1916 Summer Olympics

The 1916 Summer Olympics (German: Olympische Sommerspiele 1916), officially known as the Games of the VI Olympiad, were scheduled to be held in Berlin, German Empire, but were eventually cancelled for the first time in its 20-year history due to the outbreak of World War I. Berlin was selected as the host city during the 14th IOC Session in Stockholm on 4 July 1912,[1] defeating bids from Alexandria, Amsterdam, Brussels, Budapest and Cleveland.[2] After the 1916 Games were cancelled, Berlin would eventually host the 1936 Summer Olympics, twenty years later.

Games of the VI Olympiad
Poster for Amsterdam's Summer Olympics bid in 1916.jpg
Poster for the 1916 Summer Olympics
Host cityBerlin, German Empire
StadiumDeutsches Stadion
Parade for the opening of the stadium on 8 June 1913


Work on the stadium, the Deutsches Stadion ("German Stadium"), began in 1912 at what was the Grunewald Race Course. It was planned to seat more than 18,000 spectators.[3] On 8 June 1913, the stadium was dedicated with the release of 10,000 pigeons. 60,000 people were in attendance.[4]

At the outbreak of World War I in 1914, organization continued as it was not expected that the war would continue for several years. Eventually, though, the Games were cancelled.[5]

A winter sports week with speed skating, figure skating, ice hockey and Nordic skiing was planned; the concept of this week eventually gave rise to the first Winter Olympic Games. The central venue was to have been the Deutsches Stadion.

If the games had been played, Finland would not have been allowed to take part by Russia, which revoked the autonomy of Finnish sport in 1914.[6]

Berlin returned to Olympic bidding in 1931, when it beat Barcelona, Spain, for the right to host the 1936 Summer Olympics, the last Olympics before the outbreak of World War II.[7]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Bill Mallon and Jeroen Heijmans, Historical Dictionary of the Olympic Movement (Scarecrow Press, 2011) xiv
  2. ^ "Past Olympic host city election results". GamesBids. Archived from the original on 24 January 2011. Retrieved 17 March 2011.
  3. ^ "Berlin Stadium Is Begun. Olympic Meeting Place to be at the Grunewald Race Course" (PDF). The New York Times. 11 August 1912. Retrieved 23 July 2009. Work has already been begun on the Olympic Stadium for 1916. Its opening will take place next year, when sports will be held there to celebrate the ...
  4. ^ "60,000 Dedicate Berlin Stadium. Ten Thousand Pigeons Carry Address on Athletics and Patriotism to All Parts of Empire" (PDF). The New York Times. 9 June 1913. In the presence the Kaiser and his sons and a great concourse of notables, the Berlin Stadium was opened today. ...
  5. ^ Pelle, Kimberly D.; Findling, John E. (1996). Historical dictionary of the modern Olympic movement. Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press. pp. 47–53. ISBN 0-313-28477-6.
  6. ^ finland100
  7. ^ Guttmann, Allen (2002). The Olympics, a history of the modern games. Urbana: University of Illinois Press. p. 53. ISBN 0-252-07046-1.
Summer Olympics
Preceded by VI Olympiad

1916 (cancelled due to World War I)
Succeeded by