London’s bid to host the 2012 Olympic games was accompanied, indeed reinforced, by the presentation of histories recording the lengthy and committed nature of Britain’s relationship with the Olympic Movement, most notably as highlighted by hosting the 1908 and 1948 games. Apart from being employed to contextualize London’s bid, the 1908 and 1948 London Olympiads represent key chapters in histories presenting both Britain’s Olympic past and the Olympic Movement. In particular, they illuminate major issues concerning the nature and role of the Olympic games as well as the attitude of British governments, media, and opinion towards Olympism. Despite the British Olympic Association’s best efforts, during the period between 1908 and 1948 Britons often proved indifferent, indeed frequently negative, towards Olympism, even if the 1948 Olympics showed evidence of a possible change of course, at least in the short term.


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pp. 21-43
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