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Greece at the 1936 Winter Olympics

Greece ● 25 October 2017
 

Greece is the homeland of Olympic Games since antiquity, the country that gave birth to the idea of universal sports events that had as a result truce between the nations. During the Olympic Games, the soldiers, who were at the same time athletes, contested together as co-athletes and not as enemies. Greece has several participations and significant success in the Summer Olympics since 1896 with great athletes, who won metals and created a legend. However, it hadn't participated in Winter Olympics until 1936, namely the year, in which the last Olympic Games before the Second World War took place. The presence of Greece in Winter Olympics is not as successful as in Summer Olympics, but since 1936, it sends constantly athletes in this important athletic competition.

The IV Olympic Winter Games (IV Olympische Winterspiele 1936) took place in the market town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen in Bavaria, Germany (6-16 February), while also in 1936 the Summer Olympics took place in Berlin. According to the International Olympic Committee, 1936 is the last year, in which the Summer and Winter Olympic Games were both held in the same country. 646 athletes (566 men and 80 women) from 28 nations participated. Medals were awarded in the following 4 sports: Bobsleigh, Ice hockey, Skating (figure and speed skating) and Skiing (alpine and Nordic skiing). Alpine skiing events in a combined format (downhill and slalom) were included for the first time in Winter Olympic Games, but there was a controversy with Austria and Switzerland withdrawing their athletes because ski instructors were banned as professionals. Norway won the most medals (15). The official opening ceremony had been made by Chancellor Adolf Hitler.


Greece sent only one athlete to compete in Germany. According to the Hellenic Olympic Committee, the only Greek athlete, who was sent to represent Greece in the Winter Olympic Games in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, was Dimitrios Negrepontis. He participated in the combined event of alpine skiing (Men's combined) as well as in cross-country skiing (Men's 18 kilometres). He didn't win a medal, and its rank was the 43rd. However, his name is an important part of the Olympic history of Greece as he was the first Greek athlete in Winter Olympic Games.

Dimitrios Negrepontis grew up in Laussane, Switzerland, where he learned to ski. At the age of 20, Dimitrios Negrepontis took part for the first and last time in Olympic Games. After this distinction in his athletic career and because the next Winter Olympics were organised after 12 years, in 1948, due to the Second World War, Dimitrios Negrepontis ended his career as an Olympic athlete and became a Greek shipping magnate.


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