Sunday, August 12, 2012
The 1908 London Olympics: The Greatest Games Ever Played
Posted by Jay at 11:33 AM
As the 2012 London Olympics draws to a close, plenty of historic moments have been recorded for posterity. The City of London has made itself proud with these games, but over a hundred years ago, London hosted the games set to the tune of a different climate. These wonderful images show the same passion and sportsmanship exhibited by athletes today. Truly, the greatest games ever played were hosted during the 1908 London Olympics.
The 1908 London Olympics set a precedent for many traditions in the Olympic games as well as in the individual sports. For example, the display of the different nations' flags was introduced during these games, and the distance of the modern day Marathon (26 miles) was established here to take into consideration the distance between Windsor Castle and the White City Stadium.
The 1908 Summer Games was one of only a handful of times that Tug of War was included as an official sport. Jeu de Paume, a type of early indoor ball-and-racquet game, had its first and last official tournaments here as well.
These hundred-year old images also show the curious changes in fashion and tradition. The master of ceremonies above looks dapper in top hat and tails while the gymnasts look modest in their knee-length uniform compared to today's outfits. Here are a few more images detailing the Olympics of yesteryear:
More of the greatest games ever played in this NPR article where all these images were taken from. For a modern look at today's Olympic athletes, check out the different body types of athletes as photographed by Howard Schatz and Beverly Ornstein.