Comte Jacques Rogge, President of the International
Olympic Committee, today unveiled a 'Roll of Honour' plaque to
commemorate the 1908 Olympics at the White City Stadium.
This is on the occasion of the Centenary of the British Olympic
The plaque will be on permanent display at the BBC's Media Village, White
City, London - the original site of the stadium.
The Olympic flag will also fly alongside flags for the BBC and BBC Broadcast.
The plaque lists the medals won by each participating country and the
names of all medal-winning athletes at the Games.
The unveiling was hosted by BBC Director-General, Mark Thompson.
The History of the 1908 Olympics
The 1908 Olympics were held at The White City Stadium, Shepherds Bush,
London, between July and October.
Italy had originally intended to host the Games, but was unable to meet
the cost after the eruption of Mount Vesuvius.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) asked Britain to put together
a proposal to host the Games. After a week of consideration, the IOC accepted
The Games were opened by King Edward VII.
The Olympics began on 6 July with non-stadium events - tennis at Wimbledon
and shooting at Bisley.
From 13 to 25 July, the stadium hosted athletics, fencing, swimming, gymnastics
Rowing, yachting and motorboat racing were held at Henley and Southampton
from 27 to 29 July.
From 19 October, football, rugby, lacrosse, skating and hockey were held
at the Stadium and the Prince's Skating Rink, Knightsbridge.
The White City Stadium
In 1905, the organisers of the Franco-British Exhibition decided the
land north of Shepherds Bush would be highly suitable as an exhibition
It covered more than 140 acres, between Shepherds Bush and Wormwood
Scrubs, and became known as 'White City' after the white pavilions built
to house the exhibition.
In 1906, the Exhibition committee were approached by the organisers of
the Olympics. They needed a new stadium. It was agreed that the Exhibition
would pay for the stadium's construction in return for three-quarters
of the Games' receipts.
After the Olympics, the site was used for exhibitions; by the military
during the war; as a greyhound racing track; and, from 1932, to hold events
for the British Amateur Athletic Association.
In 1949, the BBC bought some land from London County Council (who had
bought part of the site for housing in 1937) as new headquarters for their
The stadium continued to host greyhound racing, horse shows and athletics.
Despite threats to build a Channel Tunnel terminal on the site, it survived
until 1984 when it was closed by the Greyhound Racing Association.
In 1985, the land was bought by the BBC.
3000 competitors took part in the 1908 Olympics, split into 21 teams.
This was the first games to award gold, silver and bronze medals, and
the first in which all entrants had to compete as members of national
teams, rather than as individuals.
The Games established the length of the marathon as 26 miles and 385 yards
- the extra length was to allow the course, which ran from Windsor to
the Stadium, to begin outside the royal nursery at Windsor Castle.
Britain had the largest team and achieved the most medals, although the
US team won more for athletics.
The top five teams were:
Great Britain - 56 Gold; 51 Silver; 38 Bronze
USA - 23 Gold; 12 Silver; 12 Bronze
Sweden - 8 Gold; 6 Silver; 11 Bronze
France - 5 Gold; 5 Silver; 9 Bronze
Germany - 3 Gold; 5 Silver; 6 Bronze