Games of the XV Olympiad
The Soviet Union and Israel entered the Olympic Games for the first time. Although the Soviet Union athletes were housed in a separate “village”, warnings that Cold War rivalries would lead to clashes proved unfounded. Particularly impressive were the Soviet women gymnasts who won the team competition easily, beginning a streak that would continue for 40 years until the Soviet Union broke up into separate republics.
Canada’s lone gold medal of the 1952 Games was awarded to shooter George Genereux in the clay pigeon event. Weightlifter Gerald Gratton (75kg) and canoeists Don Hawgood and Ken Lane (C-2 10,000m) won silver medals.
Olympic Oath (athletes): Heikki Savolainen (artistic gymnastics)
Olympic Oath (officials): None
Olympic Oath (coaches): None
Lighting Olympic Cauldron: Paavo Nurmi and Hannes Kolehmainen: after having lit a first cauldron in the stadium, Nurmi passed the torch to Kolehmainen, who lit a second cauldron at the top of the stadium tower, in honour of the 1940 Games that did not take place.
Official Opening: President Juho Paasikivi