Antwerp 1920 Summer Olympic Games

The First World War put a stop to the 6th Olympic Games so the world's best athletes had to wait until 1920 when the Games were hosted by Antwerp.


Time and Place: Antwerp (Belgium); 20 April – 12 September 1920
Other candidates: Lyon and Amsterdam
Participation: 29 countries, 2626 athletes
Number of sports: 22 sports, 154 events
Number of Slovenian athletes: 1
Fire lit by: the Olympic fire was lit for the first time in Amsterdam in 1928. King Albert
Olympic oath: Victor Boin (water polo player, fencer)


Trivia from the Antwerp 1920 Summer Olympic Games

Despite the joy felt with the return of the Olympic Games, the consequences of the Great War could not be ignored. Great pressure was put on the IOC to ban the countries responsible for the bloody war. The Antwerp games were therefore held without athletes from Germany, Austria, Bulgaria, Turkey and Hungary. The cruel war also took the lives of many athletes and many national teams were significantly weakened. The doves of peace that were released at the opening ceremony gave the Games a pacifist undertone.


The Olympic protocol brought many new elements: the Olympic flag, the oath in the name of the athletes ... There were also many new events. Figure skating was joined by ice hockey (competitions were held in April) which was a clear sign of a need for a winter version of the Olympics. The first Winter Olympic Games were held four years later in Chamonix, France. At the time, they were designated "International Week of Sport" but were given Olympic status in 1926.

In terms of results, American athletes were the most successful with 41 gold medals, 26 silver medals and 27 bronzes. They were followed by Swedes and Britons. The most notable individual athletes at the Games were American Willis Lee in shooting and Italian fencer Nedo Nadi. They won five gold medals apiece and the American general won another silver and bronze.

Slovenians and the 1920 Olympics

The Yugoslavian Olympic Committee was established in 1919 in Zagreb in order to allow athletes from the Kingdom of SHS to take part in Olympic Games. As in Stockholm, Slovenian sport had a single representative at the Antwerp games. Club Ilirija player Stanko Tavčar appeared with the Yugoslavian national football squad as the best Slovenian footballer of the era between the two wars. He played two games at the Olympic tournament in Anvers with the national team (Czechoslovakia 0:7 and Egypt 2:4).