1932  Los Angeles Summer Olympics

1932 Summer Olympics - Olympic Memorabilia

Winner Medals

Olympic winner medal 1932 Olympic winner medal 1932
1st Place: Gold Medal Material: Gilt Silver
    Weight 97 gr
2nd Place: Silver Medal Material: Silver
    Weight 93 gr
3rd Place: Bronze Medal Material: Bronze
    Weight 76 gr
Diameter: 55 mm Design by: Prof. Guiseppe Cassioli,
Florence, Italy
* 22.10.1865  + 05.10.1942
    Mint: Whitehead
Thickness: 4 mm Ribbon: None
Obverse: Victory seated above stadium.
Reverse: Winner carried by jubilant athletes.

Lightweight free-style winner of the victory stand, 1932
   Medals 1932

The dies with which the Prize Medals for the Games of the Xth Olympiad were stamped were cast from the official Olympic hubs used in previous Games. The only alteration made was that of changing the wording to IXth Olympiad Los Angeles 1932. The medals themselves were stamped in the United States, and finished in gold, silver or bronze, according to the requirements of the Protocol.

(Source document:   Official Report 1932, page 331)


Participation Medal

 Olympic participation Medal 1932 Los Angeles  Olympic participation Medal 1932 Los Angeles
Material: Bronze Weight: 147 gr
Diameter: 69 mm Design by: Julio Kilenyi
Thickness: 6 mm Mint: Whitehead - Hoag, USA
Obverse: Standing athlete carrying unfurled banner of the Xth Olympiad.
Reverse: Two seated female figures upporting shield of the United States.


Presentation box 

  Commemorative Medals 1932: 

The design for the Commemorative Medals was produced by Julio Kilenyi of New York. On the face of the medallion is a figure representing the international athlete carrying the banner of the Xth Olympiad. On the reverse side are two figures supporting the shield of the United States. One of these figures is holding an olive branch and the other a shield bearing the seals of the State of California and of the City of Los Angeles. On the side is the California poppy, and on the margin, at the top, appear the words, "Los Angeles, California." The medals were of bronze.

(Source document:  Official Report 1932, page 331)

  diploma olympic games 1932 los angeles
Description: Stadium and legend between frieze of ancient Greek athletes, Goddess Columbia and Athena at sides.
Size: 60 x 48 cm
Design by: Harry Muir Kurtzworth
Harry Muir Kurtzworth
at work on the Diploma

A new design was required for the Diplomas. Many artists submitted sketches, and for more than a year proposed designs were examined, but none were found fully satisfactory. The Committee finally went to Mr. H. M. Kurtzworth, Art Curator of the Los Angeles Museum, to enlist his help in producing an appropriate design. He was immediately interested and undertook the task himself.

The design, the color scheme, and many of the details of the Diploma were directly inspired by the classic art of the Greeks, through examples of vase painting found, for the most part, in the Victor Merlo Collection of Classical Antiquities in the Los Angeles Museum, dating back to the period of the beginning of the ancient Olympic Games. The border of olive represents the branch of sacred leaves taken from the tree within the temple walls, the highest award any man could receive in the Games, or for service to the State. Columbia, the modern Athena, symbolizing the United States of America, with the torch of the Olympiad in her hand, stands in an attitude of welcome to the nations of the world. She is clad in the Doric chiton and wears the Phrygian cap of freedom on her head. The stars of aspiration, and the rising sun of progress form her background, and at her feet the mountains, the palm and orange groves, and the Los Angeles City Hall, symbolize the State and City of the Xth Olympiad.

Athena, the Olympian patroness, goddess of civic virtue, the arts, victory, and the home, represents the ideal of the Olympic Games, wherein athletics and the arts of war were practiced to insure adequate protection and full enjoyment of all the arts of peace. 

The goddess is garbed in the classic chiton and himation. About her shoulders in the aegis or scaly skin of a monster, indicating her power over enemies of man. On her brow and in her hand are victors`wreaths of sacred olive and she also holds a statue of Nike, goddess of victory. Athena`s shield and spear have been omitted, for here she appears practicing the arts of peace, but at her feet is shown her war helmet. In the distance is the Temple of Athena at Athens.

The Olympic Stadium, appearing as seen by contestants from the middle of the arena, shows the entrance surmounted by the Olympic Torch amidst flying flags and thronged spectators.

The frieze at the top of the Diploma represents various aspects of the Games as depicted on vases of the Sixth Century, B.C., - a judge; a contest in full armor; equestrian sports; drama, music and the dance; flanked by another judge, spear in hand.

