Los Angeles 1932 Olympic Games

Photo courtesy International Olympic Committee

Participation dropped to its lowest level in 28 years because of the Great Depression, but several new concepts made their debut: an Olympic Village (for male athletes), Victory Podium and a shortened period of competition.


Held during the Great Depression, participation was its lowest in 28 years. Several new concepts made their Olympic debuts: the Olympic Village (for men only, while the women stayed in a hotel) and the victory podium. Also, whereas from 1900 to 1928, the Summer Games had been no shorter than 79 days, the Los Angeles 1932 Olympic Games were held over 16 days; since then, Summer Games have lasted 15 to 18 days. Babe Didrikson climbed atop the podium twice, taking gold in javelin and 80-meter hurdles and becoming the only athlete (male or female) to win medals in running, throwing and jumping events, taking silver in the high jump.

Olympic Highlights

  • Nations: 37
  • Athletes: 1,332 (1,206 men, 126 women)
  • Disciplines: 20
  • Medal Count: United States 103 (41 gold, 32 silver, 30 bronze); Italy 36 (12 gold, 12 silver, 12 bronze); Finland 25 (5 gold, 8 silver, 12 bronze)
The United States' women's teams enjoyed resounding success at the Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games, capturing the first-ever gold medals in women's soccer and softball, as well as winning gold in women's gymnastics team all-around and women's basketball.
The first Olympic Games held without government financing since the first modern Games in 1896, the Los Angeles 1984 Olympic Games became a model for the future with its reliance on existing facilities and corporate sponsors, turning a $223 million profit.
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