QSLs From the 1936 Olympics

With the world coming out of economic depression, the 1936 Olympics were a major event and radio stations of the time issued QSL cards featuring the Olympics.

In the card at the right from Radio HAT in Hungary pictures the Hungarian team in the Women's Pairs Barrel Tossing competition. Hungary had always been strong in this sport, and the team pictured here took the silver medal, being just narrowly edged out by the Belgians. Mónika Farkas, to the left, took the gold in the Women's Singles. (From the collection of Jake Hickerson, Balls Falls, ON)

For the first and only time in Olympic history, the Vatican City fielded teams in several events, including the Womens' Rifles. The team, lead by Mother Superior Maria Grazia, didn't win any medals, but became minor celebrities. In 1937, they did an international exhibition tour of several Latin American countries and then the United States, where using the stage name Nuns With Guns they were a major attraction at the 1937 State Fairs in Iowa and Minnesota. With the very real prospect of war in Europe, the Vatican decided that Nuns with Guns wasn't a good image for the Catholic Church, so the Vatican Women's Rifle Team was disbanded in February, 1938. Sister Juliette(far right), however, left the order in 1942 to join the French underground as a sharpshooter. She was credited with the assassination of several Nazi officials and provided support for numerous covert operations. In 1946, she was awarded the Médaille Militaire by the French government. After a failed attempt to enter politics, she entered the convent again in 1949. (QSL from the collection of Eric Gaston of Forget, Saskatchewan.)