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Politics and The 1936 Olympics

Olympic Games are held after every four years. Before 1936, Germany had hosted the Olympic Games twice. Hosting cities are voted by the International Olympic Committee. During this time the vote happened in 1931. There were a total of fourteen cities that had placed bids to host the 1936 Olympics. Berlin won the bid with 43 votes. Of all the other cities, only Barcelona that received 16 votes, the rest did not get even a single vote. This became the second and the last time for votes to be held in a city that has placed a bid to host the games. Berlin had hosted the votes and this made it clear that Germany was ready to win in the vote. It is believed that the vote was compromised and the Berlin won the vote out of political interests. It was aimed at showing the 49 participating nations and the rest of the world of the Hitler’s Third Reich. This was against the Olympic charter as stated in chapter 5. The 1936 edition of the Olympic Games was marked with a lot of politics. It was intended to show to the world that Germany had regained its place in the European community.

Exploitation of the Games

The Berlin Olympics will be remembered most for the level of political interference that was experienced. There was intense political interference in games. It took the intervention of Reich for the racist slogans to be removed and be kicked out of Berlin. Radio and TV stations that were racist in the broadcasting were toned down. Germany under the leadership of Nazis was trying to create a good image to the rest of the world. It was a great edition for the German nation and they were first in terms of the medals won. United States was their closest competitor and despite beating Germany in the Athletics events, could not match Germany in terms of the medals won.

Owens Medals

Germany was beaten by America in Athletics. Jesse Owens, an African American, won four gold medals. This did not auger well to Hitler the German leader. He refused to put on the medal on Owens neck as it is the norms. By winning that edition of the Olympic Games, Germany proved to the whole world that it was back and in control of the European Community. It was however not fair to politicize the voting and organization of the whole event.