POSTER STAMPS AND LABELS OF THE OLYMPIC GAMES

      INTRODUCTION

      STATISTICS

      UNSOLVED MYSTERIES

      SOLVED MYSTERIES!

       SUMMER GAMES
1894 - Modern Games Founded
1896 - I Olympiad - Athens
1900 - II Olympiad - Paris
1904 - III Olympiad - St. Louis
1906 - Intercalated Games - Athens
1908 - IV Olympiad - London
1912 - V Olympiad - Stockholm
1913 - Berlin prepares for 1916 games
1914 - 20th Anniversary of Rebirth of Games
1916 - VI Olympiad - Berlin
1920 - VII Olympiad - Antwerp
1924 - VIII Olympiad - Paris
      - Post Cards
1928 - IX Olympiad - Amsterdam
1932 - X Olympiad - Los Angeles
1936 - XI Olympiad - Berlin
1940 - XII Olympiad - Tokyo
      - XII Olympiad - Helsinki
      - New Zealand Centennial Games
1944 - XIII Olympiad - London
      - German POW Games
1948 - XIV Olympiad - London

Workers' Olympics - Olympiades Ouvrières - Arbeiter-Olympiade
Arbeider Olympiade - Dělnická Olympiada - Olimpiada Popular

The DuBois catalog covers only items relating to official Olympic Ganes sponsored by the IOC, but there have been other competitions calling themselves Olympics, or some related name. This page covers those. None of this material is listed in the DuBois catalog.



Postcard advertising the first International Workers' Olympics
Frankfurt, Germany, July, 1925

The Socialist Workers movements of Europe in the 19-teens and -twenties viewed the Olympic Games as elitist events limited to privileged white males (Pierre de Coubertin, founder of the modern Games, had opposed women's participation and advocated the superiority of white Europeans over other races). As an egalitarian alternative, the Socialist Workers' Sport International (SASI) (founded in 1920) established the Workers' Olympics, which were held four times from 1921 through 1937. The Soviet Union established its own similar competions, called Spartakiads. A key element of both the Workers' Olympics and the Spartakiads was that anyone could participate, the competitions were not limited to established champion athletes.

Below are poster stamps and labels (plus some other items) created to promote these events. The quantity of this material is relatively small, so I have put it all on this one page, organized chronologically.


Contributions to these pages are welcomed.
If you can supply additional or better images or information, please send to:

      STILL MISSING

      ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

      UPDATE HISTORY

       SUMMER GAMES
1952 - XV Olympiad - Helsinki
1956 - XVI Olympiad - Melbourne
      - XVI Olympiad - Stockholm
1960 - XVII Olympiad - Rome
1964 - XVIII Olympiad - Tokyo

       WINTER GAMES
1924 - I Winter Games - Chamonix
1928 - II Winter Games - St Moritz
1932 - III Winter Games - Lake Placid
1936 - IV Winter Games - Garmisch-Partenkirchen
1940 - V Winter Games - Sapporo
      - V Winter Games - St Moritz
      - V Winter Games - Garmisch-Partenkirchen
1944 - V Winter Games - Cortina d'Ampezzo
1948 - V Winter Games - St Moritz
1952 - VI Winter Games - Oslo
1956 - VII Winter Games - Cortina d'Ampezzo
1960 - VIII Winter Games - Squaw Valley
1964 - IX Winter Games - Innsbruck

       OTHER TOPICS
      - U.S. OLYMPIC SHIELD DECALS
      - Workers' Olympics

YEAR Location EVENT
1921 Prague, Czechoslovakia


Poster for 1921 Delnicka Olympiada.

1st International Workers' Olympics - Unofficial

Workers' Gymnastic Union - Delnicke Telocvicne Jednoty - DTJ

Czechoslovakia in the early 20th century had a strong tradition of sports organizations, especially the SOKOL movement, which was a covertly patriotic group founded in 1862. The Sokols held regular local, regional and national competitions called Slets, for which many postcards and poster stamps were created. You can view my extensive set of pages about Sokol postcards and labels HERE.

In 1897, socialist Sokols split off to form the Delnicke Telocvicne Jednoty (DTJ), or Workers' Gymnastic Union, which in 1920 joined the newly-formed Socialist Workers' Sport International (SASI). An international Workers' Olympics was proposed, but the only SASI group with sufficient enthusiasm and structure to mount such an event was the DTJ, which held a Workers' Olympics in Prague in 1921. Athletes from thirteen countries participated. "In addition to competitive sports, the games featured mass artistic displays, choral recitals, political plays and singing of revolutionary songs."

I have seen no poster stamps or labels advertising this event, but there are many postcards, some of which are shown below.

