chapter  Chapter 3
18 Pages

Los Angeles and the Olympics

ByJohn Horne, Garry Whannel

Los Angeles, as a combination of conservatism and free market enterprise, was never likely to have a vibrant public sector, although recent city governance has instigated some productive developments, especially in urban transport. The creation of Los Angeles involved a series of power struggles over the land, the water, the media, the oil, transport, and military hardware production. The 1932 Olympics used electric photo-timing devices as back-ups to hand-timing. Although female athletes stayed in Los Angeles’s Chapman Park Hotel, all of the male competitors stayed in the 321-acre ‘Olympic village’, which had more than 500 bungalows, 40 kitchens, a hospital, and a post office. The American press coverage of the Games was filled with references to the friendship between nations that the Olympics produced. The Olympics appeared the most essential institution ever created for promoting world peace. The national identity marketed by the Los Angeles Olympics fueled patriotic visions of providential superiority.