George Roth and Indian Club Swinging: The British Empire’s Brief Contribution to Olympic Lore


  1. Cool post. I have a couple thoughts – 1, he was probably literally an amateur. Often we forget that people weren’t training their entire life for the Olympics. They may have just been good and decided to go. 2, things were much more open at the time. You had a lot more access to celebrities – which L.A. was full of – and hitchhiking was not unusual. Celebrities drove themselves. And I guess they picked up hitchhikers. 3, from what I’ve read of the 1932 Olympics, it seemed much more haphazard. Living in tents and such. I can totally see this situation playing off. As to guessing the celebrity, I wouldn’t have guessed Jimmy Durante. While he was big at the time, his legendary status makes this story so much more interesting.

    1. It’s a great story isn’t it?

      Glad you pointed out how haphazard the 1932 Olympics were. Despite what people may think about the current Rio Olympic’s organisational problems, there is little doubt that the early games were much more amateurish than we would believe!

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