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The London Olympics in 1908 and 2012

28 minutes
First broadcast:
Monday 23 July 2012

Jonathan Freedland presents the programme which looks at the past behind the present. As London prepares for the opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games he hears the story of the first time the capital hosted the Games, in 1908.

All kinds of parallels can be drawn between the two Olympics. Sports champions turned Conservative peers brought both Games to London and both men had a distinct vision for what the Olympics meant for Britain and the world. Whereas now the global focus is on the world's fastest man, in 1908 the public's imagination was captured by the athlete with the most endurance, the marathon winner. From corporate advertising to performance enhancing drugs to the destiny of the Olympic site after the Games: all important issues now, but also in 1908.


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