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Olympic Games

XIV (14th) OLYMPIAD
LONDON, UK | Jul 29th - Aug 14th, 1948


London, GBR


London 1948

LONDON, UK
GAMES OF THE XIVth OLYMPIAD

July 29 - August 14, 1948

Mascot - none

59 countries, 4099 athletes (385 women)

17 sports (handball, polo dropped), 136 events

Opening - King George VI (UK)

Torch lit by - John Mark

Candidates: Baltimore, Lausanne, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Philadelphia

The "Flying Housewife", as she came to be unjustly known, arrived in London late in her career. However, this did not stop Fanny Blankers-Koen from winning a total of four gold medals, outshining the entire field at the Games.

Austerity and hope

After the Second World War the Games in London, like so many European cities affected by the conflict, could not avoid austerity. Over 4000 competitors from 59 countries descended on the capital between July 29 and August 14, but the war, which terminated three years previously, was still fresh in the minds of the people. As such, and at the request of several countries, Germany and Japan were absent. Italy willingly accepted the invitation. The Soviet Union remained true to its 1917-established policy of non-attendance.

Yet, in England, the decision to propose hosting the 14th Olympiad was frowned upon by the Press and certain politicians, who argued that it should be a time of reconstruction.

For the first time women outstaged the men with mother-of-three (Francina) Fanny Blankers-Koen of the Netherlands winning four golds in the 100m, 200m, 4x100m relay and 80m hurdles. France's Micheline Ostermeyer, a concert pianist, also took gold in the discus and shot.

Czechoslovakian Emil Zatopek won the 10,000m which marked the start of a long and illustrious career. Conversely, his compatriot, gymnast Maxie Provaznikova, grabbed the headlines for more controversial reasons - she became the first ever Olympic athlete to defect to the west. American Bob Mathias, 17, won a gold in the decathlon - a title he would retain four years later.

The Games lacked innovation of any kind, except for the decision not to compete on Sundays. Having been introduced in Berlin, television continued to develop in importance. This, of course, made way for the BBC to buy the rights to transmit the Games, for a cost of $3000 dollars, to an official audience of 500,000 people, although there were reports of residents as far away as the Channel Islands being able to receive the images.

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LONDON 1948 GOLD MEDAL WINNERS
107 Men, 19 Women, 10 Open Events
12 new events
1 Sailing, 2 Canoe/Kayak, Handball/Polo (1 each) removed

ATHLETICS, Men
100m: Harrison Dillard, USA
200m: Mel Patton, USA
400m: Arthur Wint, Jamaica
800m: Mal Whitfield, USA
1500m: Henry Eriksson, Sweden
5000m: Gaston Reiff, Belgium
10000m: Emil Zatopek, Czechoslovakia
4x100m: United States
4x400m: United States
110m Hurdles: Bill Porter, USA
400m Hurdles: Roy Cochran, USA
10km Walk: John Mikaelsson, Sweden
50km Walk: John Ljunggren, Sweden
3000m Steeplechase: Tore Sjorstrand, Sweden
Marathon: Delfo Cabrera, Argentina
Discus Throw: Adolfo Consolini, Italy
Hammer Throw: Imre Nemeth, Hungary
High Jump: John Winter, Australia
Javelin Throw: Tapio Rautavaara, Finland
Long Jump: Willie Steele, USA
Pole Vault: Guinn Smith, USA
Shot Put: Wilbur Thompson, USA
Triple Jump: Arne Ahman, Sweden
Decathlon: Bob Mathias, USA

ATHLETICS, Women
100m: Fanny Blankers-Koen, Netherlands
200m: Fanny Blankers-Koen, Netherlands
4x100m: Netherlands
80m Hurdles: Fanny Blankers-Koen, Netherlands
Discus Throw: Micheline Ostermeyer, France
High Jump: Alice Coachman, USA
Javelin Throw: Herma Bauma, Austria
Long Jump: Olga Gyarmati, Hungary
Shot Put: Micheline Ostermeyer, France