The lower frieze represents other aspects of the classic Games; a seated judge; physical examination as prescribed both before and after contests; a discus thrower in the first position, from a vase in the Munich Museum; a javelin thrower, from a vase in the Boston Museum; the finish of a race, as depicted on an original Olympic trophy vase of the Fifth Contury, B.C., in the Los Angeles Museum; and a judge making a decision, from the same vase. The lower border is composed of the typical Greek "fret," meander, or "key" motif, embellished with the coasts of arms of the United States and of the State of California, the Olympic insignia, the symbolic grapes of Los Angeles County, and the four flags showing the historical development of the City of Los Angeles.

The terra cotta and black color scheme was inspjired by Fifth Contury vases in the Los Angeles Museum.

(Source document:   Official Report 1932,  page 333, 334)


Badges 1932

Badges were designed primarily for the purpose of personal identification. They consisted of standard medallions finished in gold, silver, or bronze, with ribbons attached. Each medallion had an inscription such as "I.O.C.","Official", "Press", etc. Badges for all Olympic officials were made with the medallion at the top, with the ribbon suspended, and were easily distinguished from the badges of the Executive Staff, which were designed with the medallions suspended on the ribbon. Badges with gold medallions were issued to all members of the International Olympic Committee and the Organizing Committee, and to the presidents of the National Committees and the presidents of the International Sports Federations; badges with silver medallions were issued to secretaries and members of National Committees, secretaries of International Sports Federations, Juries, AttachÈs, and Chefs de Mission; and badges with bronze medallions were issued to Team Managers, Athletes and attendants, and to the Press. The color of ribbon in each case identified the organization or the sport. While the above system clearly identified the wearers, an additional Olympic ribbon was created, bearing the five Olympic colors in vertical stripes, and this ribbon, when attached to a badge, entitled the wearer to special privileges and courtesies including admission to the Olympic Village.

Badges with the Olympic ribbon were issued to members of the International Olympic Committee and of the Organizing Committee, to officers and members of National Olympic Committees, officers of International Federations, and Attachès. The identifying ribbons on all Jury Badges were the same color as that selected for the Sports Federation they were to serve. Therefore, to identify officials or juries of any sport, it was only necessary to watch for the standard medallion with the identifying ribbon for that sport attached. If the badge also had an Olympic ribbon with a gold medallion, the wearer was the president of the Federation. If the badge had an Olympic ribbon with a silver medallion, the wearer was the secretary of the Federation. Or if the badge consisted of merely the medallion with the plain piece of identifying ribbon, the wearer was a member of the jury of that sport. None of the badges issued to the International Olympic Committee, National Olympic Committees, International Sports Federations, Organizing Committee, Juries, AttachÈs or Press were good for admittance at the gates of any of the stadiums, all persons to whom these badges were issued being also given regular tickets of admission.

The badges issued to Chefs de Mission, Team Managers, Coaches and Attendants, and to the Athletes were good for admittance at all places the wearers were entitled to go, including the Olympic Village. These badges were all serially numbered on the medallions and were easily distinguished. Badges of the Chefs de Mission and Team Managers bore a short piece of dark blue ribbon. They entitled the wearers to enter the dressing rooms and the athlete sections in the stands at all stadiums. Each athleteís badge had a short piece of the colored ribbon attached, indicating the sport in which the athlete was a competitor. As provided by the Protocol, these badges were good for admission to the athletesí section in the Olympic Stadium and to the athletesí section and the training quarters at the stadium at which the athlete was participating. Th us all athletes were admitted to the athletesí section in Olympic Stadium but only competitors in the swimming contests, for instance, were admitted to the athletesí section in the Swimming Stadium, and only boxing contestants were admitted to the athletesí section in the Boxing Stadium.

Badges for the Executive Staff of the Organizing Committee consisted of a piece of Olympic ribbon from which the medallion was suspended, the individualís name or the word ìManagerî appearing on the medallion. These badges were good for admittance at all places at all times and were an indispensable convenience. Persons wearing badges with their individual names printed on the medallion were entitled to issue instructions to the staff at any stadium and staff members were bound to carry out these instructions. However, the staff members were obliged to remember the name of the person giving the instructions. Staff badges for executives in charge of the various stadiums were made with the medallion suspended on a ribbon the color of which identified the stadium. These were good only at the one stadium. The staff title of the wearer, such as "Manager",  or "Sports Technical," was imprinted on the medallion. 

