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Los Angeles Olympics

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Essay title: Los Angeles Olympics

In 1923 the Olympic Organizing Committee for the United States as well as the entire nation was ecstatic to hear from the IOC that Los Angeles had won their bid to host the 1932 Summer Olympic Games. Construction was already completed on the main stadium, where the opening and closing ceremonies were set to take place in less than a decade. However, excitement soon gave way to panic and frustration as the New York Stock Market crashed in 1929 and the worldwide Great Depression set in. Suddenly, being awarded the responsibility of hosting as well as funding the upcoming Olympic Games no longer felt like a victory. As the Depression carried on 13 million Americans helplessly plummeted into unemployment, which at the time was 25 percent of the eligible working population. This devastation was not limited to the United States, unfortunately it managed to engulf many other equally helpless countries as well. England was stuck with 3 million unemployed citizens and Germany was being assaulted from all angles as inflation skyrocketed while Hitler and his Nazis continued to increase in power and influence. As the 1932 Olympics crept closer, concerned and economically ravaged American citizens began demonstrating against hosting the Olympics, expecting that any effort and money put into the event would be wasted and only worsen the countries economic situation. Not only was the economic Depression a serious threat to the success of the Games but this combined with the extensive traveling it would require most Europeans to endure in order to reach the seemingly remote city of Los Angeles seems almost insurmountable. In fact, for many European competitors it would take them a week to cross the Atlantic by ship and then several more days to cross the American terrain to get to Southern California. In order to make the trip more affordable and reasonable for the athletes the Olympic Organizing Committee for Los Angeles decided to shorten the length of the Olympics from over 70 days to only 16; a much more reasonable time period which we continue to use today. In addition, the city thoughtfully arranged for all of the athletes to be provided with sufficient food, transportation and housing for only $2 per day. As America continued to create incentives to lure athletes to their shores in order to compete in the Olympic Games of 1932 more and more countries were getting on board which led to increased support from American citizens. Surprisingly, the Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee was not yet finished enticing their potential guests and competitors, more plans were in the works with the intention of creating the most enjoyable, exciting and successful Olympic Games the world had ever seen.

The city was well aware that in order for this event to rise above the turmoil and utter destruction caused by the Depression it would need rigorous and thoughtful planning as well as execution, when the time came. To start with, the original stadium built for the ceremonies was expected to seat 76,000 spectators and so with the blind confidence that only Americans seem to possess they expanded the the building to seat 101,574 ticket holding fans. With that addition, the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum was finished and represented Americas first triumph of the Olympics, although not necessarily a victory, it was a feat to be proud of whether or not the Olympics were ever to take place in Los Angeles. Having spent a large amount of money during the construction and expansion of the Coliseum, the next plan was to be focused on raising money. The committee decided to commemorate the event with a 3-cent Olympic stamp, the proceeds of which went directly to the Olympic fund. With escalating attention being paid to the city as people began to realize the amazing potential for these game to succeed, their next move was the creation of the first ever Olympic Village. The village would be host to the entire male portion of the Olympic competitors while the Women were put up in a very comfortable hotel. The Olympic Village would contain everything the athletes could need including dining centers and training facilities in addition to 600, 2-room portable housing units, a hospital, fire department, bank, amphitheater, and post and telegraph offices. A rare and beautiful feature the village offered, in addition to the privacy, was an unrivaled view of the Pacific Ocean from the quiet, elevated perch where the village resided on what was formally a golf course. This is what was waiting for any willing and financially able athletes who made the trip to Los Angeles. Once they arrived and had gotten comfortable the athletes were continuously rewarded for their long journey with all that Los Angeles could offer them.

It would seem that a gorgeous Olympic Village and an impressive Coliseum could be enough to please even the most skeptical participants but LA wasn’t finished. The Opening ceremonies began with a personal

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