1952 Helsinki. Paavo Nurmi at the 1952 Opening Ceremony.

In 1954, another film about the Helsinki Olympics, 50 minutes long, was released: Memories of the Olympic Summer of 1952. This one is in color. But it also contains something not included in the original three-hour+ version: hindsight. Finland expected more tourists and was overprepared. The organizers even provided “new mattress covers” for the newly-built Olympic Village. Many hotel rooms went unfilled and ticket sales to foreigners were fewer than expected. The film takes an upbeat interpretation of this disappointment by pointing out that at least more seats were available for Finns.

The other disappointment was the Finnish failure in athletics. One gathers between the lines of the commentary that this was considered a national scandal. In 1936, Finland gained ten medals in athletics. The number dropped to three in 1948 and just one bronze in their home stadium in 1952.

Mention is made of the Soviet Union setting up its own athletes’ village with 100 kitchen staff. However, there is also emphasis on the Helsinki Olympics healing “this broken age we live in” and countering “war and destructive politics.”