The 1932 Summer Olympic Games, officially known as the Games of the X Olympiad, was celebrated in 1932 in Los Angeles, California. No other cities made a bid to host these Olympics. Held during the worldwide great depression many nations and athletes were unable to pay for the trip to Los Angeles. Fewer than half of the participants of the Summer Olympic Games in Amsterdam 1928 returned to compete in 1932. US President Herbert Hoover did not attend the Games, becoming the first (and to date only) sitting head of government not to appear at an Olympics.

The organizing committee put no record of the finances of the Games in their report, though contemporary newspapers reported that the Games had made a profit of US$1,000,000.[1]

Host city selectionEdit

The selection process for the 1932 Summer Olympics consisted of one bid, from Los Angeles, which ultimately hosted the games. The selection was made at the 23rd IOC Session in Rome, Italy, in 1923.[2]


  • An Olympic Village was built for the first time, in Baldwin Hills, occupied by the male athletes.[3] Female athletes were housed at the Chapman Park Hotel on Wilshire Boulevard.
  • The first use of a victory podium.[4]
  • The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum was known in 1932 as Olympic Stadium.
  • Tenth Street, a major thoroughfare in Los Angeles, was renamed Olympic Boulevard in honor of the Games of the Tenth Olympiad.
  • Babe Didrikson won two gold medals in the javelin and the hurdles event. She also competed in a jump-off for a silver in the high jump. Her technique in the jump-off was ruled illegal, leaving Didrikson with second place.
  • In field hockey, only three nations took part. The host nation lost both matches, 1-24 to India and 2-9 to Japan, but still won a bronze medal.
  • Poland's Stanisława Walasiewicz won the gold medal in the women's 100 m; she would also win the silver medal in the event four years later. After her death in 1980, it was discovered that she was intersex and would have been ineligible to participate.
  • Finnish star Paavo Nurmi was barred from competing in the Olympics for being a professional.
  • Eddie Tolan won both the 100 m and 200 m sprint events.
  • Romeo Neri won three gold medals in gymnastic.
  • Helene Madison won three gold medals in swimming, while the Japanese upset the men's events and took all but one title.
  • Takeichi Nishi (Baron Nishi) was the gold medalist with his horse Uranus in the equestrian show jumping individual event. Nishi's gold medal is Japan's only gold medal in the equestrian event to this day. Nishi would later die in 1945 as an officer stationed in the defense of the island of Iwo Jima, and as such is a main character in Clint Eastwood's film, Letters from Iwo Jima.
  • Kusuo Kitamura won the gold medal in the men's 1500 meter freestyle swimming race. He was and continues to be the youngest ever male swimmer to win a gold medal at the Olympic Games.
  • Due to an official's error, the 3,000 m steeplechase went for 3,460 m, or one extra lap.[5]

Demonstration sportsEdit


Main article: Venues of the 1932 Summer Olympics

The following venues hosted events at the 1932 games[6][7]:

  • Exposition Park (known as Olympic Park for the Games) - equestrian
    • Olympic Stadium - athletics, American football, lacrosse, equestrian (eventing, jumping) field hockey, gymnastics, opening and closing ceremonies (capacity: 105,000)
    • Swimming Stadium - diving, modern pentathlon (swimming), swimming, water polo (capacity: 10,000)
    • 160th Regiment State Armory - fencing, modern pentathlon (fencing) (capacity: 1,800)
    • Museum of History, Science, and Art - art events
  • Olympic Auditorium - boxing, wrestling, weightlifting
  • Rose Bowl in Pasadena - cycling (track)
  • Riverside Drive, Griffith Park - 50 km walk
  • Los Angeles Harbor - sailing
  • Long Beach Marine Stadium - rowing (capacity: 17,000)
  • Los Angeles Police Pistol Range - shooting, modern pentathlon (shooting)
  • Sunset Fields Golf Club - modern pentathlon (running)
  • Riviera Country Club - equestrian (dressage, eventing), modern pentathlon (riding) (capacity: 9,500)
  • Los Angeles Avenue, Vineyard Avenue, and Pacific Coast Highway - cycling (road)
  • Westchester - equestrian (cross-country riding)

Participating nationsEdit

1932 Summer Olympic games countries

participants (blue=first-time)

1932 Summer olympics team numbers

Number of athletes

A total of 37 nations were represented at the 1932 Games. Colombia and the Republic of China (with a single athlete) made their first appearance at the Olympic Games.

Medal countEdit

These are the nations that won medals at the 1932 Summer Games.

Rank Nation Gold Silver Bronze Total


Bronze Total-->
Rank Nation Gold Silver Bronze Total
1 United States (host nation)413230103
2 Italy 12 12 12 36
3 France 10 5 4 19
4 Sweden 9 5 9 23
5 Japan 7 7 4 18
6 Hungary 6 4 5 15
7 Finland 5 8 12 25
8 Great Britain 4 7 5 16
9 Germany 3 12 5 20
10 Australia 3 1 1 5
11 Argentina 3 1 0 4
12 Canada 2 5 8 15
13 Netherlands 2 5 0 7
14 Poland 2 1 4 7
15 South Africa 2 0 3 5
16 Ireland 2 0 0 2
17 Czechoslovakia 1 2 1 4
18 Austria 1 1 3 5
19 India 1 0 0 1
20 Denmark 0 3 3 6
21 Mexico 0 2 0 2
22 Latvia 0 1 0 1
New Zealand 0 1 0 1
Switzerland 0 1 0 1
25 Philippines 0 0 3 3
26 Spain 0 0 1 1

See alsoEdit

Template:IOC seealso

  • Parley Parker Christensen, Los Angeles City Council member who blocked payment for sending 1932 Olympic flag to Berlin for the 1936 games.



External linksEdit

Template:Commons category

Succession BoxEdit

Preceded by
Lake Placid 1932
Succeeded by
Garmisch-Partenkirchen 1936
Preceded by
Amsterdam 1928
Summer Olympics
Succeeded by
Berlin 1936
Olympic Games
Summer Olympic Games
Athens 1896Paris 1900St. Louis 1904Athens 1906London 1908Stockholm 1912Berlin 1916Antwerp 1920Paris 1924Amsterdam 1928Los Angeles 1932Berlin 1936London 1948Helsinki 1952Melbourne 1956Rome 1960Tokyo 1964Mexico City 1968Munich 1972Montreal 1976Moscow 1980Los Angeles 1984Seoul 1988Barcelona 1992Atlanta 1996Sydney 2000Athens 2004Beijing 2008London 2012Rio de Janeiro 2016Tokyo 2020Paris 2024Los Angeles 2028
Winter Olympic Games
Chamonix 1924St. Moritz 1928Lake Placid 1932Garmisch-Partenkirchen 1936St. Moritz 1948Oslo 1952Cortina 1956Squaw Valley 1960Innsbruck 1964Grenoble 1968Sapporo 1972Innsbruck 1976Lake Placid 1980Sarajevo 1984Calgary 1988Albertville 1992Lillehammer 1994Nagano 1998Salt Lake City 2002Torino 2006Vancouver 2010Sochi 2014Pyeongchang 2018Beijing 2022