How the 1920 Antwerp Olympiad

The Olympics took place just a year and a half after the end of the world war. Belgium then suffered very much, suffering great loss of life and material. The memory of the experience was still too strong. Therefore, the sports delegations of Germany, as well as its allies, were not invited to the Olympics, as these countries were considered the main culprits of the terrible bloodshed. Also athletes from Soviet Russia did not receive invitations, as Western countries did not recognize the Bolshevik government led by V. I. Ulyanov-Lenin. At

the opening ceremony of the Olympics, its main symbol was raised for the first time, the Olympic flag, representing a rectangular white canvas with five intertwined multicolored rings. By the design of Baron Pierre de Coubertin, father of the revived Olympiads, these rings were to symbolize all inhabited continents. Before that, in the Cathedral of Antwerp, a memorial Mass was served for all the people who died in the course of the world war. Then white pigeons were released into the sky as a symbol of peace and tranquility. This beautiful custom of producing white pigeons was observed for many years until the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul.

The Olympic Games were officially opened by King Albert I. Athlete Victor Boen for the first time, giving a commitment to fight for victory honestly, in full compliance with rules.

The Olympics attracted a lot of public and press interest, but because the price of tickets proved too high, the competition was often held at half-empty stands. The team event was won by Team USA, which won 41 gold, 27 silver and 27 bronze medals. For example, an athlete swimmer from this country E. Bleibtroy received three Olympic golds, setting at the same time three world records.

Many athletes performed brilliantly at the Antwerp Olympics, having achieved remarkable results. So, Norwegian O. Olsen in shooting competitions received as many as 6 medals, of them 4 gold, and the Finnish runner P. Nurmi won 2 gold and 1 silver medal.

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