BASKETBALL
Team, men: United States

BOXING
51kg: Pascual Perez, Argentina
54kg: Tibor Csik, Hungary
58kg: Ernesto Formenti, Italy
62kg: Gerald Dreyer, South africa
67kg: Julius Torma, Czechoslovakia
73kg: Laszlo Papp, Hungary
80kg: George Hunter, South Africa
80+kg: Rafael Iglesias, Argentina

CANOE/KAYAK
M\C1 1000m: Josef Holecek, Czechoslovakia
M\C1 10000m: Frantisek Capek, Czechoslovakia
M\C2 1000m: Bohumil Kudrna/Jan-Felix Brzak, TCH
M\C2 10000m: Stephan Macknowski/Stephen Lysak, USA
M\K1 1000m: Gert Fredriksson, Sweden
M\K1 10000m: Gert Fredriksson, Sweden
M\K2 1000m: Hans Berglund/Lennart Klingstrom, Sweden
M\K2 10000m: Gunnar Akerlund/Hans Wetterstrom, Sweden
W\K1 500m: Karen Hoff, Denmark

CYCLING, Men
Road Race; Jose Beyaert, France
Team Road Race: Belgium
1km Time Trial: Jacques Dupont, France
2000m Sprint: Ferdinando Terruzzi/Renato Perona, ITA
Sprint: Mario Ghella, Italy
Team Pursuit: France

EQUESTRIAN, Open
Individual Dressage: Hans Moser, Switzerland
Individual Jumping: Humberto Mariles Cortes, Mexico
Individual 3-Day Event: Bernard Chevalier, France
Team Dressage: France
Team Jumping: Mexico
Team 3-Day Event: United States

FENCING
M\Individual Epee: Luigi Cantone, Italy
M\Individual Foil: Jehan Buhan, France
M\Individual Sabre: Aladar Gerevich, Hungary
M\Team Epee: France
M\Team Foil: France
M\Team Sabre: Hungary
W\Individual Foil: Ilona Elek, Hungary

FOOTBALL
Team, men: Sweden

GYMNASTICS
M\Floor Exercise: Ferenc Pataki, Hungary
M\Horizontal Bar: Josef Stalder, Switzerland
M\Parallel Bars: Michael Reusch, Switzerland
M\Pommel Horse: Veikko Huhtanen, FIN & Paavo Aaltonen, FIN & Heikki Savolainen, FIN (tie)
M\Rings: Karl Frei, Switzerland
M\Vault: Paavo Aaltonen, Finland
M\Individual All-Around: Veikko Huhtanen, Finland
M\Team: Finland
W\Team: Czechoslovakia

HOCKEY
Team, men: India

MODERN PENTATHLON
Individual: William Grut, Sweden

ROWING
Single Sculls: Mervyn Wood, Australia
Double Sculls: Bertie Bushnell/Richard Burnell, Great Britain
Coxless Pair: John Wilson/W. George Laurie, Great Britain
Coxed Pair: Denmark
Coxless Four: Italy
Coxed Four: United States
Eight: United States

SAILING
X\6m Class: United States
X\Dragon: Norway
X\Star: United States
X\Swallow: Great Britain
M\Finn: Paul Elvstrom, Denmark

SHOOTING, Men
25m Rapid Fire Pistol: Karoly Takacs, Hungary
300m Free Rifle 3x40: Emil Grunig, Switzerland
50m Free Pistol: Edwin Vasquez Cam, Peru
50m Small-Bore Rifle prone: Arthur Cook, USA

SWIMMING, Men
100m Freestyle: Walter Ris, USA
400m Freestyle: William Smith, USA
1500m Freestyle: James McLane, USA
100m Backstroke: Allen Stack, USA
200m Breaststroke: Joseph Verdeur, USA
4x200m Freestyle Relay: United States
3m Springboard: Bruce Harlan, USA
10m Platform: Samuel Lee, USA
WATER POLO: Italy

