Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Olympics History - Nazi Germany, Japan, Saarland, China, Singapore

The Berlin Olympics

Seeing the pictures from the 1936 Berlin Olympic Opening Ceremony is sickening. With Hitler looking on, each nation's delegation marches into the stadium in perfect goosestep. Most of the teams raise their arm in the "Olympic salute," which looks supiciously similar to the Nazi salute. Countries that will go on to be decimated by the Third Reich march and cheer along with the crowds.

What's interesting to note about the 1936 games is that many of the traditions that are considering integral to the Olympics were started in Berlin. The torch relay, a massive opening ceremony and taping the whole spectacle were started by Hitler's regime.

Hitler even cajoled filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl to go to Delphi, carve the Olympic rings into a stone, and film it, so to convince people that the rings were an ancient drawing, not the creation of modern Olympic founder, Pierre de Coubertin

By allowing only members of the "Aryan" race to compete for Germany, Hitler further promoted his ideological belief of racial supremacy. At the same time, the party removed signs stating "Jews not wanted" and similar slogans from the city's main tourist attractions. In an attempt to "clean up" Berlin, the German Ministry of Interior authorized the chief of police to arrest all Romani (Gypsies) and keep them in a special camp .[2] Nazi officials ordered that foreign visitors should not be subjected to the criminal strictures of anti-homosexual laws.

Total ticket revenues were 7.5 million Reichsmarks, generating a profit of over one million marks. The official budget did not include outlays by the city of Berlin (which issued an itemized report detailing its costs of 16.5 million marks) or that of the German national government (which did not make its costs public, but is estimated to have spent US$30 million, chiefly in capital outlays

Gold Silver Bronze Total
1 Germany (host nation) 33 26 30 89
2 United States 24 20 12 56
3 Hungary 10 1 5 16
4 Italy 8 9 5 22
5 Finland 7 6 6 19
6 France 7 6 6 19
7 Sweden 6 5 9 20
8 Japan 6 4 8 18
9 Netherlands 6 4 7 17
10 Great Britain 4 7 3 14

A total of 49 nations attended the Berlin Olympics, up from 37 in 1932. Six nations made their first official Olympic appearance at these Games: Afghanistan, Bermuda, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Liechtenstein, and Peru.

Clips of Berlin Olympics: -,99210

USSR in the Olympics

(Water Polo Team)

The Soviet Union only first participated at the Olympic Games only in 1952 in Helsinki Finland. They were the second best nation on the medal tally. The USA was first.

Gold Silver Bronze Total
1 United States 40 19 17 76
2 Soviet Union 22 30 19 71
3 Hungary 16 10 16 42

China in the Olympics

China first participated at the Olympic Games in 1932 in Los Angeles USA. The Republic of China (ROC) would participate in 1948. In 1948, the 52-member delegation from ROC consisted of 33 contenders for track and field, swimming, football, basketball, as well as cycling events. The results were disappointing, as all were eliminated in the preliminary contests.

In 1952, the Republic of China (Chinese Taipei/Taiwan), listed as "China (Formosa)", withdrew from the Games on July 20, in protest of the allowing of the People's Republic of China's men and women to compete.

For the PRC, the men's football and basketball teams and one swimmer joined the Olympics. A total of 40 athletes and officials took part. The football and basketball teams arrived too late to take part in the competition, only the swimmer took part. He was Wu Chuanyu, Men's 100m Backstroke — 1:12.3 (Heat five)

(Wu Chuanyu at the 4th World Juniors and Students Friendship Game held in Bucharest, Romania. He won the gold medal in the 100 meter backstroke swimming event. It was the first time that the Chinese national flag rose in international sports arena)

World War Two and the Olympics

In 1940, the summer Olympics were scheduled for Tokyo, Japan, but were cancelled due to the outbreak of World War II. In 1937, Tokyo was stripped of its host status for the Games by the IOC due to the outbreak of the Second Sino-Japanese War, and the Games were then awarded to Helsinki, Finland, the runner-up in the bidding. The Games were then scheduled to be staged from July 20 to August 4, 1940. The Olympic Games were suspended indefinitely followed the outbreak of the war, and did not resume until the London Games of 1948.

