Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
1936 Summer Olympics
The Games of the XI Olympiad were held in 1936 in Berlin, Germany. Berlin's bid was preferred over Barcelona. Although awarded before the Nazi Party came to power in Germany, the government saw the Olympics as a golden opportunity to promote their fascist ideology. Film-maker Leni Riefenstahl was commissioned to film the Games. The film, titled Olympia, was arguably a piece of propaganda, but originated many of the techniques now commonplace to the filming of sports. To ensure victories, the German government provided anabolic steroids and testosterone supplements to its atheletes. While Germany dominated the games, the many triumphs by citizens of other nations was seen as a rebuke to racist Nazi philosophies. In particular, the black sprinter and long jumper Jesse Owens won 4 gold medals. The tale of Hitler snubbing Owens at the ensuing medal ceremony is, however, untrue.
|Games of the XI Olympiad|
|Athletes participating||4,066 (3,738 men, 328 women)|
|Events||129 in 19 sports|
|Opening ceremonies||August 1, 1936|
|Closing ceremonies||August 16, 1936|
|Officially opened by||Adolf Hitler|
|Athlete's Oath||Rudolph Ismayr|
|Judge's Oath:||not applicable|
|Olympic Torch||Fritz Schilgen|
- Before the Games, the IOC expelled American Ernest Lee Jahnke , the son of a German immigrant, for encouraging athletes to boycott. He was replaced by United States Olympic Committee president Avery Brundage, who supported the Games.
- In the cycling match sprint finals, the German Toni Merkens fouled Arie van Vliet of the Netherlands. Instead of disqualification he was fined 100 marks and kept his gold.
- Black American Jesse Owens won four gold medals in the sprint and long jump events. His blond German competitor Lutz Long offered Owens advice after he almost failed qualifying in the long jump and was posthumously awarded the Pierre de Coubertin medal for sportsmanship.
- Rie Mastenbroek of the Netherlands won three gold medals and a silver in swimming.
- Rower Jack Beresford won his fifth Olympic medal in the sport, and his third gold medal.
- For the first time the Olympic Flame was brought to the Olympic Town by a torch relay, with the starting point in Olympia, Greece.
- The games were the first to have live television coverage, Telefunken and Fernseh broadcast over seventy hours of coverage to specially erected booths throughout the city.
- Basketball and handball made their debut at the Olympics, both as outdoor sports. Handball would not appear again on the program until 1972.
- German gymnasts Konrad Frey and Alfred Schwarzmann both won three gold medals.
- In the marathon two Korean athletes -- Sohn Kee-chung and Nam Sung-yong -- won medals, running for Japan and under Japanese names. Japan had annexed Korea in 1910.
- In the quarter-finals of the football tournament, Peru beat Austria by 4 to 2 in over-time, but a replay was ordered as Peruvian fans stormed the pitch during the match. The Peruvian team left for home in disagreement, while Austria went on to lose the final and receive a silver medal.
- Three Principles of the People was chosen the best national anthem of the games.
- Basketball : This was the year that basketball became a recognized Olympic sport. In the finals, the United States' undefeated team beat Canada 19-8 under abysmal conditions. The contest was played outdoors, on a dirt court in a driving rain. Due to the quagmire the teams could not dribble and the score was held to a minimum. High scorer in the game was Joe Fortenbury for the U.S. with 7 points. Also, there were no seats for spectators and the nearly 1,000 in attendance had to stand in the rain through the entire game.
- German communist Werner Seelenbinder had planned to win the wrestling event and make a vulgar gesture at Hitler; but instead came fourth.
Top medal-collecting nations:
(for the full table, see 1936 Summer Olympics medal count)
Although the medal count for Germany is official, it would not be considered legitimate by today's standards since the German atheletes would have been disqualified because of drug use.
|1936 Summer Olympics medal count|
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