1952 Summer Olympics

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Games of the XV Olympiad
Helsinki 1952.png
A soild blue background is intruded on its left side by a structure, shaded in white, representing the tower and stand of the Helsinki Olympic Stadium. The Olympic rings, also white, lie at the top of the blue background, partly obscured by the stadium's tower. The word "1952" is written in white in the middle of the blue background, while "XV Olympia Helsinki" is written in blue, beneath the image.
Host city Helsinki, Finland
Nations 69
Athletes 4,955 (4,436 men, 519 women)
Events 149 in 17 sports (23 disciplines)
Opening July 19
Closing August 3
Opened by
Cauldron
Stadium Helsingin Olympiastadion
Summer
London 1948 Melbourne 1956
Winter
Oslo 1952 Cortina 1956

The 1952 Summer Olympics (Finnish: Kesäolympialaiset 1952; Swedish: Olympiska sommarspelen 1952), officially known as the Games of the XV Olympiad, were an international multi-sport event held in Helsinki, Finland from July 19 to August 3, 1952.

Helsinki had been earlier selected to host the 1940 Summer Olympics, which were cancelled due to World War II. It is the northernmost city at which a summer Olympic Games have been held. These were the first games to be held in a non-Indo-European language speaking country. It was also the Olympic Games at which the most number of world records were broken until surpassed by the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.[2] The Soviet Union, the People's Republic of China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Israel, Thailand, and Saarland made their Olympic debuts in Helsinki 1952.

Host city selection

Helsinki was chosen as the host city over bids from Amsterdam and five American cities at the 40th IOC Session on June 21, 1947, in Stockholm, Sweden. Minneapolis and Los Angeles finished tied for second in the final voting.

The voting results in chart below:[3]

1952 Summer Olympics bidding results[4]
City Country Round 1 Round 2
Helsinki  Finland 14 15
Minneapolis  United States 4 5
Los Angeles  United States 4 5
Amsterdam  Netherlands 3 3
Detroit  United States 2
Chicago  United States 1
Philadelphia  United States 0

Highlights

Paavo Nurmi and the Olympic Flame
  • These were the final Olympic Games organised under the IOC presidency of Sigfrid Edström.
  • Israel made its Olympic debut. The Jewish state had been unable to participate in the 1948 Games because of its War of Independence. A previous Palestine Mandate team had boycotted the 1936 Games in protest of the Nazi regime.
  • Indonesia made its Olympic debut with three athletes.
  • The newly established People's Republic of China (PRC) participated in the Olympics for the first time, although only one swimmer (Wu Chuanyu) of its 40-member delegation arrived in time to take part in the official competition.[5] The PRC would not return to the Summer Olympics until Los Angeles 1984.
  • The Republic of China (Taiwan) withdrew from the Games on July 20, in protest of the IOC decision to allow athletes from the People's Republic of China to compete.[6]
  • For the first time, a team from the Soviet Union participated in the Olympics. The first gold medal for the USSR was won by Nina Romashkova in the women's discus throwing event. Only after I had felt a heavy golden circle in my hand, I realized what happened. I am the first Soviet Olympic Champion, you know, the first record-holder of the 15th Olympiad...Tears were stinging my eyes. How happy I was!... After her win at the 1952 Summer Olympics.

In Russian:Только ощутив в руке тяжелый золотой кружок, я осознала, что произошло. Ведь я первая советская олимпийская чемпионка, первая рекордсменка XV Олимпиады... Слезы щипали глаза. Как я была счастлива!...

  • The Soviets turned the athletic competition into a metaphor for political propaganda.

“Every record won by our sportsmen, every victory in international contests, graphically demonstrates to the whole world the advantages and strength of the Soviet system.”

Sports

Finnish postage stamp featuring the Helsinki Olympic Stadium

The 1952 Summer Olympics featured 17 different sports encompassing 23 disciplines, and medals were awarded in 149 events. In the list below, the number of events in each discipline is noted in parentheses.

