From Rome to London
When it became apparent that Rome would not be capable of hosting the 1908 Olympic celebration, the city of London offered to take up the challenge. Despite the short time left to prepare this edition of the Olympic Games it was one of the best organised that had taken place to date.
The creation of sports facilities
For the first time, a stadium was specially fitted out for the Games, and swimming did not take place in the open water as a pool was specially built. For diving there was a special folding tower.
The Games attract athletes
The Games started to be known throughout the world and athletes from everywhere wanted to take part.
The official distance of the marathon
The most memorable event of the 1908 Games was the marathon. The Games Organising Committee fixed the distance of the marathon at 42km and 195m, the last 195 metres being added on to justify the route from Windsor Castle to the royal box in the London stadium. This distance became official from the 1924 Games onwards.
Appearance of a relay
The athletics events included for the first time, a relay, called "the Olympic relay". The athletes ran 200m, 200m, 400m and 800m.
The parade of the delegations
Also for the first time, the competitors paraded behind their country's flag in sportswear.
Union of two countries under the same name
Australia and New Zealand were represented by a single delegation, under the name of Australasia.
The important thing...
Inspired the words of the Bishop of Pennsylvania, Ethelbert Talbot, Pierre de Coubertin adopted them in a modified form to become the creed of the Olympic Movement: "The important thing in life is not the triumph, but the fight; the essential thing is not to have won, but to have fought well".
London 13 July 1908. The British delegation.
Official opening of the Games by: His Majesty The King Edward VII
Lighting the Olympic Flame by: A symbolic fire at an Olympic Summer Games was first lit in 1928 in Amsterdam.
Olympic Oath by: The athletes’ oath was first sworn at the 1920 Olympic Games in Antwerp.
Official Oath by: The officials' oath at an Olympic Summer Games was first sworn in 1972 in Munich.