By Olympic Gold Medallist M. N. Masood
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Olympic Closing Ceremony
|The German Hall is regarded as the
largest hall in the world. Its spaciousness can be described by the fact
that dining tables for about 5000 athletes had been arranged there,
and still there was more room in it.
After the party, we left the Hall for Potsdamer station. The train was late by half an hour, and as we had been so accustomed to finding things at specified times during our stay in Berlin, a late train sounded un-German.
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he next day, the 16th August at 3:00 pm, we bade farewell to the Olympic Village where we had spent about five of the most pleasant weeks of our lives. We had been regarding it as "Our Village", and it was quite an effort to say goodbye to it for good.
When we traversed the-oft treaded distance from the cottage to the Gate, every step brought forth vivid memories of the place. Still more painful was saying goodbye to the friends whom we might not see again.
Our flags were lowered before we left the Olympic Village.
A fortnight of unprecedented spectacles, huge crowds and soul-stirring athletic achievements came to a close on the evening of 16th August 1936, when the last competitor, after giving a display of finished riding and jumping, left the Stadium amidst tumultuous cheers from the crowd.
The Stadium was floodlit. There were no armies of athletes to march past on this occasion, but the flags of the competing nations made an impressive sight. Herr Hitler and a distinguished party, including King Boris of Bulgaria, occupied the Loges of Honour.
Complete silence followed the cheers of the crowd which were given to the last rider, who incidentally won the much coveted gold medal. The silence was broken by the speech of Count Baillet-Latour, who offered to Fuhrer, the German people, the authorities of Berlin and the organisers of the Games the gratitude of the International Olympic Committee. His final words were, "May the Olympic torch be carried on throughout the ages with ever greater eagerness, courage and honour for the good of humanity".
Then came the lowering and carrying away of the official Olympic Flag by eight volunteers in white, and the delivery of the flag from Los Angeles into the custody of the Mayor of Berlin. The Olympic flame was extinguished, a minute's silence was observed and a clarion call from a voice in the darkness called the athletes of the world to the XII Olympiad at Tokyo.
The German Hall
After the closing ceremony of the Olympic Games, we proceeded to the German Hall for the dinner party given by the leader of Reich Sport to all the competing athletes. It was a sight to see these flowers of manhood sitting all together under one roof and partaking of the common meal. This was the last occasion when the Indian contingent formed a part of the whole, the athletes of the world. From now on, we were only the Indian hockey team, our athletes would be left behind.
The German Hall is regarded by the Germans as the largest hall in the world. It has no props or pillars, and exhibits an example of the new formative style which characterizes the German architecture of today. Its spaciousness can well be described by the fact that dining tables for about five thousand athletes had been arranged there, and still there was more room in it.
After the party, we left the Hall for Potsdamer station. The train was, however, late by half an hour, and as we had been so accustomed to seeing or finding things at specified times during our stay in Berlin, a late train sounded something un-German.
The Indian team on August 1 in light-blue turbans and golden kullahs