Encyclopedia  |   World Factbook  |   World Flags  |   Reference Tables  |   List of Lists     
   Academic Disciplines  |   Historical Timeline  |   Themed Timelines  |   Biographies  |   How-Tos     
Sponsor by The Tattoo Collection
1908 Summer Olympics
Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

1908 Summer Olympics

The Games of the IV Olympiad, originally scheduled to be held in Rome, were instead held in 1908 in London, England.

Games of the IV Olympiad
Nations participating22
Athletes participating2,035 (1,999 men, 36 women)
Events109 in 22 sports
Opening ceremoniesApril 27, 1908
Closing ceremoniesOctober 31, 1908
Officially opened byEdward VII of the United Kingdom
Athlete's Oath.not applicable
Judge's Oath:not applicable
Olympic Torchnot applicable
Italian authorities were preparing infrastructure for the games when Mount Vesuvius erupted on April 7, 1906, devastating the nearby city of Naples. Funds that were to have gone to the Olympics were diverted to the reconstruction of Naples, so a new venue was required and London was selected. The Shepherd Bush stadium, built in very short time especially for the games, held 68,000 people and was considered by some to be a technological marvel for the time.

The games were surrounded by controversy. On opening day, it was the first time the various countries marched around an Olympic stadium behind their national flags. The Finnish team were expected to march under the Russian flag rather than the Finnish flag, so chose to march without a flag at all. Irish athletes were compelled to compete for the British team so many of them withdrew. The American flag had not been displayed above the stadium before the opening so the American flag bearer refused to dip the flag to the royal box, saying "This flag dips to no earthly king1."

The 1908 Olympics also prompted the establishment of standard rules for sports, and the selection of judges from different countries, rather than just the host. The reason for this was the 400 metre run in which the US winner was accused of interfering with the British runner. Part of the problem was the different definition of interference under British and US rules. The race was re-run, but the Americans refused to participate. The British runner, Wyndham Halswelle, won by running around the track on his own because three of the four original runners had been American.

The most famous incident of the games came at the end of the marathon. It occurred when the first runner to re-enter the stadium, Dorando Pietri of Italy, collapsed several times and ran the wrong way. He was helped to the finishing line and was disqualified. The medal went to American John Hayes who was second over the line, but the glory went to Pietry.

The marathon distance is now fixed at 42.195 km (26 miles 385 yards) and has been since 1924. Before that time, the distance was not fixed and varied around 40 km according to local circumstances. The first race in 1896 was 40 km. The 1908 race was 42.195 km but the next two Olympics in 1912 and 1920 used different distances. It was only in 1924 that the distance was fixed.

Table of contents
1 Disciplines contested
2 Medal count
3 References

Disciplines contested

Medal count

PosCountry GoldSilver BronzeTotal
1Great Britain 565138145
2United States 23121247
3Sweden 861125
4France 55919
5Germany 35614
6Hungary 3429
7Canada 331016
8Norway 2338
9Italy 2204
10Belgium 1528
11Australasia 1225
12Russia 1203
13Finland 1135
14South Africa 1102
15Greece 0303
16Denmark 0235
17Bohemia 0022
17Netherlands 0022
19Austria 0011
   110107106323

References

See also

External links


Summer Olympics
1896 | 1900 | 1904 | 1906 | 1908 | 1912 | 1916 | 1920 | 1924 | 1928 | 1932 | 1936 | 1940 | 1944 | 1948 | 1952 | 1956 | 1960 | 1964 | 1968 | 1972 | 1976 | 1980 | 1984 | 1988 | 1992 | 1996 | 2000 | 2004 | 2008 | 2012
Winter Olympics
1924 | 1928 | 1932 | 1936 | 1948 | 1952 | 1956 | 1960 | 1964 | 1968 | 1972 | 1976 | 1980 | 1984 | 1988 | 1992 | 1994 | 1998 | 2002 | 2006 | 2010