Graeme Kent

London's Olympic Follies

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The London Olympics of 1908 were supposed to display the glories of the Britain Empire at its zenith, but they ended in uproar – everything that could possibly have gone wrong did so. The Games opened in the pouring rain, which duly set in for the whole two weeks. One country insisted that another march under its banner; then the Americans refused to dip their flag to King Edward, causing mayhem. Decisions on competitions were questioned, supposedly amateur contestants were accused of being professionals, one competitor dropped the shot on the foot of a rival and another ended up running a race alone after all the other finalists pulled out in protest. And though there were class performances, with the British and Irish team securing their best ever set of results, these were overshadowed by disputes, back-biting and disqualifications. London's Olympic Follies, packed with fascinating historical facts and trivia, is a wonderfully entertaining and timely account of the most bizarre Olympiad ever held. Hopefully a saga never to be repeated!
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310 printed pages
Original publication
2012

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