1940 Summer Olympics
|Host city||N/A, (cancelled due to World War II)|
The 1940 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XII Olympiad and originally scheduled to be held from 21 September to 6 October 1940, in Tokyo, Japan, were cancelled due to the outbreak of World War II. Tokyo's suitability to host the Games began to be called into question in 1938, amid the continuation of the Second Sino-Japanese War. Numerous countries suggested a different site be chosen and spoke of the possibility of boycotting the Games were they to proceed in Tokyo. In March of that year, the Japanese provided reassurances to the IOC at the organization's Cairo conference that Tokyo would still be able to serve as the host city. But amid the growing international criticism and the Japanese military's longstanding opposition the Games, which the military saw as a source of undesirable international influence on Japanese culture and ideas, the government of Japan abandoned its support for the 1940 Games in July. The IOC then awarded the Games to Helsinki, Finland, the city that had been the runner-up in the original bidding process. The Games were then scheduled to be staged from July 20 to August 4, 1940. The Olympic Games were suspended indefinitely following the outbreak of World War II and did not resume until the London Games of 1948.
Had the 1940 Summer Games been held, a never-before used method of bringing the Olympic Flame from Nazi Germany to Japan was proposed - by air delivery, in the purpose-built Messerschmitt Me 261 Adolfine long-range aircraft, which was designed to have a maximum range of some 9,500 km (5,900 mi) unrefueled.
With the Olympics cancelled, the major international athletics event of the year turned out to be the annual Finland-Sweden athletics international, held at the new Helsinki Olympic Stadium, exceptionally held as a triple international among Finland, Sweden and Germany. Gliding was due to be an Olympic sport in the 1940 Games after a demonstration at the Berlin Games in 1936. The sport has not been featured in any Games since, though the glider designed for it, the DFS Olympia Meise was produced in large numbers after the war.
Despite the cancellation of the 1940 Olympics, the Tokyo organizing committee released its budget for the Games. In a departure from standard practice, the budget included all capital outlays as well as direct organizing costs. The total budget was ¥20.1 million, one-third of which would have been paid by the Tokyo metropolitan government.
During August 1940, prisoners of war celebrated a "special Olympics" called International Prisoner-of-War Olympic Games. These were inaugurated and celebrated in stalag number XIII-A in Langwasser close to Nuremberg, Germany. An Olympic flag 29 by 46 cm in size was made of a Polish prisoner’s shirt and, drawn in crayon, it featured the Olympic rings and banners for Belgium, France, Great Britain, Norway, Poland and Netherlands. A feature film was produced by the director Andrzej Kotkowski in 1979 called Olimpiada '40 telling the story of these games and one of the prisoners of war, Teodor Niewiadomski.
See also 
- Olympic Games abandoned due to war
- Summer Olympic Games
- Olympic Games
- International Olympic Committee
- List of IOC country codes
- Relman Morin (1938-07-14). "Japan Abandons Olympics Because of War". The Evening Independent. p. 6. Retrieved 29 September 2009.
- German Combat Planes. Doubleday. 1971. p. 312.
- Welch, Ann (1980). The Story of Gliding 2nd edition. John Murray. ISBN 0-7195-3659-6.
- "Glider design to be used at the 1940 Olympic Games". Retrieved 2008-03-25.
- Zarnowski, C. Frank (Summer 1992). "A Look at Olympic Costs" (PDF). Citius, Altius, Fortius 1 (1): 16–32. Retrieved 2007-03-24.
- Grys, Iwona (April–May 1996). "The Olympic Idea Transcending War" (PDF). Olympic Review 25 (8): 68–69. Archived from the original on 10 September 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-31.
Further reading 
- International Journal of the History of Sport, vol. 24, 2007, No. 8, Special Issue: The Missing Olympics: The 1940 Tokyo Games, Japan, Asia and the Olympic Movement
|Summer Olympic Games
XII Olympiad (1940)
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: 1940 Summer Olympics|