Twin Olympic flames were lit above the Alpine city of Innsbruck in Austria on Wednesday (4 February) to signal the start of 12 days of hectic competition in the twelfth winter games.
GV PAN DOWN Ski slope and massed crowds at opening ceremony TO standard bearers waving flags (2 shots)
GV Athletes march into arena
TV Australian team down steps and into arena
TGV Canadian team
TV Soviet team
GTV Athletes marching into arena
TV U.S.A. athletes marching and into arena (2 shots)
TV Japanese team
GV Austrian team
TV Austrian President stands as his team passes (2 shots)
LV Coloured balloons released (2 shots)
TV Mayor of Sapporo hands Olympic flag to Mayor of Innsbruck, who waves it
SV Olympic torch carried by athlete up steps (2 shots)
SV Crowd clapping
LV Olympic flames are ignited
TV & SV Austrian athlete during oath taking ceremony
GV ZOOM OUT FROM Burning torches TO crowd
Initials BB/2205 MF/AW/BB/2230
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Background: Twin Olympic flames were lit above the Alpine city of Innsbruck in Austria on Wednesday (4 February) to signal the start of 12 days of hectic competition in the twelfth winter games.
In a formal opening ceremony at the giant Berg Isel ski jump Stadium, two Austrian gold medallists from the 1964 Innsbruck games lit the flames.
The opening, modelled on the folklore of the Austrian Tyrol, took place in cloudy, hazy weather.
As the flames crackled in the crisp mountain air, a loudspeaker broadcast a one-sentence appeal to the Olympic spirit: "We ask the blessing of heaven for a festival of youth and peace."
The games were formally declared open by Austrian President Rudelf Kirschlaeger, standing beside Chancellor Bruno Kreisky.
International Olympic Committee President, Lord Killanin, and other officials stood bareheaded, with the temperature just below freezing, through the 90-minute ceremony.
Security inside the stadium was unobtrusive, despite the fact that the previous day police announced that they had detained a man who planned to shower the ceremony with political leaflets.
Over 1,000 competitors from 36 countries filed into the stadium, where 60,000 spectators later watched the most spectacular event of the games -- the 90 yard (metre) ski jump.
SYNOPSIS: Sixty thousand spectators gathered at the Berg Isel ski jump stadium at Innsbruck, Austria, on Wednesday to watch the opening ceremony of the twelfth winter Olympic games. The spectacle was inspired by Tyrolean folklore, and took place in near-freezing weather conditions.
After the preliminary displays came the competitors -- over a thousand of them from thirty-six countries--each national group characteristically dressed and marching into the stadium behind their national flag in the order of the German alphabet. The Australian team were followed by Canada and the instantly-recognisable group from the Soviet Union...and all over the world an estimated five hundred million people were seeing the event on television.
Security inside the stadium was not obvious, although the Austrian police announced the previous day that they had arrested a man who had planned to fly a plane over the celebration and drop ten thousand political leaflets into the stadium. The news was a timely reminder of the security problems which have marred previous Olympics and troubled the Austrian Government in recent years.
A proud moment for Austrian President, Rudolf Kirschlaeger, as the Austrian team passed the V.I.P. rostrum....later it fell to him to formally declare the games open, after being invited to do so by the President of the International.........Olympic Committee, Lord Killanin.
The previous winter Olympics were held at Sapporo in Japan ... so in a formal gesture the Mayor of Sapporo, Takeshi Hagaki, handed over the Olympic flag to the Mayor of Innsbruck, Dr. Alois Lugger.
The highlight of the occasion was the arrival of the Olympic flame... which was carried into the stadium by 1964 Olympic two-man bob-sleigh gold medallist Josef Feistmantl. Then came the actual lighting of the twin torches and as the flames crackled in the crisp mountain air a loudspeaker broadcast an appeal to the Olympic spirit -- "We ask the blessing of heaven for a festival of youth and peace".
The oath-taking ceremony followed and then the formalities of the occasion were over. As the torches burnt strongly the huge crowd waited for the first event of the 1976 winter Olympics -- ski jumping on the spectacular ninety-yard Berg Isel jump.