1936 - Winter Olympics IV (Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany)

Medal Standings

  Gold Silver Bronze Total
Norway 7 5 3 15
Germany 3 3 0 6
Sweden 2 2 3 7
Finland 1 2 3 6
Switzerland 1 2 0 3
Austria 1 1 2 4
Great Britain 1 1 1 3
United States 1 0 3 4
Canada 0 1 0 1

In 1931, the International Olympic Committee voted 43-16 in favour of Berlin over Barcelona as host of the 1936 Summer Olympics. The German National Olympic Committee announced at that time it was exercising its right to organize the Winter Olympics as well. The twin Bavarian towns of Garmisch and Partenkirchen would be home to the Winter Games.

The IOC decision was made when Germany was a democracy, a republic. But in 1933, Germany experienced a change of political leadership - democracy was out and Nationalist Socialism was in. Many of the political and sporting conditions existing in 1931 would be radically different by the time the Olympics would take place in 1936.

Canadian Medal Winners

  Medal Event
Port Arthur Bearcats Silver Ice Hockey

With Chancellor Adolf Hitler presiding, the Garmisch Games marked the first time a symbolic fire was lit during the Winter Olympics.

Alpine skiing events were included for the first time, but the IOC created a stir when it overruled the International Ski Federation (FIS) and declared ski instructors could not take part in the Olympics because they were professionals. Incensed, the Austrian and Swiss skiers boycotted. The dispute carried on after the Games and it was decided that skiing would not be included in the 1940 Olympics.

Curling also made its debut as a demonstration sport.

Sonja Henie, the first superstar of women's figure skating, earned her third gold medal. After the Games, she turned professional and toured the world with various ice shows, achieving great popularity, particularly in the USA.

Unlike four years earlier, a record 15 nations sent teams to take part in the hockey tournament, including defending champions Canada. Beside the modern artificial ice rink, which was constructed specially for the Olympic Games, some matches were played on the natural ice of the frozen Riesser Lake.

Canada had won all four Olympic hockey tournaments going to Germany, outscoring the opposition 209-8, and there was no reason to believe that trend would not continue. The 1935 Allan Cup champion Halifax Wolverines were given the honour of representing Canada, but after they demanded payment to compete, they were disqualified. The Port Arthur Bear Cats, runners-up to the Wolverines, made the trip to Germany.

Before the hockey tournament began, Canadian officials filed a protest against England's entry which included 11 players who were Canadian-born. But under International Ice Hockey Federation residency rules, the 11 were eligible to play for England.

After going 3-0 in the first round of competition, Canada found themselves drawn against Germany, Hungary and Great Britain in round two. Scottish-born Winnipegger Jimmy Foster, playing for England, turned in one of the best goaltending performances to hand the Canadians their first ever defeat in Olympic play, 2-1. Canada would go on to defeat Hungary 15-0 and Germany 6-2, but because round robin results against other teams were carried over into the final round, Canada began medal play with an 0-1 record. They would go on to defeat the United States 1-0 and Czechslovakia 7-0 but needed the United States to defeat England in the final game of the tournament. But after three overtime periods, officials called the game with the score tied 0-0. Britain was awarded gold while Canada took home silver, creating one of the greatest upsets in Olympic history.


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