SWIMMING, Women
100m Freestyle: Greta Andersen, Denmark
400m Freestyle: Ann Curtis, USA
100m Backstroke: Karen Margrete Harup, Denmark
200m Breaststroke: Nel van Vliet, Netherlands
4x100m Freestyle Relay: United States
3m Springboard: Victoria Draves, USA
10m Platform: Victoria Draves, USA

WEIGHTLIFTING
56kg: Joseph Di Pietro, USA
60kg: Mahmoud Fayad, Egypt
67.5kg: Ibrahim Shams, Egypt
75kg: Frank Spellman, USA
82.5kg: Stanley Stanczyk, USA
82.5+kg: John Davis, USA

WRESTLING FREESTYLE
52kg: Lennart Vilho Viitala, Finland
57kg: Nasuh Akar, Turkey
62kg: Gazanfer Bilge, Turkey
67kg: Celal Atik, Turkey
73kg: Yasar Dogu, Turkey
79kg: Glenn Brand, USA
87kg: Henry Wittenberg, USA
87+kg: Gyula Bobis, Hungary

WRESTLING, GRECO-ROMAN
52kg: Pietro Lombardi, Italy
57kg: Kurt Pettersen, Sweden
62kg: Mehmet Oktav, Turkey
67kg: Gustav Freij, Sweden
73kg: Gosta Andersson, Sweden
79kg: Axel Gronberg, Sweden
87kg: Karl-Erik Nilsson, Sweden
87+kg: Ahmet Mersinli Kirecci, Turkey

17 Sports, 136 events

U
S
A

S
W
E

F
R
A

H
U
N

I
T
A

F
I
N

T
U
R

T
C
H

S
U
I

D
E
N

N
E
D

G
B
R

A
R
G

 

Athletics (AUS, AUT, BEL, JAM)

12

5

2

2

1

1

 

1

   

4

 

1

33

Basketball

1

                       

1

Boxing (RSA x2)

     

2

1

   

1

       

2

8

Canoe/Kayak

1

4

         

3

 

1

     

9

Cycling (BEL)

   

3

 

2

               

6

Equestrian (MEX x2)

1

 

2

         

1

       

6

Fencing

   

3

3

1

               

7

Football

 

1

                     

1

Gymnastics

     

1

 

6

 

1

3

       

11*

Hockey (IND)

                         

1

Modern Pentathlon

 

1

                     

1

Rowing (AUS)

2

     

1

       

1

 

2

 

7

Sailing (NOR)

2

               

1

 

1

 

5

Shooting (PER)

1

   

1

       

1

       

4

Swimming (Diving & W/Polo)

12

     

1

       

2

1

   

16

Weightlifting (EGY x2)

4

                       

6

Wrestling

2

5

 

1

1

1

6

           

16

TOTAL

38

16

10

10

8

8

6

6

5

5

5

3

3

138

* 3 Gold medals awarded in Gymnastics (M) Pommel Horse

LONDON 1948 MEDAL TALLY

Country

G

S

B

TTL

United States

38

27

19

84

Sweden

16

11

17

44

France

10

6

13

29

Hungary

10

5

12

27

Italy

8

12

9

29

Finland

8

7

5

20

Turkey

6

4

2

12

Czechoslovakia

6

2

3

11

Switzerland

5

10

5

20

Denmark

5

7

8

20

Netherlands

5

2

9

16

Great Britain

3

14

6

23

Argentina

3

3

1

7

Australia

2

6

5

13

Belgium

2

2

3

7

Egypt

2

2

1

5

Mexico

2

1

2

5

South Africa

2

1

1

4

Norway

1

3

3

7

Jamaica

1

2

0

3

Austria

1

0

3

4

India

1

0

0

1

Peru

1

0

0

1

Yugoslavia

0

2

0

2

Canada

0

1

2

3

Portugal

0

1

1

2

Uruguay

0

1

1

2

Cuba

0

1

0

1

Spain

0

1

0

1

Sri Lanka

0

1

0

1

Trinidad and Tobago

0

1

0

1

Panama

0

0

2

2

South Korea

0

0

2

2

BRA, IRI, POL, PUR

0

0

1

4

Total

138

136

139

413

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