London Olympic Games Opening Ceremony in 1948: Modest but still Proud

By

28th Jul, 2012

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Last night I logged onto my Facebook and saw my newsfeed overwhelmed with status updates of London-based or British friends about how proud they were to be Londoners. The opening ceremony for the Olympics had just aired on television and the Queen had apparently made her entrance by parachuting out of a helicopter with James Bond. I’m a little embarrassed as a London ex-patriote to admit that I missed the whole thing in favor of the latest Batman flick (which by the way, was awe-soooome). Oops.

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Anyhoo, I’ve come across some time-appropriate snaps of the Olympic ceremony in London sixty-four years earlier in 1948, the first games after a 12 year hiatus after World War II. You’ll find these pictures may look a little more modest to what London has on offer today because of the then post-war economic climate.

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Not a single new venue for the games had been built. A record 59 nations but 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 USA won the most total medals, 84, and the most gold medals. Britain won 23 medals that year, three of them gold.

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Via retronaut

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