1952 - Helsinki

Last Updated: 20/06/12 2:03pm

  • Share:
Zatopek: Rewrote history.

Zatopek: Rewrote history.

Originally scheduled for 1940 before they were cancelled due to World War II, Finland staged the Olympics in Helsinki in a Games known for breaking the a host of world records.

In this Year...

  • The first commemorative coin of the modern Olympic Games was made in 1951-52.
  • The NME publishes the first ever UK Singles Chart, containing just 12 records.
  • King George VI dies leading to the current Queen Elizabeth II taking to the throne.
  • Newcastle United beat Arsenal 1-0 to win the FA Cup at Wembley Stadium.
  • The world first passenger jet airliner, The Comet, makes its maiden flight from London to Johannesburg.
  • Colonel Harland Sanders is the official founder of the Kentucky Fried Chicken company.
  • Pakistan plays its first Test match in Delhi against India, losing by an innings and 70 runs.
  • Top films see Gene Kelly star in Singin' In The Rain and Zsa Zsa Gabor in Moulin Rouge.

Czechoslovakian long-distance runner Emil Zatopek became the only person in Olympic history to win the 5,000m, 10,000m and marathon at the same Olympics.

Israel and the Soviet Union entered the Olympics for the first time, although Soviet athletes were housed in a separate village because of fears of possible unrest due to Cold War rivalries.

Soviet women gymnasts won the team competition easily, beginning a run which would continue for 40 years until the country broke up into separate republics.

Germany and Japan returned to the Olympics after being banned for the 1948 Games following the war. East Germany did not attend but teams from the Federal Republic of Germany and the Saarland combined for 24 medals but for the first and only time German athletes failed to win a gold.

Denmark's Lis Hartel, one of the first women allowed to compete against men in the equestrian dressage, won a silver medal in spite of being paralysed below the knees after an attack of polio.

Frank Havens, whose father Bill had chosen to stay at home with his pregnant wife in 1924 when selected for the USA rowing team, won gold in the Canadian singles 10,000m canoeing event.

India won a fifth consecutive gold men as they continued their domination of field hockey and American Bob Mathis became the first man to successfully defend his decathlon title.Olympic Stars:

Czechoslovakian long-distance runner Emil Zatopek etched his name into the Olympic record books as he claimed a unique treble of 5,000m, 10,000m and marathon titles at the same Games.

Zatopak won the shorter race before defending his 10,000m title and then claiming the marathon gold at his very first attempt at the race in a phenomenal performance of distance running.

The 1952 Olympic football tournament saw the Hungarian 'Golden Team' enter on the back of a two-year unbeaten run, and they really turned on the style as they claimed gold with the help of the legendary Ferenc Puskas.

Puskas led the 'Magical Magyars' to a 2-0 victory over Yugoslavia, with Puskas and Zoltan Czibor scoring the goals as they announced themselves as a real footballing superpower.

Bob Mathis was the first man to win successive decathlon titles as he dominated the punishing multi-sport event to showcase the natural athletic ability that also made him a college American football star.

Mathis won gold in London in 1948 but a wide margin, before playing for Stanford University at the Rose Bowl in 1942 before heading to Helsinki to defend his decathlon title by a massive margin of 912 points.

  • Share:

Most Popular


Question time

Question time

See what happened when Jessica Ennis-Hill competed in a sports quiz with a difference on Game Changers.

'Amazing experience'

'Amazing experience'

Sam Oldham says his childhood dreams came true when he won a medal at the London 2012 Olympics.

Javelin masterclass

Javelin masterclass

Olympic champion Jessica Ennis-Hill gave a javelin masterclass on this week's Game Changers.