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21 March 2012, 11:43 am
Retracing Roots - Berlin 1936 Olympic Sailing Competition
1936 Olympic Games Poster
1936 Olympic Games Poster

1936 Olympic Sailing Competition
Berlin, Germany

The 1936 Olympic Games were awarded to Berlin before the rise to power of the National Socialist Party. But they will always be remembered as 'Hitler's Olympics'.
Nations proposed boycotts yet the numbers rose with the 37 nations in Los Angeles 1932 turning into 48 in Berlin. Sailing took place at Kiel with four classes represented. The 6-metre, 8-metre and Star remaining from 1932 but replacing the Snowbird as the organiser supplied dinghy class was the Olympic Jolle with the boats rotated amongst competitors between events.

The Olympic Jolle gold went to Daniel Kagghelland (NED) with Peter Scott (GBR) (pictured right) taking the bronze following his retirement from the last race. Scott's father was Captain Robert Falcon Scott, of Antarctic fame. Scott also went on to become to IYRU's President from 1955 to 1969.

Italy won their first Olympic sailing medal, a gold won by Giovanni Leone-Reggio in the 8-metr class and Britain's Charles Leaf took the 6-metre honours.

Etching their name into the Stars Olympic history books was the host nations Peter Bischoff and Hans-Joachim Weise. Their gold medal wrapped up a good Olympics for Germany who topped the sailing medal table with one gold, one silver and one bronze.

New Media

Berlin 1936 was the first televised Olympic Games with transmissions relayed into viewing halls. The main focus was on the Olympic Stadium however camera crews were sent to Kiel to record the action.

Radio was heavily used for reporting during the regatta with a floating transmission station (pictured right) based on the course which fed back to seaside resort of Laboe at the outlet of the Kiel Bay.

On each of the race days quick launches with short-wave transmitters travelled from Laboe to the regatta course. From these launches the German and the foreign reporters made their reports, which were received on the antennae erected in Laboe and sent on to the receiving stations.

The first official Olympic film was also produced which paved the way for future Olympics.

What They Ate

For a flat rate of 2.50 marks per person per day, food and accommodation were provided to the athletes. With constant variation the sailors had:

Breakfast - Coffee, white bread, rolls, one egg, sausage and cheese, as well as porridge and oatmeal for the Finns.
Lunch - Soup, meat or fish, vegetables or salad and orangeade.
Dinner - Coffee, tea or cocoa and cold cuts, as well as a platter of cold meats arranged according to Swedish fashion for the Swedes.

The Future

With World War II on the horizon during Berlin 1936 there was a 12 year gap until the next Olympic Games. London, Great Britain was to be the host for the second time with sailing taking place in Torquay.

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