Held in Stockholm, the 1912 Olympic Games were a model of efficiency. The Swedish hosts introduced the use of unofficial electronic timing devices for the track events, as well as the first use of a public address system and photo finish.
The 1920 Games were awarded to Antwerp to honour the suffering that had been inflicted on the Belgian people during World War I. The Opening Ceremony was notable for the introduction of the Olympic flag and the presentation of the Athletes’ Oath.
At the 1924 Games, the Olympic motto, “Citius, Altius, Fortius” (Faster, Higher, Stronger) was introduced, as was the Closing Ceremony ritual of raising three flags: the flag of the International Olympic Committee, the flag of the host nation and the flag of the next host nation.
At the Opening Ceremony, the team from Greece led the Parade of Nations and the host Dutch team marched in last. Greece first, hosts last would become a permanent part of the Olympic protocol. The Olympic flame was lit for the first time during the opening ceremony at the top of a tower placed inside the stadium. It remained lit throughout the Games.
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 1936 Olympic Games saw the introduction of the torch relay, in which a lighted torch is carried from Olympia to the site of the current Games. The 1936 Games were also the first to be broadcast on a form of television.
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.