Monday, July 9, 2012

1932 Los Angeles Summer Olympic Opening Ceremony

The Games of the X Olympiad
Los Angeles, California
Opening Ceremony of the 1932 Olympics in Los Angeles - the second largest crowd in Opening Ceremony History
Olympic Ceremony Records
italics indicate records at the time
  • First Use of a Victory Podium
  • First Use of a Mechanical Scoreboard
  • Last Olympics Without a Torch Relay
  • Largest Crowd to Attend the Opening Ceremony (105,000) - Previous Athens 1896 (80,000)
  • Largest Stadium to Host the Opening Ceremony (105,000) - Previous London 1908 (68,000)

Opening Ceremony
Olympic Stadium - Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum (105,000)
July 30, 1932

(newly re-edited by myself - the Official Olympic Film incorrectly accounted the order of events of the ceremony - here is the ceremony in its most complete version with some previously unreleased footage) It may take a while for the video to load depending on your internet connection.
Official Report
(many amazing photos - click the black arrow for large pics)

Opening Ceremony Highlights
The Opening Ceremony of the 1932 games was significantly the largest in scale of any preceding Olympics - they shattered the old attendance record from 1896 (80,000) to a whopping 105,000. Set amidst the backdrop of the beginning of the Great Depression, Los Angeles created gigantic stadiums and artistic displays that jolted life into a community "shaken from the lethargic preoccupation in its routine of existence into intense anticipation" as the official report claims.  The Organizing Committee had a professional musician staff of 3,500! - 1,200 choristers, 1,500 band members, and 800 members of the drum and bugle corps.  These ceremonies mark a significant step in the artistic evolution of the Olympic Opening Ceremony as they describe in their official report: "Success or failure of the Opening Ceremony might well mean the success or failure of the Games . No effort had been spared to insure the perfection of every detail in the magnificent pageant shortly to be unfolded." Here are events of the ceremony:
  • The first mechanical scoreboard writes out this quote by the founder of the modern games, Baron Pierre de Coubertain "The important thing in the Olympic Games is not winning, but taking part. The essential thing is not conquering, but fighting well.”"
  • Vice President of the United States enters with dignitaries to "The Stars and Stripes Forever" by Sousa
  • The Star-Spangled Banner is performed by the 3,500 musicians in the chorus and band
  • The Parade of Nations (marches performed throughout)
  • The Vice President of the United States declares the games open
  • Six trumpeters blast a fanfare - a canon fires ten times - the Olympic Cauldron is ignited (this will be the last Olympics without a torch relay, unknown "Torch Man" ignites the cauldron on the 8th canon blast according to his duties report above)
  • Olympic Flag raised to "Hymne Olympique" by Bradley Keeler
  • Hundreds of doves released
  • Benediction read and hymn performed (specifics unknown)
  • Athlete's Oath
  • "Recessional" by DeKoven words by Rudyard Kipling performed by chorus and band


Gold Medal of the 1932 Olympics in Los Angeles

Official Poster of the 1932 Olympics in Los Angeles

1932 Olympic Cauldron

1 comment:

  1. really helpful as i have to study "1932 Olympics Los Angeles" thanks for all the information!


Featured Post

OLYMPIC CEREMONY DATABASE: Every Summer and Winter Olympic Opening Ceremony

The opening ceremony of the Olympic Games may be the largest art form in the modern world and certainly one of the rarest.  I provided all ...