Olympia    II

The 1936 film produced by LENI RIEFENSTAHL

This DVD begins softly, with overviews of lakes and forests with morning birds making their rounds.  Stirring music builds and builds as the morning sun breaks through the trees.  The athletes begin their day too with their workouts in running, swimming etc.  Then comes the shaving and morning showers as the mists rise from over the lakes and meadows.  The athletes meet for breakfast.

The teams march into Olympia Stadium and continue with more workouts and warm up exercises.

LENI in an early film.

They begin with gymnastics - the rings, the parallel bars and the high bar then out to sea for the various sailing races where Holland, Germany and Great Britain win their respective events.

Once back on land, the best athletes in the world take part in the Pentathlon in which Germany, the United States and Italy finish in the top three medal positions.  After the Women's Interpretive Dance competition, we move to the Decathlon, the toughest test of the world's best athletes and the USA took all three medals.  There were events in Field Hockey, Polo, Soccer and 100km bicycle race, which was won by France.  Just as well, as the French rider fell off his horse in the initial Horsemanship events and that country did not place.

In the very difficult Equestrian Field Events, riders from Germany, Japan, England, Denmark, Italy and Poland fell from their mounts while the Dutch horse merely refused to jump and was disqualified.

The games all are announced by an English speaking announcer.  

The DVD continues with Rowing, Women's Diving in which the USA took all three medals, Men's 200 meter breaststroke that was won by Japan, Men's Freestyle Swimming, Women's Freestyle won by Holland and the Men's High Diving.  The film closes with chorale singing, flags waving and it too, is a fantastic look into an age gone past, an age of beauty and ceremony that will probably never be seen again in our lifetime.

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