(Source document:   Official Report 1932,  page 113)



  1932 olympic games poster
 Poster 1932:

In an effort to produce an official poster which would be novel, and at the same time attractive enough to justify its being displayed over a period of many months, the Committee accepted the design offered by Julio Kilenyi, internationally known medalist and sculptor and designer of the commemorative medal of the Games of the Xth Olympiad. Mr. Kilenyi modelled the design for the official poster in clay, and a photograph of this model was colored and reproduced by lithograph. The poster depicted the ancient Grecian custom of sending a youthful athlete out to announce the forthcoming celebration of the Games. Several thousand copies of the poster were displayed.

Design by: Julio Kilenyi
Size: 64 x 100 cm
Copies: 200.000

Postage Stamps

2 special olympic stamps were published 1932
First Day: 15. June 1932
Engraver: ?
Designer: ?
Value Colour / Discription Stanley
Gibbons No
Michel No      Edition
 3 C violet
718 348     168.885.300
 5 C blue
Discus Thrower
719 349       52.376.100

Government Postage Stamps : In commemoration of the Olympic Games, the United States Post Office Department issued two values of special commemorative stamps, of three-cent and five-cent denominations. The three-cent stamps depicted a sprinter crouched for the start and the five-cent depicted a discus thrower. These stamps were released for public sale on June 30, 1932 and besides purchases for regular postal use, millions of the stamps were purchased by collectors and by stamp dealers, many of whom had opened temporary offices in Los Angeles in order to have these stamps bear the "first-day" postmark of the Olympic City on envelopes sent them by stamp collectors in all parts of the world.

( Source document:   Official Report 1932,  page 219)



THE International Olympic Committee, at its meeting in Barcelona, April 25 to 27, 1931, approved the final programme of each sport in the Games of the Xth Olympiad, as submitted by the International Federations. After this approval no changes could be made, and the Organizing Committee was free to broadcast the programme to the world and definitely lay the foundation of the organization that was to manage the various events.

The schedule, covering a sixteen-day period, consisted of competitions in sixteen sports and demonstrations, and comprised a total of approximately one hundred and thirty-five individual programmes, to be held in nine different stadiums, auditoriums and water-courses. It was the task of the Executive Staff to present this complex schedule to the public simply and intelligibly, and at the same time in sufficient detail to enable purchasers to make an intelligent selection of the events they desired to attend.

The world is informed and interested in sports generally, but few people have a true conception of the comprehensive field of sport embraced in the Olympic Games programme. In order to give a complete picture of all the competitions at a glance, the schedule was reduced to chart form, showing graphically the events of all the sports, those which would take place in the morning, in the afternoon, and in the evening of each day, and the stadium in which each event would be held. This chart was used as the key in preparing all Olympic tickets of admission.

olympic games ticket 1932
  Tickets 1932

The Games being held during the period from July 30 to August 14, inclusive, the numbers 30, 31, 1, 2, 3, and so on up to 14, were used in all cases to indicate the date of the events, and the letters M, A, and E were used to indicate whether the event was to be held in the morning, afternoon, or evening. These figures and letters became the standard code in identifying all events. After determining the different types of admission tickets to be sold the public, three classifications were adopted:

(1) The Single Event Reserved Ticket: To be sold in advance.

(2) The Single Event General Admission Ticket:
To be sold in advance for events where reserved seat tickets were not printed, and also to be sold on the grounds at all stadiums on the day of the event, in case the event had not been sold out in advance.

This ticket greatly facilitated the sale at the stadiums on the day of the event. It was more economical for the management and simplified the handling of the crowds. In selling reserved seat tickets on the grounds as the crowd is assembling there is necessarily discussion with the ticket salesman regarding the location of the seats, etc., which consumes time. In selling a general admission ticket, however, the purchaser takes the ticket without question and immediately proceeds into the stadium through any of the general admission entrances, making his own choice of the best available seat. Thus, also, he is more quickly seated.

1932 ticket sellers

( 3 ) Season Tickets: These involved careful consideration, as there were many ways in which the complex programme of the Olympic Games could be divided or grouped for such tickets. It was finally decided to have two types of Season Tickets, as follows:
(a) The Olympic Stadium Pass:  A transferable ticket which would admit the holder to the same reserved seat at all the events held in Olympic Stadium during the sixteen-day period of the Games, including the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, all of the Track and Field Athletics, the Demonstrations of American Football and Lacrosse, the Gymnastics, Field Hockey, and the two final days of the Equestrian events. In addition, this pass included the Olympic Victory Ceremonies held in Olympic Stadium each day for the winners of all Olympic competitions, whether the competitions were held in Olympic Stadium or elsewhere. This was a very comprehensive programme and the Olympic Stadium Pass proved to be the most popular ticket. It was realized in the beginning that several of the sports which were to be held in Olympic Stadium were not generally known in this country, and that by creating a ticket including these sports, those holding the tickets would attend them, thus making these sports better known and more popular. This is in exact accordance with the Olympic ideal of furthering interest in all sports throughout the world.


