Los Angeles United States, 1932

Legacy of the Games

The Games of the X Olympiad were held in the midst of the worldwide Great Depression and as a result many nations and athletes were unable to pay for the trip to Los Angeles. Fewer than half the number of participants at the 1928 Olympic Games in Amsterdam returned to compete in 1932. A total of 37 nations were represented, with Colombia and the Republic of China making their first appearances.

US President, Herbert Hoover, did not attend the Games, becoming the second president not to attend his country’s Games – Theodore Roosevelt had been unable to attend the 1904 Olympic Games in St Louis as the President of the Louisiana Purchase Exposition preferred to officiate himself.

These Games were the first to appear in a recognisable Olympic format. An Olympic Village was built for the first time, albeit to accommodate male athletes only; female athletes were housed at the Chapman Park Hotel on Wilshire Boulevard. A victory podium was also used for the first time.

Art competitions remained a part of the Olympic experience in 1932, with medals being awarded in five categories – architecture, literature, music, painting and sculpture – for works inspired by sport-related themes.