- Alexandria, Egypt
- Barcelona, Spain
- Berlin, Germany
- Buenos Aires, Argentina
- Cologne, Germany
- Dublin, Ireland
- Frankfurt, Germany
- Helsinki, Finland
- Lausanne, Switzerland
- Nuremberg, Germany
- Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
- Rome, Italy
Yet only two received votes Barcelona 16 and Berlin 46.
Therefore twenty years after they were due to host the summer Olympics, that were cancelled due to the Great War, Berlin was giving another chance to do so.
Competitors 3963 (+2631)
Sports 19 (+5)
Events 129 (+12)
1-16 August hosted by Berlin, Germany
These were the first Games at which Afghanistan, Bermuda, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Liechtenstein and Peru participated. While none of them achieved any notable success the Peruvians were involved in a moment of controversy.
There was apparently a "crafty Berlin decision" that obstructed the Peruvian's passage into the semi-finals. Their football team was trailing the Austrian's 2-0 before the Peruvians scoring two goals back in the last 20 minutes and taking the tie into extra time, which the Peruvians won 4-2. Austrian players claimed that the Peruvians had manhandled them and that there had been a pitch invasion including one man brandishing a pistol. Basketball
That honour goes to Konstantinos Kondylis the Greek athlete who was handed the flame at Mount Olympus to take it on the first stage of what is now a well trodden tradition.
Also new in the 1936 was the way that swimmers started their races. Up until then they had merely dived in from the wall at the side of the pool. In Berlin the swimmers for the first time dived in from raised starting blocks poolside.
In 1936 it was played outdoors and wasn't to reappear on the Olympic calendar until the Summer Games returned to Germany in 1972 in Munich and has been part of the Games ever since.
Canoeing also entered the pantheon of Olympic events in Berlin out on the Langer See in the South East of the city. Both the kayak (seated) and Canadian (kneeling) disciplines were represented from those first games. The events were:
- C1 - 1000m
- C2 - 1000m
- C2 - 10000m
- K1 - 1000m
- K1 - 10000m
- K1 - 10000m folding
- K2 - 1000m
- K2 - 10000m
- K2 - 10000m folding
Austria topped the medal table with 3 golds all in kayak, Germany took 2 of the other kayak golds and Czechoslovakia 2 of the Canadian, the other of which went to Canada. Sweden took the final gold in.
Basketball was the third sport to make its Olympic debut in Berlin. Like handball although it is now played in an indoor arena at Games it was held outdoors at a converted tennis stadium. However, the sand and clay surface of the court proved as issue in the heavy rain during the final of the game. The players were unable to dribble in the quagmire of a court and the scoring was low. However, the USA did dominate and became the first champions beating Canada 19-8 in that rain affected match.
Joe Naismith who had invented the game some 45 years earlier presented the medals to the successful teams.
Soon after Hitler was elected leader there was always going to be controversy surrounding these Games. Jewish athletes were banned from sports clubs and from the team. So athletes like 4 time World Record holder Lilla Henoch (who missed out on 1924 due to the German ban) and Gertel Bergmann the national record holder in high jump were not selected.
There were calls for boycotts, the biggest of which was in the USA. Jewish organisations heavily wanted a boycott but the African-American press wanted the team to go feeling that the wins of top block athletes would shame Hitler's theory of Aryan supremacy. In the end though the team did go, some individual Jewish athletes did refuse to go. Bit more controversially Sam Stoller and Marty Glickmann the only two Jews on the 4x100m relay team were pulled from the event on the day of the final, some believe to avoid embarrassment to Hitler of Jews winning gold medals.
Spain however, did refuse to go. They even went as far as to arrange an alternative People's Olympiad which attracted interest from athletes from 22 countries. However, just one day before that event was die to start the Spanish Civil War broke out and it was cancelled. Spain like the Soviet Union would not take part in the 1936 Games.
Of course these were the Games of Jesse Owens winning four golds in 100m, 200m, long jump and 4x100m.
The pair Sohn from Sinŭiju in the North and Nam from Sucheon in the South when they turned to face the flags being hoisted bowed their heads in protest (pictured). Sohn would end up staying in the South up to and after partition of Korea helping develop athletes and was one of the carriers of the Olympic Torch in the stadium at the XXIV Games in Seoul.
Kristjan Palusalu of Estonia won double gold in the heavyweight divisions of both the Greco-Roman and Freestyle Wrestling the first and only time this has been done. Of course during World War II Estonia along with the other Baltic states of Latvia and Lithuania would be absorbed into the USSR, until 1992.
|Palusalu on top in this bout|
See also: This is a list of all my posts other Olympics