Germany and Japan were not invited to the 1948 London Olympics. Germany was also banned from the 1920 Antwerp Olympics and 1924 Paris Olympics.

In the 1920 Olympics, Germany was blamed for the start of World War I. Germany, together with other Central Powers allies - Austria, Turkey, Bulgaria, Hungary. These nations, which by now had new governments, were banned from the 1920 Summer Olympics.

While all other banned nations were invited again for the 1924 Summer Olympics, held for the second time in Pierre de Coubertin's home town of Paris, the ban on Germany was not lifted until 1925. This was likely related to French Occupation of the Ruhr and the Rhineland between 1923 and 1925.

Singapore in the Olympics

Singapore competed in the Summer Olympic Games for the first time at the 1948 Summer Olympics in London, England, as a British Crown Colony.

The following Singaporean athletes participated in the games:

Association Football - Chia Boon Leong and Chu Chee Seng
Athletics - Ng Liang Chiang and Valberg Lloyd, Highjump (finished 14th place)
Basketball - Chua Boon Lay

Cold War - Divided Germany in the Olympics

After World War Two, there were three German states found in Germany. There were athletes from the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG, West Germany, the German Democratic Republic (GDR, East Germany) and the Saarland (A French protectorate)

Before 1956, it was decided that German athletes from West Germany and the French-occupied Saarland would took part in the 1952 Helsinki Olympics separately

The Saarland joined the Federal Republic after 1955, while the East German authorities, which had not taken part in the 1952 Games, agreed in 1956 to let their athletes compete in a united team that used the black-red-gold tricolour, but with additional Olympic rings in white placed upon the red middle stripe, as East German politicians were eager not to compete under the traditional German flag used both by West Germany and even themselves.

They competed together as the United Team of Germany (EUA for French: Équipe unifiée d'Allemagne, German: Gesamtdeutsche Mannschaft) in the 1956 Melbourne, 1960 Rome, and 1964 Tokyo Olympics.

After 1961, despite initially calling for a "united Germany" in the East German anthem, the socialist East German government intensified its separation in Germany, with the building of the Berlin Wall in August 1961, obstructing travel within Germany even more. The travel of GDR athletes for contests and training sites in the Alps was limited.

As a result of this development, Aahletes from the Soviet-occupied German Democratic Republic (GDR) appeared in a separate team after the United Team effort was discontinued. In five Games, from 1968 Mexico Olympics to 1980 Moscow Olympics and again in 1988 Seoul Olympics, the GDR participated as a separate team.

The separation was completed at the 1972 Munich Olympics, when the two countries used separate flags and anthems. This continued until the German Reunification of 1990 caused East Germany to cease to exist.

Germany in the 1952 Helsinki Games

In the 1952 Helsinki Games, only athletes from West Germany and the Saarland took part. West Germany or the Federal Republic of Germany (GER) claimed exclusive mandate to represent the entire country. Athletes from the Saarland (SAA) competed as a separate team, as the French-occupied state would not join the Federal Republic of Germany until 1955.

Saarland was founded in spring of 1950 in the Saar protectorate which existed from 1947 to 1956 in the Saarland, a region of Western Germany that was (again) occupied in 1945 by France. As a separate team, they only took part in the 1952 Summer Olympics, participating in boxing and canoeing, before being allowed to rejoin the German team for the summer games of 1956. Following a referendum in October 1955 that rejected the Saar statute proposing independence as European territory, thus voting indirectly in favor of access to the Federal Republic of Germany, the Saar treaty of October 1956 allowed the Saarland to rejoin Germany with effect of 1 January 1957.

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