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Athletics at the 1932 Los Angeles Summer Games

1932 Summer Games: Previous Summer Games ▪ Next Summer Games


Host City: Los Angeles, United States
Date Started: July 31, 1932
Date Finished: August 7, 1932
Events: 29

Participants: 386 (332 men and 54 women) from 34 countries
Youngest Participant: JPN Sumiko Watanabe (15 years, 247 days)
Oldest Participant: ITA Armando Poggioli (44 years, 46 days)
Most Medals (Athlete): 3 athletes with 3 medals
Most Medals (Country): USA United States (35 medals)


The 1932 Olympic track & field competition took place in the [Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum]. It had been built as a memorial to World War I veterans and opened in 1923, with the largest seating capacity of any Olympic Stadium to that date, with space for over 100,000 spectators. The 1932 Olympics were hampered by the long and difficult travel for many countries to get their teams to the West Coast of the United States, and coupled with the severe world-wide economic depression, caused attendance to be down somewhat from the last two Olympics. Average crowds for track & field still topped 60,000 people, with one day having 86,443 spectators. The heroine of the athletics competition was [Babe Didrikson], who won the 80 metre hurdles and javelin throw, and placed second in the high jump. She would later become a professional golfer and for a time was the top female golfer in the world. She is often considered the greatest all-around female athlete of all time. Women competed in six events in 1932, up one from Amsterdam, with the 80 metre hurdles and javelin throw added, but the 800 metres was off the program. On the men's side, [Eddie Tolan] won both sprint races, defeating his arch-rival [Ralph Metcalfe].


Event Gold Silver Bronze
Men's 100 metres USA Eddie Tolan USA Ralph Metcalfe GER Arthur Jonath
Men's 200 metres USA Eddie Tolan USA George Simpson USA Ralph Metcalfe
Men's 400 metres USA Bill Carr USA Ben Eastman CAN Alex Wilson
Men's 800 metres GBR Tommy Hampson CAN Alex Wilson CAN Phil Edwards
Men's 1,500 metres ITA Luigi Beccali GBR Jerry Cornes CAN Phil Edwards
Men's 5,000 metres FIN Lauri Lehtinen USA Ralph Hill FIN Lasse Virtanen
Men's 10,000 metres POL Janusz Kusociński FIN Volmari Iso-Hollo FIN Lasse Virtanen
Men's Marathon ARG Juan Carlos Zabala GBR Sam Ferris FIN Armas Toivonen
Men's 110 metres Hurdles USA George Saling USA Percy Beard GBR Don Finlay
Men's 400 metres Hurdles IRL Bob Tisdall USA Glenn Hardin USA Morgan Taylor
Men's 3,000 metres Steeplechase FIN Volmari Iso-Hollo GBR Tom Evenson USA Joe McCluskey
Men's 4 × 100 metres Relay USA United States GER Germany ITA Italy
Men's 4 × 400 metres Relay USA United States GBR Great Britain CAN Canada
Men's 50 kilometres Walk GBR Tommy Green LAT Jānis Dāliņš ITA Ugo Frigerio
Men's High Jump CAN Duncan McNaughton USA Bob Van Osdel PHI Simeon Toribio
Men's Pole Vault USA Bill Miller JPN Shuhei Nishida USA George Jefferson
Men's Long Jump USA Ed Gordon USA Lambert Redd JPN Chuhei Nanbu
Men's Triple Jump JPN Chuhei Nanbu SWE Eric Svensson JPN Kenkichi Oshima
Men's Shot Put USA Leo Sexton USA Harlow Rothert TCH FrantiÅ¡ek Douda
Men's Discus Throw USA John Anderson USA Henri LaBorde FRA Paul Winter
Men's Hammer Throw IRL Pat O'Callaghan FIN Ville Pörhölä USA Pete Zaremba
Men's Javelin Throw FIN Matti Järvinen FIN Matti Sippala FIN Eino Penttilä
Men's Decathlon USA Jim Bausch FIN Akilles Järvinen GER Wolrad Eberle
Women's 100 metres POL Stanisława Walasiewicz CAN Hilda Strike USA Billie von Bremen
Women's 80 metres Hurdles USA Babe Didrikson USA Evelyne Hall RSA Marjorie Clark
Women's 4 × 100 metres Relay USA United States CAN Canada GBR Great Britain
Women's High Jump USA Jean Shiley USA Babe Didrikson CAN Eva Dawes
Women's Discus Throw USA Lillian Copeland USA Ruth Osburn POL Jadwiga Wajs-Marcinkiewicz
Women's Javelin Throw USA Babe Didrikson GER Ellen Braumüller GER Tilly Fleischer