IVth WINTER GAMES
February 6 -
Mascot - none
28 countries, 668 athletes (80 women)
4 sports, 17 events
Chancellor Adolf Hitler
Torch lit by -
Held here in
conjunction with Berlin 1936's Games of the Olympiad
The world federation finally
certified the peace with Germany, the aggressor during the First world
War, entrusting it with the organization of the fourth edition of the
"White Olympics". Almost all the great nations participated
except for the Soviet Union which still had little interest in the
Games. For the first time the Olympic flame burned at the Winter
Olympics too. There were 106 thousand paying spectators and record
participation for the first German Olympics which was the prologue to
the more imposing Summer Games in Berlin.
With the Nazi Party ruling the
day in Germany, it fell to Adolf Hitler to personally open the fourth
Olympic Winter Games. Seeking to put on its best face and suppress any
possible negative reporting of the Nazi administration of the Games,
Germany allowed only German photographers to record Olympic events.
These pictures were then carefully screened by the Nazi propaganda
ministry before being made available for international distribution.
The IV Olympic Winter Games saw
the introduction of alpine skiing (6th sport). The sole alpine event was combined
alpine and downhill event for men and women, won by Germans Franz Pfnur
and Christl Cranz. Among the stories was the performance of 16-year-old
Norwegian Laila Schou Nilsen, who at the time held every speed-skating
record for distances between 500m and 5,000m. Due to the exclusion of
women's speed skating from the Olympics, she chose to instead compete in
the combined downhill, which she won. Unfortunately, no medals were
awarded at the time for success in individual races.
In other events, Sonja Henie won
her third and final gold medal and the Scandinavians dominated the
Nordic events. In a shocking upset, Britain won the men's hockey
competition, although it should be noted that the team was largely made
up of Anglo-Canadians. The Germans had a surprisingly poor showing in
the bobsled, with their best time only good enough for fifth place in
the two-man event.
Norway returned to the top of the
medals table with 15.