Outrage! Polish cavalry captain Roycewicz tricked by Germans. - Niepospolita
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Outrage! Polish cavalry captain Roycewicz tricked by Germans.

Another outrage at the Summer Olympic Games in Berlin! This time it was our champion horse riding team which fell victim to this year’s host’s unquenchable thirst for gold.

After marvellous runs completed by Seweryn Kulesza and Zdzislaw Kawecki it was our Horse Master, Henryk Leliwa-Roycewicz, who appeared at the start line riding his magnificent horse, Arlekin III. He was a master and 6 times Polish Champion in Eventing. On three occasions he won the prestigious Equestrian World Cup (in 1928, 1931, and 1932).

It seemed that an Olympic Gold Medal for team eventing was destined for Poland, especially with Roycewicz approaching the start line. Unfortunately, life told a different story. Polish team had to settle for silver, however, this was not due to their mistakes but a nasty trick played on them by the Germans.

The referees informed Roycewicz that he had missed an obstacle and would be disqualified. Our proud champion turned around to jump over the said obstacle and still fight in the race. It was only when he did so that the referees admitted they made a “mistake”. Unfortunately, the time lost due to an additional 4 km ran by Leliwa was enough for the Germans to claim gold.

Roycewicz came 15th in the individual eventing competition. The victory of Wehrmacht officers was undeserved yet celebrated with enthusiasm in Nazi propaganda.

That was the story of how Teutonic arrogance trampled on all honourable notions of fair play that were the guiding principle of the Games. From this day forth Berlin as a host of Olympic Games shall be avoided by all!