Garmisch-Partenkirchen 1936 Winter Olympic Games

The bid for the organization of the 1936 Winter Olympic Games was won by Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany. As the Summer Olympics of the same year in Berlin, the Winter Games left a rather negative impression as they were organized under the oversight of the German Nazi authorities.

Time and Place: Garmisch-Partenkirchen (Germany), 6 – 16 February 1936
Participation: 28 countries, 646 athletes
Number of sports: 6 sports, 17 events
Number of Slovenian athletes: 17
Fire lit by: fire lit for the first time at the Winter Olympics
Games opened by: Adolf Hitler
Olympic oath: Wilhelm Bogner (cross country skier and nordic combined athlete)


Trivia from the Garmisch-Partenkirchen 1936 Winter Olympic Games

For long after the 1936 Games, the world could not shake the feeling that the Germans elegantly abused the Olympic spirit for political purposes. The Germans aimed to use the Games, opened at a luxurious ceremony by Adolf Hitler, to show themselves as a democratic nation and to reject allusions of their territorial hunger and discrimination. In terms of sports alone, the Games were a success with over 600 attending athletes and over half a million spectators coming to Bavaria to witness the competition. It is interesting to note that the hosts paid great care to the photographs and press reports that were released into the world. Censure was very strict.


Alpine skiers took part Winter Olympics for the first time, competing in a combined event. Nevertheless, participation was somewhat limited as the IOC banned ski instructors from competing at the games due to the fact that their appearance would violate the principles of professionalism. This led to a boycott of the competition by Swiss and Austrian skiers and the Germans were quick to capitalize on their absence.


The Games were again marked by the successes of the Norwegians who were the most successful of the 11 countries with medals to their name. A gold medal was again contributed by ice skater Sonja Henie and the treasure chest of medals was filled also by Ivar Ballangrud and Oddbjörn Hagen. The greatest surprise of the games proved to be the Great Britain hockey team which deposed the previously unbeaten Canadians from the throne.