In 2012 the city of London will hold it's third Olympic Games, Berlin has staged it's only Olympic Games in 1936.Held against the backdrop of war,the Spanish civil war had just begun and the second world war was looming.
The German Chancellor used the Games for political propaganda and many I.O.C. members wanted the Games moved from Berlin and threatened a boycott.The Games were staged in Berlin, and was both memorable and spectacular for many reasons.
The magnificent Olympic Stadium was the same stadium that was built for the aborted 1916 Games. only bigger and better. The opening ceremony was both lavish and spectacular and many more Germans invaded Berlin than the 1000,000 spectators that loaded the Olympic Stadium that August day.The Fuhrer Hitler was followed everywhere with Nazi salutes.
The ceremony was conducted with Military precision.The Airship Hindenburg hovered above and 20,000 doves were released into the air as the Olympic hymn was sung in German.The Olympic Flame was finally lit as Sieg Heil chants were broadcast throughout the stadium.Hitler was then presented with an olive branch.
The competing Nations were ordered to salute Hitler,however this was largely boycotted and ended in a farce
Facilities and Sports
The Olympic Village was the biggest and best up to this date with a set up of brick built cottages, and over 30 dining halls to accommodate the needs of all the nations.
All the facilities for the Olympic events were top class. The swimming pool arena would house nearly 20.000 spectators, even the practice for event areas were the best The Olympics had ever seen.
The latest technology for the timing of all the events was installed, telvision coverage was widespread with closed circuit television beaming pictures around many public halls in Berlin.
Fourteen languages were used to broadcast Olympic news to over 3,000 worldwide journalists.
Stars of the Games
Athletics took centre stage at the magnificent stadium, and it proved to be a major breakthrough for Black athletes who claimed all the gold medals in the running events up to 8000m,as well as the long jump and high jump.
The USA athlete Jesse Owens was the undoubted star of the track with his haul of four gold medals, he also broke many Olympic and World records along the way.
His triumphs were largely ignored by Hitler who refused to even shake his hand.
The New Zealand athlete won one of the greatest 1500m races of all time, he ran a superb race and clinched the gold with a world record time.Lovelock had the slowest qualifying time but reached his peak, with a fine tactical run in the final.
Medals and Games Success
It was a well run and efficiently organised games with a vast attendance at all events.
Hitler would regard the games as a huge success to promote Germany as a superior race.He had a film made to further the propaganda, and promote his regime.
The Berlin Olympics was a triumph for Germany as the won the most Gold medals overall, but many observers reckoned this was overshadowed by the success of the great Jesse Owens and the other winning black athletes.