Czech Emil Zatopek leads during the Olympic 5,000-metre run at the Helsinki Olympics in 1952. (Photo by -/AFP via Getty Images)
THE Tokyo Olympics is just days away and like in every edition of the quadrennial event, athletes from across the planet aim to deliver their best performance to make their countries and themselves proud.
The modern Olympics have been held for more than 120 years now and there are scores of records that have been recorded at the event that still remain fresh in the minds of the sports lovers. Finland was supposed to host the 1940 Olympics but eventually hosted it after 12 years since the 1940 edition was cancelled because of the Second World War (1939-45).
The US won most medals at this Olympic (76) that included 40 golds and 19 silvers while the erstwhile Soviet Union finished a close second with 71 medals (22 golds, 30 silvers). Hosts Finland finished with six golds, three silvers and 13 bronzes.
Today, India Weekly takes a look at the 1952 edition of the tournament which was held in Helsinki, the capital of the Scandinavian country of Finland.
Here are some fun facts from the 1952 Olympics:
The 1952 edition was one where most Olympic world records were broken until the 2008 Games in Beijing.
A number of countries appeared at the Olympics for the first time in this edition and they included Israel, China, Hong Kong, Thailand, Indonesia, etc.
Czech long-distance runner Emil Zátopek had won the 5,000-metre race, successfully defended his 10,000-metre title and then won his third gold medal in his first-ever marathon to complete a triple that remains unique in the history of the Olympics.
This edition also saw the erstwhile Soviet Union returning to the Games for the first time after remaining absent since 1912.
The 1952 edition was hit by the then Cold War politics as the Soviets set up a rival Olympic village for the countries that belonged to the Eastern Bloc.
Women gymnasts from the Soviet Union won the team competition in the 1952 Games and they set up a trend that would continue for the next four decades till the country’s disintegration.
The German and Japanese teams also returned to the Olympics at the Helsinki edition. East Germany had applied for participation but was refused. The German squad included athletes from the then West Germany only.
Lis Hartel of Denmark, who was paralysed below the knees, claimed silver in the equestrian dressage. She had to be helped on and off her horse.
Lars Hall, a carpenter from Sweden, became the first non-military winner of the modern pentathlon.