In 2012, London will become the first city to host the summer Olympic games for a third time. However, not all of the events will be confined to London: geographical necessities will shift the sailing and rowing events away from the capital, and political expedience will take the football to Cardiff, Coventry, Glasgow, Manchester, and Newcastle. In such a context, it is instructive to look at the 1908 and the 1948 Olympic games to see how far they were spread out away from their respective hubs of Shepherd’s Bush and Wembley. In both cases, a number of events were held outside the capital, and Hampshire played host to some of them, including the sailing in 1908 and the modern pentathlon in 1948. This paper explores these events, looking at the geographical and socioeconomic reasons why the Olympic games came to Hampshire, the levels of local interest that these events inspired, and their legacy. The paper advocates further local explorations of the Olympic games and outlines the benefits of shifting attention on the Olympic games from the center to the peripheries.


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pp. 3-18
Launched on MUSE
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