Lake Placid 1932 Winter Olympic Games

In 1932 the Winter Olympics family travelled across the Atlantic for the first time. This led to a rather modest number of participating athletes. The 1932 Winter Olympic Games (officially the 3rd Olympic Games) were held in Lake Placid (New York, USA).


Time and Place: Lake Placid (USA), 4 – 15 February 1932
Participation: 17 countries, 252 athletes
Number of sports: 4 sports, 14 events
Number of Slovenian athletes: /
Fire lit by: lit for the first time in 1936
Games opened by: Franklin D. Roosevelt (Governor of New York)
Olympic oath: John Shea (speed skater)


Trivia from the Lake Placid 1932 Winter Olympic Games

The Norwegians who dominated the Games in France and Switzerland lost their leading position in the United States of America. They did win 10 medals, but fell well behind the hosts who won 15. The hosts and the Canadians together actually made up over half of all the participants. Due to the remoteness and sizeable costs, many athletes chose not to travel to the Adirondack mountains. Slovenian athletes also stayed home.


The Games took place during the great financial depression and actually caused the organizer to go bankrupt. They were opened by Franklin D. Roosevelt, then the Governor of the American state of New York, who became the 32nd President of the USA only a few months later. President of the organization board Godfrey Dewey gave up his land for the Games and it was used to build a spectacular bobsled track. Event organizers worked hard to prepare interesting Games that would be friendly for competitors and visitors alike. Unfortunately, nature wanted no part in the deal and weather conditions were far from perfect, leading to a two day delay in the Games.


The greatest heroes of the games were American speed skaters Irving Jaffe and John Ames Shea. The latter took the Olympic oath in the name of the athletes at the opening ceremony and won two gold medals. In women's competition, the Norwegian skater defended her gold from St. Moritz. A special Olympic story was that of gold medal winning American bobsled team member Edward Eagan who previously won the boxing competition at the 1920 Summer Olympics in Antwerpen.