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The 1952 Summer Olympics (Finnish: Kesäolympialaiset 1952; Swedish: Olympiska sommarspelen 1952), officially known as the Games of the XV Olympiad, were an international multi-sport event held in Helsinki, Finland, in 1952. Helsinki had been earlier selected to host the 1940 Summer Olympics, which were cancelled due to World War II. It is the northernmost city at which a summer Olympic Games have been held. These were the first games to be held in a non-Indo-European language speaking country. It was also the Olympic Games at which the most number of world records were broken until surpassed by the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.[1] The Soviet Union, the People's Republic of China, Indonesia, Israel, Thailand, and Saarland made their Olympic debuts in Helsinki 1952.

Games of the XV Olympiad
A soild blue background is intruded on its left side by a structure, shaded in white, representing the tower and stand of the Helsinki Olympic Stadium. The Olympic rings, also white, lie at the top of the blue background, partly obscured by the stadium's tower. The word "1952" is written in white in the middle of the blue background, while "XV Olympia Helsinki" is written in blue, beneath the image.
Host city Helsinki, Finland
Nations participating 69
Athletes participating 4,955
(4,436 men, 519 women)
Events 149 in 17 sports
Opening ceremony July 19
Closing ceremony August 3
Officially opened by President Juho Kusti Paasikivi
Athlete's Oath Heikki Savolainen
Olympic Torch Paavo Nurmi and
Hannes Kolehmainen
Stadium Olympic Stadium
London 1948 Melbourne 1956  >
Oslo 1952 Cortina 1956  >


Host city selectionEdit

Helsinki was chosen as the host city over bids from Amsterdam and five American cities at the 40th IOC Session on June 21, 1947, in Stockholm, Sweden. Minneapolis and Los Angeles finished tied for second in the final voting.

The voting results in chart below:[2]

1952 Summer Olympics bidding results[3]
City Country Round 1 Round 2
Helsinki   Finland 14 15
Minneapolis   United States 4 5
Los Angeles   United States 4 5
Amsterdam   Netherlands 3 3
Detroit   United States 2
Chicago   United States 1
Philadelphia   United States 0


Paavo Nurmi and the Olympic Flame


The 1952 Summer Olympic programme featured 149 events in the following 17 sports:

Demonstration sportsEdit


With an annual average temperature of 5.9 °C, Helsinki is the coldest city to host the Summer Olympics.


Participating NOCsEdit

Participating nations. Pictured in blue are nations participating for the first time. Yellow dot: Helsinki
Number of athletes per country

A total of 69 nations participated in these Games, up from 59 in the 1948 Games. Thirteen nations made their first Olympic appearance in 1952: The Bahamas, the People's Republic of China, Gold Coast (now Ghana), Guatemala, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Israel, Netherlands Antilles, Nigeria, Soviet Union (USSR), Thailand, and Vietnam.

Japan and Germany were both reinstated and permitted to send athletes after being banned for 1948 for their instigation of World War II. Due to the division of Germany, German athletes from Saar entered a separate team for the only time. Only West Germany would provide athletes for the actual Germany team, since East Germany refused to participate in a joint German team.

Participating National Olympic Committees

Medal countEdit

These are the top ten nations that won medals at the 1952 Games.[10]

Rank Nation Gold Silver Bronze Total
1   United States 40 19 17 76
2   Soviet Union 22 30 19 71
3   Hungary 16 10 16 42
4   Sweden 12 13 10 35
5   Italy 8 9 4 21
6   Czechoslovakia 7 3 3 13
7   France 6 6 6 18
8   Finland (host nation) 6 3 13 22
9   Australia 6 2 3 11
10   Norway 3 2 0 5

50th anniversary coinEdit

The 50th anniversary of the Helsinki Olympic Games was the main motif for one of the first Finnish euro silver commemorative coins, the €10 silver coin minted in 2002. The reverse depicts part of the Helsinki Olympic Stadium, as well as a section of the 1952 500 markka coin. The obverse has lettering SUOMI FINLAND 10 EURO, a flame, and Finland is the only country highlighted on earth.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Bascomb, Neal (2005). The Perfect Mile: Three Athletes, One Goal, and Less Than Four Minutes to Achieve It. Mariner Books. ISBN 9780618562091. 
  2. ^ "International Olympic Committee Vote History". 9 September 2013. Retrieved 24 February 2015. 
  3. ^ "Past Olympic Host City Election Results". Games Bids. Retrieved 16 September 2015. 
  4. ^ Mulvenney, Nick (7 August 2008). "Chen Chengda, China's almost Olympian". Reuters. Retrieved 16 September 2015. 
  5. ^ "On This Day: 1952: 20 July: Zatopek wins gold at Helsinki". BBC News. Retrieved 16 September 2015. 
  6. ^ "USSR – Yugoslavia, the Story of Two Different Football Conceptions". Retrieved November 27, 2017. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ 1952 Summer Olympics official report. p. 91. – accessed 1 August 2010.
  9. ^
  10. ^ Byron, Lee; Cox, Amanda; Ericson, Matthew (4 August 2008). "A Map of Olympic Medals". The New York Times. Retrieved 24 February 2015. 

External linksEdit

Preceded by
Summer Olympic Games

XV Olympiad (1952)
Succeeded by