Vietnam Center & Archive News and Updates

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Olympic Games That Never Were

A travel guide produced by the Board of Tourist Industry, Japanese Government Railways, found in the Douglas Pike Collection: Indochina Archive (the collection is currently being processed and is scheduled to be made available to the public in the Spring) documents the plans for the Summer Olympic Games that were never held.     

As we watch the 2010 Winter Olympic Games taking place in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, from February 12th-28th, we revel in, applaud and admire the dedication, discipline, grace, and athleticism of our olympians, who symbolize and embody the international spirit of sportsmanship and national pride as they compete on a global level.

Ice Skater

As these Winter Games take place it is hard to imagine a time when the state of international relations prevented the Olympic games from taking place, but there was. In 1940, the Olympic games of the XII Olympiad were cancelled due to global war, World War II.

Fencing

The decision of where to hold the 1940 Summer Olympics had been a tumultuous one from the beginning. Japan and Italy quarreled over its location. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) chose Tokyo, Japan to host the Summer Olympics from September 21-October 6, 1940.

The IOC was forced to reverse its decision with the outbreak of the Sino-Japanese War. The IOC chose Helsinki, Finland to host the games in lieu of Japan, untill the outbreak of World War II cancelled the 1940 Summer Olympic games altogether.

Olympic Stadium Plans

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