These tickets were featured throughout the period of the ticket sales. They were nearly twice the size of the individual event tickets, and each ticket was put in an individual leather case. They were printed in green and blue, for opposite sides of the Stadium, and the color of the container was carefully selected to harmonize with the color of each ticket. The special design on the plate was cut by the best obtainable steel engraver, who spent some three months completing his work.

( b ) Season Tickets for Individual Sports : These were issued for certain sports where the programme was extensive enough to warrant such a ticket, and entitled the holder to a reserved seat for each programme of the sport for which the ticket was issued. These sports included Boxing, Wrestling, Rowing, Swimming, and Fencing.

( Source document:  Official Report 1932, page 100)

    Design of Tickets:

In selecting a design for the tickets of admission, three principal features were given consideration.
( 1 ) The tickets must clearly indicate the name of the sport, the date, the time of day, the location, the seating assignment, and the price. It was essential that tickets for each individual event should be easily identified, for with thousands of people purchasing tickets weeks or months in advance for many different events, they might, if error occurred, present the wrong tickets at the gates, which would cause inconvenience and embarrassment.

In order to guard against this possibility, there was printed on each ticket, in large type, the number representing the date of the event and one of the letters M, A, or E, as a code identification indicating for what date and time of day that ticket was valid. The tickets were further separated and distinguished by sports or stadiums, by selecting a distinctive color and printing all tickets for that sport or that stadium in that same color throughout. For example, all tickets for Swimming were printed in blue, all tickets for events at the Olympic Auditorium were in red, all tickets for Track and Field Athletics were in orange, and the tickets for all other events at Olympic Stadium were in brown. While this method of identifying tickets was of great value in insuring the presentation of the right tickets at the gates, it was of even greater value in facilitating the stocking and counting of tickets in the Ticket Department, which handled an aggregate of  2,941,057 tickets provided for the Games.



( 2 ) The tickets must not easily be counterfeited or duplicated. They had to be distributed many months in advance of the Games, and to all parts of the world, and every precaution must be taken to prevent any possible duplication or counterfeiting. A special ìsafetyî paper stock was ordered from one of the most reliable paper companies in the United States. This paper was made in three layers, the middle layer being blue and the two outside layers white. The middle layer was specially watermarked and this watermark could be detected only by looking through the ticket against sunlight or other strong light. All tickets except general admission tickets were printed from hand engraved steel plates. Each design had certain secret marks known only to a few members of the Executive Staff. A lithographed spot was printed over the face of each ticket in a different color from that of the engraved design. Great care was taken in the combination of colors used, to make it as difficult as possible to photograph the tickets successfully should duplication or counterfeiting be attempted. There were, besides, several other important protective features.

(3) The element of beauty was not overlooked in the ticket design. Although utility and safety were the prime considerations in the manufacture of the tickets, every effort was made to have them artistically worthy. It was realized that many would retain their tickets as souvenirs, and that after the Games there would be requests for samples for souvenir purposes, and for permanent exhibits in museums, libraries, and other institutions.

(Source document:  Official Report 1932, page 101)


There are  52 Vignettes known
Some Examples:
vignette olympic games 1932 los angeles vignette olympic games 1932 los angeles vignette olympic games 1932 los angeles
vignette olympic games 1932 los angeles
vignette olympic games 1932 los angeles
vignette olympic games 1932 los angeles
vignette olympic games 1932 los angeles
vignette olympic games 1932 los angeles
vignette olympic games 1932 los angeles
vignette olympic games 1932 los angeles   vignette olympic games 1932 los angeles

vignette olympic games 1932 los angeles vignette olympic games 1932 los angeles vignette olympic games 1932 los angeles
vignette olympic games 1932 los angeles vignette olympic games 1932 los angeles vignette olympic games 1932 los angeles
vignette olympic games 1932 los angeles vignette olympic games 1932 los angeles vignette olympic games 1932 los angeles
vignette olympic games 1932 los angeles vignette olympic games 1932 los angeles vignette olympic games 1932 los angeles
vignette olympic games 1932 los angeles
vignette olympic games 1932 los angeles
vignette olympic games 1932 los angeles
vignette olympic games 1932 los angeles
vignette olympic games 1932 los angeles
vignette olympic games 1932 los angeles
vignette olympic games 1932 los angeles

Identity Card

   Identity Cards : 

To simplify entry into the United States of contestants and all others officially connected with the Games, and to identify them quickly and easily, the Committee drew up a simple form of Identity Card which, when filled in and properly signed, the Government agreed to accept as a valid travel document in lieu of passport. The Government further agreed that persons presenting these Identity Cards would be granted the privilege of free entry and the usual customs courtesies and facilities accorded distinguished foreign visitors; and also, that there would be no visa charge by the consular officers of the United States and no head tax.

