Rowing historian Bernard Hempseed of New Zealand, who now and then has contributed some nice pieces to HTBS, writes
‘They were possibly the oddest sporting prizes ever awarded. Along with gold medals, the champions of the 1936 Olympics in Berlin were each presented with an oak sapling by Adolf Hitler.
‘Many of the 130 oaks disappeared without trace, but others were dispersed around the world and planted in the athletes’ home towns so that they would grow into mighty oaks.’
Bernard continues: “In New Zealand we have one of these oaks growing. It was presented to the athlete Jack Lovelock for winning the 1,500 metres. He brought it home and it was planted in the grounds of his old school, Timaru Boys High, in Timaru. I have seen it and it is a big tree now. Timaru is about 160 kilometres south of where I live. We Kiwis are rather proud of Lovelock of course. He was one of the Greats. Nothing to do with rowing, but an interesting story and you can read all about him here.
This was, indeed, a very interesting story, Bernard ~ thank you!