The 1912 Stockholm Olympics

Essays on the Competitions, the People, the City


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About the Book

King Gustaf V of Sweden inaugurated the Fifth Olympiad at the Olympic Stadium in Stockholm on July 6, 1912. In the following weeks, 2,380 competitors from 27 nations representing six continents participated in well-organized competitions in perfect weather conditions. The largest Olympics yet at the time, the Stockholm Games have thus gone down in history as the Sunshine Olympics, or “the Swedish Masterpiece.” Since that achievement, and despite numerous attempts by other Swedish cities, Sweden has not yet managed to host the Olympic Games again. This work examines the 1912 Stockholm Olympics from a variety of perspectives, exploring the preparations, organization, competitions, participants, and spectators, as well as the continuing significance of the 1912 Games to Sweden and to the future of the Olympic movement.

About the Author(s)

Leif Yttergren is an associate professor in sport history at the Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences in Stockholm.

Hans Bolling holds a doctorate in history and his work includes research on football, the Paralympics, sports clubs and associations, and sport for the disabled.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Leif Yttergren and Hans Bolling

Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 292
Bibliographic Info: 83 photos, tables, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2012
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7131-7
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0066-6
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

PREFACE      1
INTRODUCTION (Hans Bolling and Leif Yttergren)      2

Nothing New Under the Sun? Marketing the Stockholm Olympics
(Per Andersson and Hans Kjellberg)      27
Organizing the 1912 Games
(Therese Nordlund Edvinsson)      57
The Jewel in the Olympic Crown: The Training Preparations and Competitions in Athletics
(Leif Yttergren)      75
Counts and Draymen: The Swedish Participants
(Leif Yttergren, Hans Bolling and Ingemar Ekholm)      95
Gender and Class: Women on the Swedish Squad
(Hans Bolling and Leif Yttergren)      115
Art and Sport: Different Worlds? The Art Competitions
(Patrik Steorn)      137
Spectators at the Stockholm Games
(Mats Hellspong)      154
Punch, Splendor and Patriotism: The Olympics Outside the Stadium
(Hans Bolling)      174
“A New Experience in Life”: The Olympics and the General Debate in the Swedish Daily Press
(Jan Lindroth)      199
Patriotic Games as a Breakthrough for the Olympic Movement
(Ansgar Molzberger)      217
The Results of the Competitions: The 1912 Olympic Games in Numbers
(Ingemar Ekholm)      233

INDEX      277

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “Fascinating..recommend…effectively capture the mood, culture and uniqueness of these early Olympic Games in Sweden”—Journal of Sports Philately