Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Orkney at the Olympics

Photograph taken from Brittania.com

On the 3rd of August 1936, American track and field athlete, Jesse Owens, wowed the Berlin Summer Olympics by winning the 100 metre dash. He also took medals for the 200 metre dash, the long jump event and the 4 x 100 metre relay event that year.

This caused some embarrassment for the German Chancellor of the time, Adolf Hitler, who had been hoping to use the games to demonstrate the supremacy of, not only German athletes, but the Aryan race. Germany did top the medal table by the end of the games but Jesse Owens was the star of the hour.

Another, less well-known- participant at the 1936 Olympics was one Tom Ward, a wrestler from Orkney. Born at Scar House in Sanday, 1907, Tom started wrestling when working for the metropolitan police in London. The Orcadian was beaten on points by a Turkish wrestler so did not win a medal, but he represented Britain again at the 1938 Empire (now Commonwealth) games.

Tom Ward and Jesse Owens at the Olympic Village, Berlin 1938.

This photograph and the information in this post were taken from a Fereday project written by a relation of Tom's, Christie Ward. Reference D70/12/10


  1. I don't suppose you have any photos of Tom Ward at the 1938 British Empire Games in Sydney?

    1. Hi Paul, we're not able to search the photos just now due to the UK lockdown, but will definitely have a look for you when we get back to the Archive.

  2. Thanks Dusty. I would very much appreciate that. I hope you are keeping well.

  3. Hi Paul,

    Unfortunately, we do not seem to have any photos of Tom at the Sydney British Empire Games. Thank you for your patience and good luck with your research.


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