The People's Olympics, in Barcelona, Spain was intended as a protest event against the 1936 Summer Olympics planned for Berlin during the period of Nazi rule. The newly-elected, left-wing Popular Front government in Spain decided to boycott the Berlin Olympics and host its own games following its election in February 1936. Invitations were made to the nations of the world. Buildings built for the 1929 World's Fair were supposed to be used for an Olympic Village. The games were scheduled to be held from 19 July to 26 July and would have therefore ended six days prior to the start of the Berlin games.
A total of 6,000 athletes from twenty-two nations registered for the games, including boxers Sammy Luftspring and Norman "Baby" Yack from Canada.
Many of the athletes were sent by trade unions, workers' clubs and associations, socialist and Communist parties, and other left-wing groups rather than by state-sponsored committees. Sammy Luftspring and Norman "Baby" Yack were sent with donations from the Canadian Jewish Congress.
With the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War just as the games were to begin, the alternate games were cancelled.
Scope and Content
Photograph of Sammy Luftspring aboard the SS Alaunia on route to the People's Olympics in Barcelona.
Image is located on page 22 of the 65 x 48 cm scrapbook.
Copyright is in the public domain and permission for use is not required. Please credit the Ontario Jewish Archives as the source of the photograph.