London 2012

1936 - Berlin

Last Updated: 20/06/12 2:04pm

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Berlin saw the introduction of the torch relay but the Games were infamous for Adolf Hitler's failed attempt to use them to prove his theories of Aryan racial superiority.

In this Year...

  • The now famous book Gone with the Wind is published.
  • Sunderland win their sixth Division One title - the last team to do so wearing stripes.
  • Billy Butlin opens his first Butlins holiday camp in Skegness.
  • King Edward VII takes to the throne, but abdicates after just 326 days in order to marry twice-divorced American Wallace Simpson.
  • Construction is completed on the Hoover Dam on the Colorado River and begins producing hydroelectric power for the states of Nevada, Arizona and California.

Berlin saw the introduction of the torch relay, based on an idea by Dr Carl Diem, as the Olympic Flame was carried from Olympia through seven countries before arriving in Germany.

The hero of the Games was African-American sprinter and long jumper Jesse Owens, who won four gold medals (100m, 200m, 4x100m relay and long jump).

Throughout the city 25 large television screens were set up for the public to watch the action for free - the first Olympics broadcast.

American 13-year-old Marjorie Gestring won gold in springboard diving and remains the youngest female gold medallist in the history of the summer Olympics.

Denmark's Inge Sorensen claimed bronze medal in the 200-medal breaststroke at the age of 12, making her the youngest medallist ever in an individual event.

Basketball, canoeing and team handball made their first appearances, while polo was included for the last time.

British rower Jack Beresford claimed gold in the double sculls event, the fifth successive Olympics he had won a medal, while Hungarian water polo player Olivier Halassy won his third medal despite having previously had one of his legs amputated below the knee following a streetcar accident.Olympic Stars:

Jesse Owens was the undoubted star of these Olympics, with his four gold medals coming with a 100m and 200m sprint double, 4x100m relay title and the gold in the long jump in what was an epic performance.

Owens' display was also seen as hugely inspirational given Adolf Hitler's stance, but despite reports of Hitler refusing to acknowledge Owens and his achievements the American later insisted that he had congratulated him, with a nod at least.

Jack Beresford set the benchmark that Steve Redgrave would later eclipse as the British rower won his fifth successive medal at the Olympics and his third gold with victory in the double sculls.

Starting his run back in Antwerp in 1920, Beresford also won two silvers but it was his final medal in Berlin, a gold which came after edging out the favoured German team, which he later described as the best of his career.

Teenager swimmer Rie Mastenbroek produced a stellar performance in the Berlin pool as she claimed gold in the 100m and 400m freestyle along with the 4x100m relay as well as picking up silver in the 100m backstroke.

At just 17 years of age, Mastenbroek lit up the Olympics, before going on to become a swimming instructor and thereby becoming ineligible for future Olympic competitions.

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