1932 Los Angeles

Games of the X Olympiad

Because the 1932 Olympic Games were held in the middle of the Great Depression and in the comparatively remote city of Los Angeles, half as many athletes took part as had in 1928. Nevertheless, the level of competition was extremely high and 18 world records were either broken or equalled. The crowds set records too, starting with the 100,000 people who attended the Opening Ceremony. The 1932 Games were the first to last 16 days. The duration of the Games has remained between 15 and 18 days ever since. At the victory ceremonies, the medal winners stood on a victory stand. The flag of the winner was raised and the national anthem played for the first time.

Duncan McNaughton’s high jump gold on the first day in Los Angeles would be the last gold medal won by a Canadian in an athletics event for the next 60 years. Canada’s other gold at these Games came from bantamweight boxer Horace “Lefty” Gwynne.

The sailors picked up their first-ever Olympic medals with silver in the Team 8m class and bronze in the Team 6m. Wrestler Dan McDonald took silver in the 72kg freestyle, and rowing bronze medals came in the men’s eights and double sculls. Hilda Strike won silver in the 100m and added another silver as part of the 4x100m relay team. Alex Wilson was also a double-medallist, with silver in the 800m and bronze in the 400m. Phil Edwards earned bronze in all three events in which he was entered – 800m, 1500m and 4x400m relay. With his bronze from 1928, this brought his Olympic medal total to four. High jumper Eva Dawes rounded out the athletics medals with a bronze.

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