Swedes praised for “most effective games yet”
“On looking back at the Olympic Games of Stockholm it is easily seen that they were much more comprehensive than they had ever been expected to become,” reads the Official Report’s conclusion to the event. Stockholm 1912 had certainly been the biggest Olympic Games yet. In total, 3,282 athletes had taken part – representing 27 different countries – while 487 official foreign representatives had visited the event and some 280 international journalists had been present to cover it.
The plaudits rained in for the Swedish organisers. “It will be an example to be followed by us all. We admired the clear planning; we have watched its execution with the same admiration, and we have brought home with us to our nation a sum of useful and fundamental experience,” read a letter by Johan Sverre, President of the Norwegian Olympic Committee.
James Sullivan, Secretary to the USA Olympic Committee – who had been instrumental in the St Louis Games of 1904 – was similarly glowing. “During my many years’ connection with athletics, I have never worked with a Committee that gave the entire satisfaction that the Swedish Olympic Committee did,” he said.
The general feeling was that these had been the most efficient, straightforward and effective Games yet ¬– and a major step forward for the Olympic movement. “The aftermath….has been rich beyond expectation,” read the Official Report. “It would require volumes to give anything like a complete summary of what has been said of the Olympic Games in Stockholm and their organisation.”
Everybody had come away happy – not least the hosts, whose total medal count was 65, 24 of which were gold. The medals given out at these Games had particular significant as they were the last-ever at an Olympics to be made from solid gold.