Moritz, Switzerland Schulthess, EdmundEdmund Schulthess President of the Swiss Confederation[note 2] [11]
1928 IX Olympiad Netherlands Amsterdam, Netherlands HendrikPrince Hendrik Prince consort of Queen of the Netherlands Wilhelmina [12]
1932 III Winter United States Lake Placid, United States Roosevelt, Franklin D.Franklin D. Roosevelt Governor of New York [13]
1932 X Olympiad United States Los Angeles, United States Curtis, CharlesCharles Curtis Vice President of the United States [14]
1936 IV Winter Germany Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany Hitler, AdolfAdolf Hitler Führer of Germany[note 3] [15]
1936 XI Olympiad Germany Berlin, Germany Hitler, AdolfAdolf Hitler Führer of Germany[note 3] [16]
1948 V Winter Switzerland St. Moritz, Switzerland Celio, EnricoEnrico Celio President of the Swiss Confederation[note 2] [17]
1948 XIV Olympiad United Kingdom London, Great Britain George VI King of the United Kingdom [18]
1952 VI Winter Norway Oslo, Norway RagnhildPrincess Ragnhild Princess of Norway [19]
1952 XV Olympiad Finland Helsinki, Finland Paasikivi, Juho KustiJuho Kusti Paasikivi President of Finland [20]
1956 VII Winter Italy Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy Gronchi, GiovanniGiovanni Gronchi President of Italy [21]
1956 XVI Olympiad (equestrian) Sweden Stockholm, Sweden Gustaf VI Adolf King of Sweden [22]
1956 XVI Olympiad Australia Melbourne, Australia PhilipPrince Philip Consort of Queen of Australia Elizabeth II [23]
1960 VIII Winter United States Squaw Valley, United States Nixon, RichardRichard Nixon Vice President of the United States [24]
1960 XVII Olympiad Italy Rome, Italy Gronchi, GiovanniGiovanni Gronchi President of Italy [25]
1964 IX Winter Austria Innsbruck, Austria Schärf, AdolfAdolf Schärf President of Austria [26]
1964 XVIII Olympiad Japan Tokyo, Japan Hirohito Emperor of Japan [27]
1968 X Winter France Grenoble, France de Gaulle, CharlesCharles de Gaulle President of France [28]
1968 XIX Olympiad Mexico Mexico City, Mexico Díaz Ordaz, GustavoGustavo Díaz Ordaz President of Mexico [29]
1972 XI Winter Japan Sapporo, Japan Hirohito Emperor of Japan [30]
1972 XX Olympiad West Germany Munich, West Germany Heinemann, GustavGustav Heinemann President of West Germany [31]
1976 XII Winter Austria Innsbruck, Austria Kirchschläger, RudolfRudolf Kirchschläger President of Austria [32]
1976 XXI Olympiad Canada Montreal, Canada Elizabeth II Queen of Canada [33]
1980 XIII Winter United States Lake Placid, United States Mondale, WalterWalter Mondale Vice President of the United States [34]
1980 XXII Olympiad Soviet Union Moscow, Soviet Union Brezhnev, LeonidLeonid Brezhnev Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union[note 4] [35]
1984 XIV Winter Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Sarajevo, Yugoslavia SpiljakMika Špiljak President of the Presidency of Yugoslavia [36]
1984 XXIII Olympiad United States Los Angeles, United States Reagan, RonaldRonald Reagan President of the United States [37]
1988 XV Winter Canada Calgary, Canada Sauvé, JeanneJeanne Sauvé Governor General of Canada, representing Queen of Canada Elizabeth II [38]
1988 XXIV Olympiad South Korea Seoul, Republic of Korea Roh Tae-woo President of South Korea [39]
1992 XVI Winter France Albertville, France Mitterrand, FrançoisFrançois Mitterrand President of France [40]
1992 XXV Olympiad Spain Barcelona, Spain Juan Carlos I King of Spain [41]
1994 XVII Winter Norway Lillehammer, Norway Harald V King of Norway [42]
1996 XXVI Olympiad United States Atlanta, United States Clinton, BillBill Clinton President of the United States [43]
1998 XVIII Winter Japan Nagano, Japan Akihito Emperor of Japan [44]
2000 XXVII Olympiad Australia Sydney, Australia Deane, WilliamWilliam Deane Governor-General of Australia, representing Queen of Australia Elizabeth II [45]
2002 XIX Winter United States Salt Lake City, United States Bush, George W.George W. Bush President of the United States [46]
2004 XXVIII Olympiad Greece Athens, Greece Stephanopoulos, KonstantinosKonstantinos Stephanopoulos President of the Hellenic Republic [47]
2006 XX Winter Italy Turin, Italy Ciampi, Carlo AzeglioCarlo Azeglio Ciampi President of Italy [48]
2008 XXIX Olympiad China Beijing, China PR Hu Jintao President of the People's Republic of China [49]
2010 XXI Winter Canada Vancouver, Canada Jean, MichaëlleMichaëlle Jean Governor General of Canada, representing Queen of Canada Elizabeth II [50]
2012 XXX Olympiad United Kingdom London, Great Britain Elizabeth II Queen of the United Kingdom [51]
2014 XXII Winter Russia Sochi, Russian Federation Vladimir Putin President of the Russian Federation [52]

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. ^ 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.
  3. ^ a b IOC records (see "Notes" column) 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".
  4. ^ IOC records (see "Notes" column) 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.

