“The 1948 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XIV Olympiad, were an international multi-sport event which was held in London, United Kingdom. After a 12-year hiatus because of World War II, these were the first Summer Olympics since the 1936 Games in Berlin. The 1940 Games had been scheduled for Tokyo, and then Helsinki; the 1944 Games had been provisionally planned for London. This was the second occasion that London had hosted the Olympic Games, the city had previously been the venue in 1908.

The event came to be known as the Austerity Games due to the economic climate and post-war rationing. No new venues were built for the games and athletes were housed in existing accommodation instead of an Olympic Village. A record 59 nations were represented by 4,104 athletes, 3,714 men and 390 women, in 19 sport disciplines. Because of their roles as aggressors in World War II Germany and Japan were not invited to participate; the USSR were invited but chose not to send any athletes. The United States team won the most total medals, 84, and the most gold medals, 38. The host nation won 23 medals, three of them gold.

One of the star performers at the Games was Dutch sprinter Fanny Blankers-Koen. Nicknamed “The Flying Housewife” the 30-year old mother of three children won four gold medals in athletics. In the decathlon American Bob Mathias became the youngest male ever to win an Olympic gold medal at the age of 17. The most individual medals were won by Veikko Huhtanen of Finland who took three golds, a silver and a bronze in men's gymnastics”. – Wikipedia

Workers making Olympic flags at the factory of Messrs. John Edgington in the Old Kent, Road, London, 8th July 1948. (Photo by Reg Birkett/Keystone/Getty Images)

The two sides of a gold medal made for the 14th Olympic Games which are to be held in London. The medals are made from oxidised silver instead of the customary gold. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images). 27th January 1948

Britain's leading woman hurdler, Maureen Gardner taking a stroll on an Oxford racing track after a day's training for the London Olympics where she won a silver medal. (Photo by Haywood Magee/Picture Post/Getty Images). 1st May 1948

Part of the fleet of vans with their drivers who will be transporting competitors between the various centres and sporting events at the 1948 London Olympics, 19th July 1948. (Photo by Harrison/Topical Press Agency/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Workmen preparing the track at Wembley Stadium for the forthcoming 1948 London Olympics. (Photo by J. A. Hampton/Topical Press Agency/Getty Images). 13th July 1948

The Olympic torch passes through Windsor on its way to Wembley, for the start of the Summer Olympics, 29th July 1948. (Photo by Ron Burton/Keystone/Getty Images)

Australian athletes and officials march down Olympic Way to Wembley Stadium for the opening ceremony of the London Olympics, 29th July 1948. (Photo by Topical Press Agency/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

A British athlete bears the Olympic Torch into the Empire Stadium at Wembley, London, and inaugurates the 1948 Olympic Games by lighting the ceremonial flame. (Photo by PNA Rota/Getty Images). 1948

Guardsmen marching round the perimeter of the track inside Wembley Stadium during the opening ceremony of the London Olympics. (Photo by Haywood Magee/Picture Post/Getty Images). 29th July 1948

Athletes parading during the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games at Wembley Stadium. (Photo by Picture Post/Hulton Archive/Getty Images). 29th July 1948

Opening ceremony of the 1948 Olympics at Wembley Stadium, London. Pigeons receive a drink before being released. (Photo by Picture Post/Hulton Archive/Getty Images). 29th July 1948

Fanny Blankers-Koen of Holland wins the last lap of the 4x100 metres relay, giving the Netherlands the gold medal at the 1948 London Olympics. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images). 7th August 1948

Crowds watching the 1948 London Olympics in the 90 degree heat at Wembley Stadium. (Photo by Picture Post/Hulton Archive/Getty Images). 14th August 1948

Two Decathlon competitors wait their turn in the rain for the pole vault at Wembley Stadium , London. (Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images). 6th August 1948

Charles Thompson from British Guiana practising his starts at Richmond Olympic Camp. (Photo by Central Press/Getty Images). 21st July 1948

The Swedish Olympic kayaking pair pass under Henley Bridge during the 10,000 metres race, 11th August 1948. They won the event with a time of 49 minutes, 9.4 seconds. (Photo by Harry Todd/Fox Photos/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
28 Jul 2011 11:14:00