1908 London Olympics : Athletes parade behind their national flag for the first time

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With just five days left for the Tokyo Olympic Games, we are bringing you some interesting facts related to the last Olympics. Let's take a look at some interesting aspects related to the 1908 Olympics in London...



1908, London Olympics


These games were to be held in Rome, but in 1906, the fierce eruption of Mount Vesuvius caused great destruction in the city of Naples, and in view of the financial crisis they were held in London.

These games lasted for 188 days. Although the official opening ceremony did not take place until 13 July, the 1908 Olympic Games began with a racquet competition on 27 April and ended with a hockey final on 31 October.

For the first time, a stadium was built specifically for the Olympics. The White City Stadium became the center of attraction for the games, with not only a running track but also a swimming pool, a cycling oval, as well as a wrestling and gymnastics platform.

For the first time in these games, the Olympic swimming event was not held in open water, but in a stadium with a capacity of 66,000 spectators who could cheer for their favorite swimmer. At the same time, a special folding 'tower' was made for diving.

Athletes parade behind their national flag for the first time during the London Olympics. It was attended by King Edward VII on 13 July 1908.

The marathon was extended to 195 meters so that the race could start from the nursery window of Windsor Palace and end in front of the stadium's Royal Box. This 42.195 km distance later became the official distance from the 1924 Olympics.

John Taylor became the first black Olympic gold medalist. He was part of the US team that won the 4x400m gold medal.

The 'deer event' of men's one-shot 100 meters was introduced in the 1908 Olympics. The target was the size of a deer in this event. The shooter aimed one or two shots in each race, depending on the event.

Athletics events were included for the first time, the relay was called the 'Olympic relay'. The players competed in the 200m, 400m, and 800m races.

Australia and New Zealand represented as a team known as 'Australasia'.