1932 Olympics - History• Opening: 30July 1932• Closing: 14 August 1932• Host Country: USA• Known as the Games that gave birth to the modern format.• This was only the second time the Games had been held outside ofEurope, following on from the St Louis 1904 Olympics. LosAngeles, home of Hollywood and the emerging film industry, wouldput on a much better show.• In 1932 the Olympic Games in Los Angeles overcame theproblematic times of depression, and what was to become knownas the "Hollywood Extravaganza" set the tone for the world. Thetone was that Los Angeles was now on the map as a city of powerand prestige, and that the Olympics was a vehicle that publicizedand promoted its site as no other sporting event could.
1932 Olympics – Political Climate• After the Wall Street Crash of 1929, the largest stockmarket crash in American history, most of the decade wasconsumed by an economic downfall called The GreatDepression that had an upsetting effect worldwide.• In response, strict regimes emerged in several countries inEurope, in particular the Third Reich in Germany.• Weaker states such as Ethiopia, China, and Poland wereinvaded, ultimately leading to World War II by the decadesend. The decade also saw an increase in newtechnologies, including intercontinentalaviation, radio, and film.
1932 Olympics - Economy• The 1932 Olympic Games were held in the middleof the Great Depression and, given the transportlinks of the time, in the relatively remote regionof California, participation in the Games was thelowest since 1904, with only half as manyathletes taking part as had in 1928. This was duemostly to the Great Depression, with the cost oftravel and the logistics of distance provingdifficult for many teams. Despite this, thestandard of competition was excellent.
1932 Olympics – Global Events• The Depression and the geographical isolationof California. Participation in the Games wasthe lowest since 1904, in spite of the excellentcompetition standard.
1932 Olympics – Significant Moments• Between 1900 and 1928, no Summer Games had beenshorter than 79 days, but in Los Angeles this was cut tojust 16. It has remained between 15 and 18 days eversince.• Medal winners standing on a podium with the flag ofthe winner being raised was first introduced.• Entry Restrictions - The number of participants putforward by the National Olympic Committees inindividual events was limited to three.• Professionnals were not admitted - Finn Paavo Nurmiand Frenchman Jules Ladoumègue, registered asprofessionals, could not take part.
1932 Olympics - Highlights• The spirit of the Olympic Games wasexemplified by British fencer Judy Guinness.Contesting the final, she gallantly gave up herhopes for a gold medal when she pointed outto officials that they had not noticed twotouches scored against her by her finalopponent, Ellen Preis of Austria.
1932 Olympics - Controversies• Football was completely removed from thegames.• Men and women were separated - theOlympic Village was reserved for men, andwomen stayed in the Chapman Park hotel.
1932 Olympics – Buildings/construction• The Coliseum Olympic stadium stupefied thewhole world by its proportions and the qualityof its equipment.
1932 Olympics – Opening Ceremony• A record crowd at the Opening Ceremony• The Coliseum Olympic stadium astonished the whole world.Its scale and quality were beyond anything that had comebefore, creating the first Games we would recognise today.The crowds were also without precedent, starting with the100,000 people who attended the Opening Ceremony.• Los Angeles 30 July 1932.• Official opening of the Games by: Vice-President CharlesCurtis• Lighting the Olympic Flame by: A symbolic fire at anOlympic Summer Games was first lit in 1928 in Amsterdam.• Olympic Oath by: George Calnan (fencing)
1932 Olympics – Participating Nations• Argentina (32)• Australia (12)• Austria (19)• Belgium (36)• Brazil (82)• Canada (102)• China (1)• Colombia (1)• Czechoslovakia (7)• Denmark (43)• Estonia (2)• Finland (40)• France (103)• Germany (134)• Great Britain (108)• Greece (10)• Haiti (2)• Hungary (58)• India (19)• Ireland (8)• Italy (112)• Japan (117)• Latvia (2)• Mexico (73)• Netherlands (45• )New Zealand (21)• Norway (5)• Philippines (8)• Poland (51)• Portugal (6)• South Africa (12)• Spain (6)• Sweden (81)• Switzerland (6)• United States (474)• Uruguay (1)• Yugoslavia (1)
1932 Olympics – Events Held• Artistic Gymnastics• Athletics• Boxing• Cycling Road• Cycling Track• Diving• Equestrian / Dressage• Equestrian / Eventing• Equestrian / Jumping• Fencing• Hockey• Modern Pentathlon• Rowing• Sailing• Shooting• Swimming• Water polo• Weightlifting• Wrestling Freestyle• Wrestling Greco-Roman
1932 Olympics –Notable Events• Football was completely removed from the games -Following Henri Delaunays proposal in 1929 to initiatea professional World Championship of Football, thesport was dropped from the 1932 Los AngelesGames in an attempt to promote the growing sportof American football in the United States.• Football returned at the 1936 Berlin Games. TheGerman organisers were intent on the return of thegame to the Olympic movement since it guaranteedvital income into the organisations coffers.• Sixteen world and Olympic records fell in mens trackand field alone.
1932 Olympics – Australia• As at the 1928 Games, Australia competed in fivesports in Los Angeles: aquatics(swimming), athletics, cycling, rowing andwrestling.• The Australian flag at the Opening Ceremony wascarried by swimming legend Andrew ‘Boy’Charlton. However, unlike the previous twoGames of 1924 and 1928, Charlton did not win amedal in Los Angeles, his performance affectedby illness
1932 Olympics - Athletes• The Los Angeles Games of 1932 featured lessnations and almost half as many athletes asthe previous Games in Amsterdam.• Still, more than 1400 athletes from 37 nationscompeted at the Games.
