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Plot Summary

  • The 10th Olympic Summer Games were held in Berlin, Germany from August 1 to 16, 1936. About 110,000 spectators were present during the opening ceremony at the Lustgarden Olympic stadium. It was the first Olympics to be televised and that too for free! During the Parade of Nations 50 countries took part. It is believed that the Olympic salute was used by the Nazis for their 'sieg heil' which was first seen at the 1912 Stokcholm games. The Olympic torch which had been ignited on July 20, 1936 in Olympia was brought by runners and finally carried by middle distance runner Fritz Schilgen who lit the Olympic brazier. Hitler declared the games open. World records were established during the games: Jesse Owens (USA) 100 mtr men @ 10.3 secs (a record that would stand till Rome 1960), John Lovelock (NZL) 1500 mtr men @ 3:47.8, Volmari Iso-Hollo (FIN) 3000 mtr steeplechase men @ 9:03.8, 4x100 mtr men USA @ 39.8, Naoto Tajima (JPN) triple jump men @ 16 ft and Glenn Morris (USA) decathlon men @ 7900 pts among others. There were also contests in architecture, literature, music, painting and graphic arts, sculpture and merits for alipinism & aeronautics! Jesse Owens would be the most celebrated athlete of the games winning 4 gold (100 mtrs, 200 mtrs, 4X100 mtr relay & long jump), setting 2 world records and 2 olympic records. The closing ceremony was held on August 16, 1936. It would be the last Olympic game for next 12 years. The 1940 Games was scheduled for Helsinki but cancelled because of World War 2. At the end of the games the top 3 medal winning countries based on total medals tally were: Germany 89, USA 56 and Italy 22.

    - Written by Sujit R. Varma

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