Demonstration sports

Venues

With an annual average temperature of 5.9 °C, Helsinki is one of the coldest cities to have hosted the Summer Olympics.[9]

Participating NOCs

Participating nations. Pictured in blue are nations participating for the first time. Yellow dot: Helsinki
Number of athletes per country

A total of 69 nations participated in these Games, up from 59 in the 1948 Games. Thirteen nations made their first Olympic appearance in 1952: The Bahamas, the People's Republic of China, Gold Coast (now Ghana), Guatemala, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Israel, Netherlands Antilles, Nigeria, Soviet Union (USSR), Thailand, and Vietnam.

Japan and Germany were both reinstated and permitted to send athletes after being banned for 1948 for their instigation of World War II. Due to the division of Germany, German athletes from Saar entered a separate team for the only time. Only West Germany would provide athletes for the actual Germany team, since East Germany refused to participate in a joint German team.

Participating National Olympic Committees

Medal count

These are the top ten nations that won medals at the 1952 Games.[10]

Rank Nation Gold Silver Bronze Total
1  United States 40 19 17 76
2  Soviet Union 22 30 19 71
3  Hungary 16 10 16 42
4  Sweden 12 13 10 35
5  Italy 8 9 4 21
6  Czechoslovakia 7 3 3 13
7  France 6 6 6 18
8  Finland* 6 3 13 22
9  Australia 6 2 3 11
10  Norway 3 2 0 5
Totals (10 nations) 126 97 91 314

50th anniversary coin

The 50th anniversary of the Helsinki Olympic Games was the main motif for one of the first Finnish euro silver commemorative coins, the €10 silver coin minted in 2002. The reverse depicts part of the Helsinki Olympic Stadium, as well as a section of the 1952 500 markka coin. The obverse has lettering SUOMI FINLAND 10 EURO, a flame, and Finland is the only country highlighted on earth.

See also

References

  1. ^ a b "Factsheet - Opening Ceremony of the Games of the Olympiad" (PDF) (Press release). International Olympic Committee. September 13, 2013. Archived (PDF) from the original on 14 August 2016. Retrieved 22 December 2018.
  2. ^ Bascomb, Neal (2005). The Perfect Mile: Three Athletes, One Goal, and Less Than Four Minutes to Achieve It. Mariner Books. ISBN 9780618562091.
  3. ^ "International Olympic Committee Vote History". 9 September 2013. Retrieved 24 February 2015.
  4. ^ "Past Olympic Host City Election Results". Games Bids. Retrieved 16 September 2015.
  5. ^ Mulvenney, Nick (7 August 2008). "Chen Chengda, China's almost Olympian". Reuters. Retrieved 16 September 2015.
  6. ^ "On This Day: 1952: 20 July: Zatopek wins gold at Helsinki". BBC News. Retrieved 16 September 2015.
  7. ^ "USSR – Yugoslavia, the Story of Two Different Football Conceptions". russianfootballnews.com. Retrieved November 27, 2017.
  8. ^ 1952 Summer Olympics official report. p. 91. – accessed 1 August 2010.[dead link]
  9. ^ Marc Sollinger (February 6, 2014). "The 9 weirdest cities that have hosted the Olympics (and why!)". www.marketplace.org.
  10. ^ Byron, Lee; Cox, Amanda; Ericson, Matthew (4 August 2008). "A Map of Olympic Medals". The New York Times. Retrieved 24 February 2015.

External links

  • "Helsinki 1952". Olympic.org. International Olympic Committee.
  • "Results and Medalists — 1952 Summer Olympics". Olympic.org. International Olympic Committee.
  • Helsinki 1952 Official Olympic Report la84foundation.org
  • Helsinki 1952 Official Olympic Report olympic-museum.de
Preceded by
London
Summer Olympic Games
Helsinki

XV Olympiad (1952)
Succeeded by
Melbourne/Stockholm
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