The 1908 Olympic Games were originally awarded to Rome, but were reassigned to London when it became apparent that Rome would not be ready. Despite the short notice, the Games were exceptionally well organised. For the first time, a stadium was specially prepared for the Games, and swimming events did not take place in the open water.
When Dorando Pietri of Italy entered the stadium at the end of the marathon, it was immediately apparent that something was wrong. Dazed, he headed in the wrong direction and then collapsed. The officials helped him to reach the finish line in first place and so he was disqualified for receiving outside aid, but his courage earned him immortality.
Sportsmanship existed at a level unimaginable in today’s more-competitive world. One wonderful example took place when the middleweight Greco-Roman wrestling final between Frithiof Martensson and Mauritz Andersson was postponed by one day to allow Martensson to recover from a minor injury. Martensson duly recovered and won.
See the list of teams and medals won by each.
London 1908 - Martin SheridanLondon 1908