The 1936 Berlin Games were supposed to showcase Adolf Hitler’s belief in Aryan supremacy, but it was a young African-American sprinter named Jesse Owens who famously stole the show. Owens reigned supreme in four track and field events, copping gold medals in the 100m, 200m, 4x100m relay, and long jump.
The ’36 Olympiad will also be remembered as the first to have television coverage and the first to introduce the Olympic flame torch relay, where a lighted torch was passed on from runner to runner starting in Olympia, the birthplace of the ancient Games.
Basketball made its Olympic debut, and the Philippines was one of 21 nations that joined the inaugural tournament. Led by future Philippine senator Ambrosio Padilla, the Filipinos finished fifth, which to date remains the highest finish by an Asian nation in Olympic basketball. (Source: Olympic.org.)
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