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Mark Thompson, Comte Jacques Rogge and Sir Steve Redgrave at the unveiling of the Olympic plaque

Comte Jacques Rogge unveils 1908 commemorative Olympic plaque

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 Association.


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 Britain's proposal.


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 and wrestling.

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 site.


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 television service.


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.


Games Statistics


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




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Category: BBC
Date: 24.05.2005
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