After the 1916 Berlin Olympics were not held due to the First World War, although they counted as the sixth edition, the choice of Antwerp as the venue for the 1920s was related to the occupation that the Belgians had suffered by the Germans during the war; Although more than a help, it was a burden on Belgium, which had been devastated after the four years that the war had lasted.
The poor organization was clear from the problems that occurred with the accommodation, with the tracks, since their rapid construction and rainy weather caused them to fill with potholes and holes shortly before the inauguration and with the scarce attendance, we must take into note that the Belgians could not spend the little money they had to buy tickets to attend the Games.
None of this influenced Oscar Swahn, who at the age of 72 won the silver medal for stag shooting teams in motion, nor the swimmer Ethelda Bleibtrey who prevailed in the three swimming events in which she participated.
Germany, Austria, Hungary, Turkey, Bulgaria, Poland and the Soviet Union did not attend, having been the aggressors in the war, but instead Argentina, Brazil, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, New Zealand and Finland participated for the first time.
Other novelties were that, on the one hand, only the National Olympic Committees had the capacity to register participants; On the other hand, the Olympic anthem was interpreted, although it was not official until 1958, and, finally, the Olympic Flag was raised, created in 1913 by the Baron de Coubertin, in which five interlaced rings of different colors appear, on a background White. Each ring represents a continent: the blue one, Europe; the red one, to America; the black, to Africa; yellow, to Asia, and green, to Oceania.
Good intentions. The Belgian Victor Boin read for the first time the Olympic oath of athletes, to avoid racist conflicts such as Thorpe’s in 1912, which read: “We swear that we will take part in the Olympic Games in a spirit of chivalry, for the honor of our country. and for the glory of sport. ” These words are read every four years by an athlete from the organizing country and have varied throughout the different editions.
Spain’s first official participation in the Olympic Games was in Antwerp 20, where 67 athletes competed and won two silver medals: one in polo, after losing to England 13-11, and another in football, after eliminating Sweden in the semifinals , a game remembered because the legend of Spanish fury arose there, with the supposed phrase of Belauste “Sabino, to me the squad that ran over them.”
The queen of Antwerp achieved gold and the world record in the three women’s swimming events held in those games, the 100-meter freestyle, the 300-freestyle and the 4×100-meter freestyle relays. Two years earlier he had managed to overcome polio using swimming as therapy.
The ‘flying Finn’ was not only the king of the Antwerp games with three gold medals (10,000, individual and team cross country) and a silver in 5,000, he also swept Paris four years later with five golds that could having been six would not have prevented him from participating in the 10,000, and in Amsterdam 1928 where he won one gold and two silver.
|1||United States (USA)||48||35||27||110|
|3||United Kingdom (GBR)||fifteen||fifteen||13||43|
|4||Finland (FIN)||fifteen||10||9||3. 4|
|7||Italy (ITA)||13||5||5||2. 3|