Stockholm 1912

The royal games of Stockholm

V. Olympic Summer Games
Date Mai 5 - October 27
Participants 28 nations
2,430 athletes
(53 women)
Sports 16
Events 102
Patron King Gustav V.
Visitors 327,000
 

During over the year a lot of stress grew on the Balkans and noticed larger conflicts since the young states in this region wanted to work against the ascendancy of the slowly falling Ottoman Empire; the Scandinavian states kept with their policy of neutrality that benefitted the games. In October 1912 the conflict on the part of Montenegro and the cooperation with Serbia, Bulgaria and Greece broke finally out against the Ottoman Empire, and after short, collapsed parleys in the beginning of the following year the Second Balkan War began.

Sweden represented by the IOC member Viktor Balck evinced its interest in performance of the Olympic Games in 1908 in London, the decision was just reached in the following year, since already four years before this honour has been promised Berlin. The official candidature of Stockholm, already having the Idrottsparken and the Östermalm Sports Park inclusive of tennis and equestrian hall and that obtained the necessary funds to the amount of 1.6 million krones from a lottery, was on 18 April 1909. But three weeks before the president of the German Reichsausschuss for the Olympic Games, Graf Egbert von der Asseburg, deceased so that Berlin's candidature has been withdrawn and on the session on 28 May 1909 Stockholm's bid was accepted. Stockholm was thereupon promoted as "Venice of the North" to attract tourists with respect to the games; a second lottery made the new buildung of the Olympic Stadium possible. There were only some protests based on the missing sports like boxing and track cycling, mainly on the part of the Americans and Britons, and protests of Russia and Austria-Hungary because of the participation of a Finnish and a Bohemian team respectively. In the latter case an agreement could be attained that next to the Russian and Austrian flag smaller flags for Finland and Bohemia have been flied.

The goal not to spread the games again over a period of some months like in the previous games (alone the London games lasted 187 days) was not realized; but the "Olympic Week" from 6 - 15 July 1912 was announced. Coubertin's ambition was successful not only to establish a second pentathlon, today known as "Modern Pentathlon" (only the order of the sports has changed during the olympiads) but also contests of art; last one Coubertin has tried since 1906. Black did not keep his promise to include winter sports into the Olympic programme but brought forward the argument that in February 1913 the Nordic Games are imminent. The IOC refused the proposal to integrate completely those into the programme.

The games should become something special, "a philanthropical opus of the benevolent presider of a higher might", according to the court chaplain of the Swedish king whereupon Coubertin dismayed. The success of the Fifth Olympic Games is manifold determinable: they were games of short ways to the sport venues, for the first time all continents were represented by athletes, women's sport had experienced a new impulse based on the participation of female swimmers, the meeting of Olympic notabilities as Baron de Coubertin, Viktor Balck, Carl Diem, Henri Graf de Baillet-Latour etc, all persons who were the initiators for the Olympic movement, and the announcment of a political geography in sports regarding the accreditation of Finns, Bohemians and Hungarians.

In spite of some little critism the Swedes presented games on a large scale and with perfect organisation - purely royal.

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Medal Tally
# Country G S B
1 USA 25 18 19
2 Sweden 23 24 16
3 Great Britain 10 15 16
4 Finland 9 8 9
5 France 7 4 3
6 Germany 5 13 7
7 South Africa (1904-1960) 4 2 0
8 Norway 3 2 5
9 Hungary 3 2 3
10 Canada 3 2 1