Dignitaries who have opened the Youth Olympic Games[edit]

Year Games Host city Officially opened by Office of opener Notes
2010 I Summer Singapore Singapore S.R. Nathan President of the Republic of Singapore
2012 I Winter Austria Innsbruck, Austria Heinz Fischer Federal President of Austria
2014 II Summer China Nanjing, China PR Xi Jinping President of the People's Republic of China

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c International Olympic Committee (11 February 2010). Olympic Charter. p. 103. Retrieved 6 November 2010. 
  2. ^ "Opening Ceremony: 2010 Winter Games declared open". Agence France-Presse. 12 February 2010. Retrieved 6 November 2010. 
  3. ^ "Athens 1896 Summer Olympics". International Olympic Committee. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  4. ^ "Paris 1900 Summer Olympics". International Olympic Committee. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  5. ^ "St Louis 1904 Summer Olympics". International Olympic Committee. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  6. ^ "London 1908 Summer Olympics". International Olympic Committee. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  7. ^ "Stockholm 1912 Summer Olympics". International Olympic Committee. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  8. ^ "Antwerp 1920 Summer Olympics". International Olympic Committee. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  9. ^ "Chamonix 1924 Winter Olympics". International Olympic Committee. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  10. ^ "Paris 1924 Summer Olympics". International Olympic Committee. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  11. ^ "St Moritz 1928 Winter Olympics". International Olympic Committee. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  12. ^ "Amsterdam 1928 Summer Olympics". International Olympic Committee. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  13. ^ "Lake Placid 1932 Winter Olympics". International Olympic Committee. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  14. ^ "Los Angeles 1932 Summer Olympics". International Olympic Committee. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  15. ^ "Garmisch-Partenkirchen 1936 Winter Olympics". International Olympic Committee. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  16. ^ "Berlin 1936 Summer Olympics". International Olympic Committee. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  17. ^ "St Moritz 1948 Winter Olympics". International Olympic Committee. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  18. ^ "London 1948 Summer Olympics". International Olympic Committee. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  19. ^ "Oslo 1952 Winter Olympics". International Olympic Committee. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  20. ^ "Helsinki 1952 Summer Olympics". International Olympic Committee. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  21. ^ "Cortina d'Ampezzo 1956 Winter Olympics". International Olympic Committee. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  22. ^ Kubatko, Justin. "1956 Stockholm Equestrian Games". Olympics at Sports-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 6 November 2010. 
  23. ^ "Melbourne-Stockholm 1956 Summer Olympics". International Olympic Committee. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  24. ^ "Squaw Valley 1960 Winter Olympics". International Olympic Committee. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  25. ^ "Rome 1960 Summer Olympics". International Olympic Committee. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  26. ^ "Innsbruck 1964 Winter Olympics". International Olympic Committee. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  27. ^ "Tokyo 1964 Summer Olympics". International Olympic Committee. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  28. ^ "Grenoble 1968 Winter Olympics". International Olympic Committee. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  29. ^ "Mexico City 1968 Summer Olympics". International Olympic Committee. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  30. ^ "Sapporo 1972 Winter Olympics". International Olympic Committee. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  31. ^ "Munich 1972 Summer Olympics". International Olympic Committee. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  32. ^ "Innsbruck 1976 Winter Olympics". International Olympic Committee. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  33. ^ "Montreal 1976 Summer Olympics". International Olympic Committee. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  34. ^ "Lake Placid 1980 Winter Olympics". International Olympic Committee. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  35. ^ "Moscow 1980 Summer Olympics". International Olympic Committee. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  36. ^ "Sarajevo 1984 Winter Olympics". International Olympic Committee. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  37. ^ "Los Angeles 1984 Summer Olympics". International Olympic Committee. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  38. ^ "Calgary 1988 Winter Olympics". International Olympic Committee. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  39. ^ "Seoul 1988 Summer Olympics". International Olympic Committee. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  40. ^ "Albertville 1992 Winter Olympics". International Olympic Committee. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  41. ^ "Barcelona 1992 Summer Olympics". International Olympic Committee. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  42. ^ "Lillehammer 1994 Winter Olympics". International Olympic Committee. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  43. ^ "Atlanta 1996 Summer Olympics". International Olympic Committee. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  44. ^ "Nagano 1998 Winter Olympics". International Olympic Committee. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  45. ^ "Sydney 2000 Summer Olympics". International Olympic Committee. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  46. ^ "Salt Lake City 2002 Winter Olympics". International Olympic Committee. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  47. ^ "Athens 2004 Summer Olympics". International Olympic Committee. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  48. ^ "Turin 2006 Winter Olympics". International Olympic Committee. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  49. ^ "Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics". International Olympic Committee. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  50. ^ "Governor General to Open the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games". Governor General of Canada. February 8, 2010. Archived from the original on 10 February 2010. Retrieved 2010-02-10. 
  51. ^ "London 2012 Olympics launches with huge ceremony". BBC News. 27 July 2012. Retrieved 27 July 2012. 
  52. ^ Sam Sheringham (February 7, 2014). "Sochi 2014: Winter Olympics opens with glittering ceremony". BBC. Retrieved February 7, 2014.