The 1932 Summer Olympic Games, officially known as the Games of the X Olympiad, was celebrated in 1932 in Los Angeles, California. No other cities made a bid to host these Olympics. Held during the worldwide great depression many nations and athletes were unable to pay for the trip to Los Angeles. Fewer than half of the participants of the Summer Olympic Games in Amsterdam 1928 returned to compete in 1932. US President Herbert Hoover did not attend the Games, becoming the first (and to date only) sitting head of government not to appear at an Olympics.
The organizing committee put no record of the finances of the Games in their report, though contemporary newspapers reported that the Games had made a profit of US$1,000,000.
Host city selectionEdit
The selection process for the 1932 Summer Olympics consisted of one bid, from Los Angeles, which ultimately hosted the games. The selection was made at the 23rd IOC Session in Rome, Italy, in 1923.
- An Olympic Village was built for the first time, in Baldwin Hills, occupied by the male athletes. Female athletes were housed at the Chapman Park Hotel on Wilshire Boulevard.
- The first use of a victory podium.
- The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum was known in 1932 as Olympic Stadium.
- Tenth Street, a major thoroughfare in Los Angeles, was renamed Olympic Boulevard in honor of the Games of the Tenth Olympiad.
- Babe Didrikson won two gold medals in the javelin and the hurdles event. She also competed in a jump-off for a silver in the high jump. Her technique in the jump-off was ruled illegal, leaving Didrikson with second place.
- In field hockey, only three nations took part. The host nation lost both matches, 1-24 to India and 2-9 to Japan, but still won a bronze medal.
- Poland's Stanisława Walasiewicz won the gold medal in the women's 100 m; she would also win the silver medal in the event four years later. After her death in 1980, it was discovered that she was intersex and would have been ineligible to participate.
- Finnish star Paavo Nurmi was barred from competing in the Olympics for being a professional.
- Eddie Tolan won both the 100 m and 200 m sprint events.
- Romeo Neri won three gold medals in gymnastic.
- Helene Madison won three gold medals in swimming, while the Japanese upset the men's events and took all but one title.
- Takeichi Nishi (Baron Nishi) was the gold medalist with his horse Uranus in the equestrian show jumping individual event. Nishi's gold medal is Japan's only gold medal in the equestrian event to this day. Nishi would later die in 1945 as an officer stationed in the defense of the island of Iwo Jima, and as such is a main character in Clint Eastwood's film, Letters from Iwo Jima.
- Kusuo Kitamura won the gold medal in the men's 1500 meter freestyle swimming race. He was and continues to be the youngest ever male swimmer to win a gold medal at the Olympic Games.
- Due to an official's error, the 3,000 m steeplechase went for 3,460 m, or one extra lap.
- Main article: Venues of the 1932 Summer Olympics
- Exposition Park (known as Olympic Park for the Games) - equestrian
- Olympic Stadium - athletics, American football, lacrosse, equestrian (eventing, jumping) field hockey, gymnastics, opening and closing ceremonies (capacity: 105,000)
- Swimming Stadium - diving, modern pentathlon (swimming), swimming, water polo (capacity: 10,000)
- 160th Regiment State Armory - fencing, modern pentathlon (fencing) (capacity: 1,800)
- Museum of History, Science, and Art - art events
- Olympic Auditorium - boxing, wrestling, weightlifting
- Rose Bowl in Pasadena - cycling (track)
- Riverside Drive, Griffith Park - 50 km walk
- Los Angeles Harbor - sailing
- Long Beach Marine Stadium - rowing (capacity: 17,000)
- Los Angeles Police Pistol Range - shooting, modern pentathlon (shooting)
- Sunset Fields Golf Club - modern pentathlon (running)
- Riviera Country Club - equestrian (dressage, eventing), modern pentathlon (riding) (capacity: 9,500)
- Los Angeles Avenue, Vineyard Avenue, and Pacific Coast Highway - cycling (road)
- Westchester - equestrian (cross-country riding)
A total of 37 nations were represented at the 1932 Games. Colombia and the Republic of China (with a single athlete) made their first appearance at the Olympic Games.
These are the nations that won medals at the 1932 Summer Games.