London Olympic Games, 1908
The 1908 Games were first scheduled to be held in Rome, however the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 1906 required the Games to move from Rome to London. In London there were more than 2,000 competitors in over 100 events.
- In these games, for the first time, athletes marched into the stadium behind their nations' flags.
- Figure skating made its first appearance at the Summer Games in London. It would later become a big part of the Winter Olympics.
- The first brother and sister to win Olympic medals were William Dod who won the men's archery competition in 1908, and his sister Charlotte 'Lottie' Dod who won the silver medal in the women's archery competition.
During the first several modern Olympics, the marathon was always an approximate distance. In 1908, the British royal family requested that the marathon start at the Windsor Castle so that the royal children could witness its start. The distance from the Windsor Castle to the Olympic Stadium was 42,195 meters (or 26 miles and 385 yards). This later became the standardized length of a marathon (more about the Olympic marathon).
There was controversy in this event, which is not uncommon for the Olympic marathon, as Italian Dorando Pietri needed to be helped across the finish line of the marathon. He was initially declared the winner before later being disqualified in favor of Johnny Hayes of the USA.
- list of sports at the 1908 Olympic Games
- Complete list of Olympic host cities
- UK at the Olympic Games
- 1908: The Year in Sport