London Olympic Games, 1908

1908 Olympic Games PosterThe 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.


1908 Marathon

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.

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