POSTCARDS FOR THE 1921 WORKERS' OLYMPICS in PRAGUE

                   


1925 Frankfurt, Germany


Poster for 1925 International Workers' Olympics

1st International Workers' Olympics - Official

By 1925 SASI had developed to the point that it was able to mount the First Official Workers' Olympics in Frankfurt, Germany. 100,000 athletes from 12 countries competed, with 450,000 spectators.

I have seen four poster stamps advertising this event, shown below. The first three reproduce the official poster, one with text in Czech, one in French, and one in German. There may be versions in other languages. The last stamp is a promotion for Esperanto.

           


1927 Prague, Czechoslovakia


Postcard for 1927 Delnicka Olympiada

II Delnicka Olympiada

The Czech DTJ just couldn't wait - they held another unoffical Workers' Olympics in Prague in 1927, spurred I suppose by the huge eighth National Slet the Sokols staged in 1926.

I have seen three labels advertising this event, shown below.

       

That last image of the four stamps overprinted "II DELNICKA OLYMPIADA CESKOSLOVENSKA" raises the question What is the underlying stamp? HERE is an image of a full pane with the overprint. The stamps are numbered 1 thru 50, with "2H" on each stamp - for 2 Heller, the denomination. So what was the original use of the stamps? Just fund-raising?

SVAZ DTJ CESKOSLOVANSKYCH = DTJ Union of Czechoslovakia


1931 - Summer Vienna, Austria


Poster for 1931 Workers' Olympics

2nd International Workers' Olympics, 1931 - Vienna, Austria

SASI mounted its second event in 1931.

I have seen just one label advertising this event, shown below.


1931 - Winter Mürzzuschlag, Austria



Photo of participants (curling)

2nd International Workers' Winter Olympics, 1931 - Mürzzuschlag, Austria

I have seen two labels advertising this event, shown below.

   

Rüstet zur internat. Arbeiter-Wintersport Olympiade 1930/31 in Mürzzuschlag Österreich vom 5-8 Feber 1931

Get ready for the International Workers' Winter Olympics 1930/31 in Mürzzuschlag Austria from 5-8 February 1931


1934 Prague, Czechoslovakia


Postcard for 1934 Delnicka Olympiada

III Delnicka Olympiada

The Czech DTJ just couldn't wait - they held another unoffical Workers' Olympics in Prague in 1934, spurred I suppose by the huge ninth National Slet the Sokols staged in 1932.

I have seen one label advertising this event, shown below.

It reproduces the image on the postcard, which must have been the official poster as well.


1936 Barcelona, Spain


Poster for 1936 People's Olympics

Olimpiada Popular

According to Wikipedia -

The People's Olympiad (Catalan: Olimpíada Popular, Spanish Olimpiada Popular) was a planned international multi-sport event that was intended to take place in Barcelona, the capital of the autonomous region of Catalonia within the Spanish Republic. It was conceived as a protest event against the 1936 Summer Olympics being held in Berlin.

Despite gaining the support from some atheletes; and most significantly Joseph Stalin's Soviet Union and the Communist International, who had also boycotted the Berlin Olympics; the People's Olympiad was never held, as a result of the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War. Barcelona would later host the official 1992 Summer Olympics.

       


1937 Antwerp, Belgium


Poster for 1937 Workers' Olympics

III OLYMPIADE OUVRIERE / 3de ARBEIDERS OLYMPIADE

After the cancellation of the 1936 Workers' Olympics in Barcelona, the event was resecheduled for the following year in Antwerp.

According to Wikipedia:

1937 Olympiad was a joint event with the Red Sport International organized Spartakiads. It was the first time a delegation from the Soviet Union took part at the Workers' Olympiad. German athletes no longer participated since the Workers' Gymnastics and Sports Federation of Germany had been banned by the Nazi regime in 1933.

Below, a fund-raising label (in German) for the 1937 Workers Olympics, issued in 1936 during a gymnastics festival (turnfest) in Komotau (today Chomutov), Czechoslovakia (which was a German-speaking town at the time, part of the Sudetenland.) ATUS stands for "Sudetendeutsche Arbeiter-Turn- und Sportverband" (Sudeten German Workers' Gymnastics and Sports Association).

Below, two poster stamps produced to advertise the competitions, and both sides of an official press pass for the event.

           



If you have information or images that can improve this website, please contact me at


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I am indebted to Robert J DuBois for allowing me to use images and information from his Catalog of Olympic Labels on these web pages.

All text and images are the property of the author. Any errors are his.
REWARD! If you have better or additional information about anything shown or discussed here, please email the author.
Email address at bottom of page. Full credit gladly given - your name, ebay ID, web site...

Click here to access my web page about the 1936-1951 Poster Stamp Bulletin of the National Poster Stamp Society.

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All text Copyright © 2016, William M. Senkus

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Created -- 01/09/2017
Revised -- 08/08/2017