It is composed of the American flag presented in the form of arms, accompanied, in the foreground, by the Olympic rings, the Olympic motto "Citius, Altius, Fortius" (faster, higher, stronger) and a laurel branch, symbol of victory.
The 1932 Olympic Games were held in the middle of the Great Depression and, given the transport links of the time, in the relatively remote region of California. Consequently, participation in the Games was the lowest since 1904, with only half as many athletes taking part as had in 1928. Despite this, the standard of competition was excellent.
The Coliseum Olympic stadium astonished the whole world. Its scale and quality were beyond anything that had come before, creating the first Games we would recognise today. The crowds were also without precedent, starting with the 100,000 people who attended the Opening Ceremony.
Between 1900 and 1928, no Summer Games had been shorter than 79 days, but in Los Angeles this was cut to just 16. It has remained between 15 and 18 days ever since. Other firsts included the male athletes being housed in a single Olympic Village (the women stayed in a luxury hotel), and medal winners standing on a podium with the flag of the winner being raised.
The spirit of the Olympic Games was exemplified by British fencer Judy Guinness. Contesting the final, she gallantly gave up her hopes for a gold medal when she pointed out to officials that they had not noticed two touches scored against her by her final opponent, Ellen Preis of Austria.NOCs 37Athletes 1,332 (126 women, 1,206 men)Events 117Volunteers n/aMedia n/a
The Coliseum Olympic stadium stupefied the whole world by its proportions and the quality of its equipment.
The Depression and the geographical isolation of California. Participation in the Games was the lowest since 1904, in spite of the excellent competition standard.
Football had to be completely removed. The separation of men and women - the Olympic Village (opposite picture) was reserved for men, and women stayed in the Chapman Park hotel.
The number of participants put forward by the National Olympic Committees in individual events was limited to three.
Finn Paavo Nurmi (opposite picture) and Frenchman Jules Ladoumègue, registered as professionals, could not take part.
Los Angeles 30 July 1932. General view.
Official opening of the Games by: Vice-President Charles Curtis
Lighting the Olympic Flame by: A symbolic fire at an Olympic Summer Games was first lit in 1928 in Amsterdam.
Olympic Oath by: George Calnan (fencing)
Official Oath by: The officials' oath at an Olympic Summer Games was first sworn in 1972 in Munich.