It is one hundred years since Antwerp hosted the Olympic Games...


The organisation of the 1920 Games was entrusted to Antwerp as a tribute to the heavy price paid by Belgium during the First World War.

These Games brought together 2,622 athletes from 29 nations and were the scene of major sporting achievements. Their opening ceremony also made history, as it was the first time that the famous flag with the five interlaced rings had adorned an Olympic stadium. It was a very significant symbol, with the rings representing the union of the five continents and the meeting of athletes from all over the world at the Olympic Games. It was also the first time athletes had taken the Olympic Oath, which committed them to abide by the rules and adopt an exemplary attitude.

However, the Games had already started before the Opening Ceremony on 14 August, as the winter events were held in April 1920. Ice hockey also made its debut in the Games schedule. The Antwerp Games are therefore the only ones to have hosted not only the "summer" games, but also the "winter" games.

The athletes performed exceptionally well. Italian Nedo Nadi, for example, won fame in the fencing events by winning five of the six gold medals. American Ethelda Bleibtrey won three women's swimming events. Oscar Swahn, the Swede who was 72 years old at the time, left his mark on the Games by becoming the oldest medallist in history. He won the silver medal in the men's team running deer double-shot.