The Identity Cards were serially numbered. A supply, consecutively numbered, was forwarded to each National Olympic Committee, and each Committee became responsible for the proper issuance of the cards to athletes, managers, coaches, team attendants, members of Committees or Federations, members of Juries, accredited Press representatives, and members of immediate families and personal servants. Complete records were kept of those to whom Identity Cards were issued, and the card number in each case became an identification number. This number was used on all travel certificates and on all entry forms and became the key to the identification of all Olympic representatives. The lists of persons to whom Identity Cards were issued were used by the Credentials Department in preparing credentials, at the Olympic Village in checking reservations and assigning quarters, and in many other ways.

identity card olympic games 1932

The following "Information for National Olympic Committees " covering the provisions for entering the United States, was mailed to all National Olympic Committees several months before the period of the Games :

Information for National Olympic Committees
Xth Olympiad - Los Angeles - 1932


The Identity Card when properly completed in accordance with the following instructions and indorsed by your Government as indicated on page 3 of the Card and issued to persons officially connected with the Games of the Xth Olympiad will, when visaed by an American consular officer abroad, be accepted by the Government of the United States of America as a travel document in lieu of a passport for entry into the United States. Such persons may, however, desire also to obtain a regular passport appropriate to their case from the Government of the country to which they owe allegiance . In such a case the visa if granted would be placed upon the passport rather than upon the Identity Card, and the visa will be without cost if an Identity Card is presented.

If the proper Department of the Government of your country will complete page 3 of the Identity Card, thereby approving the Card as a valid travel document issued to a citizen or subject of your country, it will be unnecessary for the person to whom the Card was issued to have in addition a passport or other travel document, and upon establishment of non-immigrant status by the applicant the consular officer of the United States to whom application for a visa is made will issue a temporary visitor's visa for which NO FEE will be collected.

The National Olympic Committe e of any country may consult with the American consular officer in the city where the National Committee has its head office in regard to making arrangements to facilitate the examination of the persons to whom it is contemplated the Identity Cards shall be issued. It is suggested that arrangements be made for the members of the group to consult the appropriate consular officer to whom they will apply for visas sometime in advance of their sailing in order that sufficient time may be available in which the consular officer may make such inquiries as may be found necessary.

The Identity Cards, prepared and issued by the Organizing Committee of the Games of the Xth Olympiad in Los Angeles, are serially numbered. The Government of the United States of America and the Organizing Committee will expect your Committee to account for each and every one of these Identity Cards as follows :

( 1 ) Make one complete list showing the numbers of the Identity Cards and the names of persons to whom the Cards are issued in the same classification arrangement as shown on page 2 of the Identity Cards where the eligible groups are classified, so persons in each classification, as "Athletes," etc., will be grouped together on the list;

( 2 ) The Secretary or other official of the National Olympic Committee will bring the original and a copy of this list with him to Los Angeles and deliver these two copies of the list to the office of the Organizing Committee, and keep a copy of same in the office of his Committee and have with him on the steamer extra copies of same so that they may be furnished to, or examined by, government officials should the occasion arise, such lists to bear the name of the National Olympic Committee and the signature of its President and/or Secretary.

All persons coming under any one of the five groups or classifications shown on page 2 of the Identity Card will have to secure their Identity Cards through the office of the National Olympic Committee and your office will personally issue the Identity Cards to such groups, keeping a record of same on the above referred to lists, under the group or classification indicated, and be responsible for this procedure.

The Secretary or other official of your National Olympic Committee will deliver to the office of the Organizing Committee, at the same time the two copies of the list are delivered, all unused Identity Cards so that all of the Identity Cards issued to your Committee will thus be accounted for.

When the Identity Cards are being completed in the office of the National Olympic Committee if an error is made DO NOT ERASE OR OTHERWISE ENDEAVOR TO CORRECT SUCH CARD; cancel such Card, issue a new Card and return the cancelled Cards to the Organizing Committee as provided for above.

(Source document:  Official Report 1932 Los Angeles,  page 221-223)

Picture Postcards

Some Examples
picture postcard olympic games 1932 Los Angeles picture postcard olympic games 1932 Los Angeles
picture postcard olympic games 1932 Los Angeles picture postcard olympic games 1932 Los Angeles
picture postcard olympic games 1932 Los Angeles picture postcard olympic games 1932 Los Angeles
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