MODERN OLYMPIC GAMES - 1936 Berlin Olympiad

The Games of the XI Olympiad held in Berlin were opened, with swastikas and military parade, by Adolf Hitler. The German authorities, trying to prove the superiority of the so-called Aryan race, used propagandistic methods, including, for the first time in the Olympic history, the television broadcasting; large screens were set up throughout Berlin, allowing the local people to see the Games live. 1936 saw the introduction of the torch relay, in which a lighted torch is carried from Olympia to the site of the current Games, a proposal of Carl Diem, a German philosopher and head of the German Organizing Commitee. Basketball, canoeing and team handball made their first appearances, while polo was included in the Olympic programme for the last time. The hero of the Games was the African-American sprinter

and long jumper Jesse Owens, who won four gold medals. During the long jump competition, Owens’ German rival, Luz Long, publicly befriended him in front of the Nazis. Marjorie Gestring, aged 13, from the United States won the gold medal in springboard diving and remained the youngest female gold medalist in the history of the Summer Olympics. Inge Sorensen, from Denmark, earned a bronze medal in the 200-medal breaststroke at the age of 12, making

her the youngest medalist ever in an individual event. Hungarian water polo player Olivier Halassy won his third medal despite the fact that one of his legs had been amputated below the knee. Rower Jack Beresford, from Great Britain, won a gold medal in the double sculls event, marking the fifth Olympics at which he earned a medal. Kristjan Palusalu, from Estonia, won the heavyweight division in both freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling.


Opening date:
1st August 1936

Closing date:
16th August 1936

Nations: 49
Sports: 19
Events: 129
Athletes: 3 963
Men: 3 632

Candidate cities: Barcelona