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The Modern Olympics

1932 -- Los Angeles, The United States of America
1,408 athletes, 37 nations

Despite the stock market crash of 1929, Los Angeles put on a impressive show for 1932 Games and still ended up with a million-dollar surplus. Attendance was low because many other countries did not even have the money to participate in the Games. The American Team dominated the competition.

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Many new innovations were showcased at the Games. The first Olympic village was built and every athlete was housed, fed and transported for less than $2 a day. The village included a hospital, library, post office, barber shop, cinema, and dining rooms. Since Los Angeles athlete villages have been the norm at the Olympic Games. Electric-photo timing, the victory stand, and the playing of the national anthems were also introduced in Los Angeles.

Canadian Highlights: Duncan McNaughton won a gold medal in the high jump and Horace "Lefty" Gwynne placed first in bantamweight boxing. Canada's other medals came from track and field, wrestling, rowing and yachting events. Canadians were disappointed when their female athletes were outclassed and did not repeat the success they had in Amsterdam. Hilda Strike of Montreal won two silver medals in track after coming second to Stella Walsh from Poland. When Walsh was shot and killed years later an autopsy showed "she" was actually a man. If a sex-test had been used in 1932 Strike would have won gold. A sex-test was not introduced at the Olympics until 1968. Before the 1968 Games several world-class athletes suddenly retired indicating that Walsh was probably not the only man who ever tried to pass as a female athlete.

Medal Count: Gold 2, Silver 5, Bronze 8

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