1920 Olympic Games – Antwerp

Date Held: Apr 20 – Sept 12, 1920
Number of Countries: 29
Number of Athletes: 2,626
Number of Events: 154

In 1916 the Olympic Games which were scheduled to be held in Berlin, Germany were cancelled as a result of the outbreak of

World War I (Berlin was later awarded games for 1936 which would be the last games before the second World War), the next games to be held would be in Antwerp, Belgium in 1920.  The 1920 Olympics had originally been awarded to Budapest, but because Hungary was allied with Germany during WWI the bid was taken and Antwerp was awarded the Games “for its suffering during WWI”

The United States won the most Gold medals and the most medals overall at the 1920 Games. Some other interesting facts about the 1920 Olympics:

  • The Organizing Committee for the 1920 Olympic Games went bankrupt and never produced an official report, without first hand access to the records archived in Brussels, it’s very difficult to find good information on these Olympics.
  • The 1920 Olympics were the first games where athletes took the Olympic Oath:
    In the name of all the competitors I promise that we shall take part in these Olympic Games, respecting and abiding by the rules which govern them, committing ourselves to a sport without doping and without drugs, in the true spirit of sportsmanship, for the glory of sport and the honor of our teams.”
  • The oldest Olympian to win a medal was Oscan Swahn of Sweden who won the 100 metre running deer double-shot event at the age of 72.
  • The 1920 Olympics were officially held in Belgium and the Netherlands because a sailing event was held in the Netherlands.

Links to artifact pages for 1920 Antwerp Olympics:

Winner’s Medals | Participation Medal | Poster | Diploma