1932 Olympics – Australian Athletes• The 12-strong Australian team returned from the LosAngeles Games with five medals: three gold, one silver anda bronze.• The three gold, won by cyclist Edgar ‘Dunc’ Gray, rowerHenry ‘Bobby’ Pearce and teenage swimmer ClareDennis, matched the record total from Paris in 1924.• The silver medal was won by swimmer Philomena ‘Bonnie’Mealing in the women’s 100m backstroke, while EddieScarf’s bronze in freestyle wrestling was the first Australianmedal in the sport.• The other Australians competing were athletes BillBarwick, George Golding, Alex Hillhouse and EileenWearne, and swimmers Noel Ryan and Frances Bult.
1932 Olympics – Australian AthletesClare Dennis• Dennis was the youngest woman to win a gold medal in Los Angeles. Aged 16, she won the 200mbreaststroke to become an instant celebrity because of her age and ability. She would later be oneof the first women to compete for Australia at the Empire Games, now known as theCommonwealth Games.• Clare Dennis was 16 years old when she won the 200 metres breaststroke at the 1932 Los AngelesOlympic Games, becoming Australia’s first female Olympic champion since Fanny Durack (in 1912).She was the youngest female swimmer at the Games. Her swimming career began at the age ofseven, when she tricked her father into allowing her to join the Sydney Ladies’ Swimming Club.After some pestering, he agreed that she could join the club if she could swim the 33 metres acrossher home beach of Clovelly Bay, Sydney. In fact she touched bottom, but faked a swimming action.• In 1931, at 14, she won the state 220 yards breaststroke title, and in January 1932 set a worldrecord for the distance at the Domain Baths. At the Olympics she faced the Japanese championHideko Maehata and Else Jacobsen of Denmark, who had held the world record. All three won theirheats, but Dennis’ time was the fastest, an Olympic record. Before the final the American champion(and later film Tarzan) Buster Crabbe advised her to swim three strokes underwater after herstarting dive, and attempt to touch at each turn ahead of the others. She followed his instructions -and won the final, lowering her Olympic record.• Clare Dennis broke the world record for 100 metres backstroke in 1933, and went on - in London in1934 - to become the first Australian woman to win gold at the British Empire Games. In 1942 shemarried George Golding, a track athlete in the 1932 team. She died in 1971.
1932 Olympics – Australian AthletesPHILOMENA JOHNSTON (MEALING)• Whilst still a teenager, Bonnie Mealing competed without success inthe freestyle and backstroke events at Amsterdam 1928. InFebruary 1930, she set a world record of 1 min 20.6 sec for the 100metres backstroke. Somewhat surprisingly, she was not selected forthe inaugural Empire Games at Hamilton, Canada that year.Indeed, no Australian women were sent to Hamilton, whereswimming was the only sport that afforded events for females. AtLos Angeles 1932, Mealing won a silver medal in the 100 metresbackstroke, behind the glamorous and talented Eleanor Holm of theUnited States. Britain’s Joyce Cooper, who in Mealing’s absence hadwon the backstroke at Hamilton, finished sixth. Mealing did notcompete internationally again after Los Angeles. She lived a longlife, dying in her 90th year in 2002.
1932 Olympics – Australian AthletesHenry ‘Bobby’ Pearce• Gold medallists Pearce won medals at theprevious Games in Amsterdam in 1928.Pearce, again the only rower on the Australianteam, successfully defended his single sculltitle
1932 Olympics – Australian AthletesEdgar ‘Dunc’ Gray• Gold medallists Gray won medals at theprevious Games in Amsterdam in 1928.• Gray improved on his 1928 bronze to win the1000m time trial, Australia’s first cycling gold.The Sydney 2000 Olympic velodrome wasnamed in his honour.
1932 Olympics – Australian AthletesAndrew ‘Boy’ Charlton,• Australia’s golden boy of the pool at the 1924Olympics, returned to the Games and wontwo silver medals, in the 400m freestyle and1500m freestyle. The bronze medal was wonby cyclist Edgar ‘Dunc’ Gray in the 1000m timetrial, an event he would be crowned theOlympic champion in at Los Angeles in fouryears time.
1932 Olympics – Australian Athletes• Eddie ScarfLight heavyweightRound 1 Defeated H. Madison (CAN)Round 2 Defeated by T. Sjostedt (SWE)Round 3 Defeated by P. Mehrimger (USA)Final (3rd)Final Placing 3
1932 Olympics – Medals• The United States were the dominant team, their41 gold medals more than treble that of thesecond nation on the medal tally, Italy, which won12 gold medals.• The host nation was led by sprinter Eddie Tolan,who won gold in the 100m, 200m and 4x100mrelay.• American Buster Crabbe won the 400m freestylegold and would later become the Olympics’second Tarzan, playing the jungle hero in movies.• In the pool, Japan was the leading nation
1932 Olympics – Australia’s Medal TallyMedal Name Sport EventGold Edgar Gray Cycling 1000m time trialGold Henry Pearce Rowing Single ScullGold Claire Dennis Swimming 200m BreaststrokeSilver Philomena Mealing Swimming 100m BackstrokeBronze Eddie Scarf Wrestling Light Heavy Weight