Destinations Magazine

The Olympic Games. It's A London Thing

By Lwblog @londonwalks

The Olympic Games. It's A London ThingIt’s a London Thing is our Wednesday series in which we turn the spotlight on a unique aspect of London – perhaps a curious shop, sometimes an eccentric restaurant, a hidden place, book or oddity. The subject matter will be different every week. The running theme, however, will remain constant: you have to come to London to enjoy it. It’s A London Thing.

The Olympic Games: a Greek thing, historically speaking. We can’t argue with that.
The Olympic Games: a French thing, in terms of the modern Games being the brainchild of Pierre Frédy, Baron de Coubertin. Absolument.
But by 12th August 2012, the Olympic Games will be indisputably A London Thing. Because by then no city will have staged the event as often as London – three times.
In 1908, when the reputation of The Games was at a low ebb following the 1904 St Louis Games, where the competitive events were reduced to something of a sideshow to the concurrent World’s Fair, and after the eruption of Vesuvius ruled out Rome as a host city, London stepped in.
In 1948, with the world struggling to get back on its feet after the Second World War, London stepped in once more and saved the day, staging the tournament that went on to be dubbed “The Ration Book Games” – and a great success they were, too.
The Olympic Games. It's A London Thing This Strand magazine (above) was published on the day the Olympics opened in 1948.
It could therefore be argued that had it not been for the London Olympics of 1908, and then the London Olympics of 1948, the modern Games may not be around today.
No contest. Hand out the bronze to Los Angeles and the silver to Athens. Strike up God Save the Queen. The Olympic Games: It’s a London Thing.

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