Friday, August 19, 2016

The Olympics - Vintage Photo Friday

Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, 1932 Olympic Summer Games

It is a possibility that Los Angeles may, once again, host the Olympic Games in 2024. We were the host city in 1932 and then again in 1984. With the closing of this year's Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, I'm looking forward to regular television programming returning.  Yeah, I'm a curmudgeon about the Olympics. They're exciting to me for about 2 days. I realize that athletes train their entire lives for this once-in-a-lifetime experience. Then what? They still have to get a job that usually doesn't involve their athletic prowess. Some athletes are lucky enough to build on their Olympic participation, many are not.
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, 1984

It was a glorious 2-1/2 weeks in Los Angeles in 1984 when we hosted the Olympics. Many residents, fearing extra traffic and crowds left town for the duration of the games. People curbed their driving. There was no smog. The weather was perfect. I attended many events in person, which was a thrill. It was a wonderful time in Los Angeles.
L.A. Public Library Photo Archives

My Dad attended many of the events during the 1932 Olympics in Los Angeles. I even have a printed program from the 1932 opening ceremonies at the Coliseum where my tween-aged Dad pasted newspaper clippings of his favorite Olympic swimming star, Johnny Weismuller!

The Olympics makes a city do some wondrous things. For instance, the renaming of 10th Street. 10th Street in Los Angeles was renamed Olympic Boulevard for the 1932 Summer Olympics, as that was the occasion of the tenth modern event. Tenth Street School, at Olympic and Grattan, was founded in 1888 and has kept the original name. Parts of the old 10th Street exist as smaller streets near Hancock Park, in Westlake, and in the Central City East area southeast of Downtown. 10th Street stopped at the eastern edge of 20th Century Fox Studios. It picked up on the western side of the Studio as Country Club Drive. Below, see Shirley Temple at the 1939 bridge dedication at the Studio.
The Olympic Blvd. bridge dedication, connecting the north and south portions of 20th Century Fox Studios, 1939. Shirley Temple, presiding

In 1932, Helms Bakeries became the official bread supplier for the Olympics. The company’s signature “Olympic Bread” was packaged in distinctive wrapping that sported the famous five-ringed Olympic symbol. The recently restored Helms Bakeries neon sign still proudly advertises that Olympic history.
Helms Bakery Neon

Enjoy the closing ceremonies on August 21st, broadcast from Rio!

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