The Ration Book Olympics
As debate continues over the funding of the 2012 Olympics, Clare Balding looks back at the last time that the Games came to London in 1948. Three years after the end of the Second World War, Britain was still gripped by austerity. Rationing was still in force, severe bomb damage was still much in evidence and no new sports facilities could be built. Visiting athletes were put up in schools and RAF camps. Yet the Games were a resounding success and actually made a profit.
Clare meets athletes who competed in 1948, including cyclist Tommy Godwin, who won two bronze medals, and Dorothy Manley, who won silver in the athletics. She also talks to Roger Bannister who, although not a competitor in 1948, saved the day for the British team in the opening ceremony. The programme also includes voices from the archives, including Fanny Blankers-Koen, who won four gold medals.