25.7.12

Let the games begin.......



Now I do have to admit that in all honesty, I wish we weren't hosting the games, I feel it's a massive expense that quite frankly the country could have done without. I also object to the fact that a fast food company are massively sponsoring the event.............However, I am a patriotic kind of girl and of course I do want Team GB to do well and bring home the gold. But It has just become so commercial, and whilst I understand these things cost money I thought we'd take a look back at the 1948 Olympics, which are often referred to as the 'austerity games'. 

These were the first games to be televised, people and cities were still scarred by the war and rationing continued, which would have made eating the right diet to train tricky, although whale meat is said to have helped.... I've read of athletes who needed to go to work not spend hours training so they deliberately took on incredibly physical jobs like shovelling coal to build muscle and stamina. 

Interestingly it seems there were no new buildings created for the 1948 games, not even to house the athletes. It was a real make the most of what we have affair, with athletes being housed in RAF bases. I realise that the games are now a much more global affair, but is that partly the result of the super commercialism of the games?.... hmmmm. 

Despite the 1948 times of austerity the games were a tremendous success and I can't help but think if we'd taken some time to reflect back on how the 1948 games were hosted, as a country, we could have really changed the future of the Olympic games and made it much more about the world pulling together for what is an amazing sporting event and not this whole ' bigger and better than ever' type of affair. An almost back to basics celebration of human achievement. In a years time will it be easier to name the medal winners or the sponsors? Which will we have to wiki? Exactly.

But let's take a look at some of the athletes of the 1948 austerity games, before they were clad in lycra and all manner of  performance enhanced man made materials. Let's go back to the days of vests and pants, which lets be honest you don't need to have lived through 1948 to remember. Apologies to those readers now having flashbacks to P.E lessons at first school..........

Former land girl Edna Childs Spring board diver made sixth place (flying the GB flag)

Dutch athlete Francina ''Fanny'' Elsje Blankers-Koen also referred to as ''The flying housewife'' won all four sprint event she entered.
American Bob Mathias was just a wee nipper aged just seventeen when he won the decathlon. He'd taken the sport up just four months previously! 
Talented French pianist Micheline Ostermeyer scooped two golds and a bronze
The  Czechoslovakian gymnastics team.
For more amazing images and facts on the 1948 games (and all the other years) you can visit:



Above all let's hope for a successful and peaceful games. Good luck to all! 

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1 comment

  1. Thank god!I'm not alone! Yes I will be behing team GB and I will in all honesty probably get a bit swept along with Olympic fever, but I think you are right, we could have really lead the way and not have gone on to spend billions. I know it's been planned for many years, before the economy crashed but the plans should have been revised and down scaled. I think the world would have understood??? I know it;s created a lot of jobs - but those are not jobs that will be around forever. The Olympics are for summer not for life.... Thanks for writing this Missy Vintage. I enjoyed reading it and it sparked an interesting debate in our household! Jenny

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