Known as the austerity Olympics, this international multi-sport event was held in London, England after a 12-year hiatus due to World War II. The 1948 London Summer Olympics were the first Olympics since the 1936 Games held in Berlin. With the post-war rationing and world economic climate, no new venues were built for the games. In addition, athletes were housed in existing accommodation instead of an Olympic Village. Due to their roles as aggressors in World War II, Germany and Japan were not invited to attend. Russia was invited, but the USSR chose not to send any athletes. The United States team won the most total medals, with a count of 84, and the most gold medals, with w count of 38. England won 23 total medals, three of which were gold.
AN OFFICIAL BLUE OLYMPIC MEDAL CASE FROM THE 1948 LONDON GAMES, STILL IN PRISTINE CONDITION 60 YEARS LATER
Dutch sprinter Fanny Blankers-Koen was a star of these Olympic Games. Nicknamed “The Flying Housewife” the 30 year old mother of 3 children won four gold medals in athletics. She won four gold medals: 1) in the 100 meters, 2) 200 meters, 3) 80 meter high hurdles, and 4) the 4 x 100 meter relay. In the decathlon, American Bob Mathias (see image of Mathias below) became the youngest male to ever win an Olympic gold medal at the tender age of 17. The most individual medals won at these games were by Veikko Huhtanen of Finland. He took 3 golds, a silver, and a bronze in men’s gymnastics.
AMERICA'S HARRISON DILLARD - EN ROUTE TO WINNING ANOTHER OLYMPIC GOLD MEDAL IN LONDON
It was at the 1948 London Summer Olympics that Olympic pictograms were first introduced. In total, there were twenty of them – one for each individual Olympic sport and then three separate pictograms for: 1) the arts competition, 2) the opening ceremony, and 3) the closing ceremony. The pictograms’ intended use was for the event tickets. 16 years later, Olympic pictograms would appear again and have been featured at every Summer Olympics since then. The arts competition took place at the Victoria and Albert Museum and since then, there has not been an arts competition affiliated with the Summer Olympics since the 1948 London Summer Olympics.
THE LEGENDARY BOB MATHIAS - A TWO-TIME DECATHLON CHAMPION - MATHIAS LATER SERVED IN THE UNITED STATES CONGRESS
The Raleigh DeGeer Amyx collection is proud to offer a gold medal (51 mm) which is exactly like the one Harrison Dillard earned in the “Olympic Games London 1948.” At the 1948 London Summer Olympics, Dillard reached the final in the 110 meter hurdles even in what seemed to be a dead heat between Dillard and American Barney Ewell. The finish photo showed Dillard had won and also achieved the new World Record. He also won an additional gold medal as a member of the 4 x 100 meter relay team in the London Summer Olympic games. By owning this piece of memorabilia, you have the same gold medal which the “world’s fastest man in the 100 meters” owns.
A STUNNING OLYMPIC GOLD MEDAL FROM THE 1948 LONDON GAMES - THE RALEIGH DEGEER AMYX COLLECTION
The 1948 London Summer Olympics was also the very first Olympics to have a political defection. Marie Provaznikova, the 57-year old Czechoslovakian President of the International Gymnastics Federation refused to return to her home country. She cited “lack of freedom” which occurred after Czechoslovakia’s inclusion in the Soviet Bloc.
THE LEGENDARY HARRISON DILLARD IN THE 1948 OLYMPIC GAMES - A MASTER HURDLER
The austerity Olympics were a refreshing comeback for the city of London and world cooperation. With the launch of the 1948 Olympics, the world was reassured that things were getting back to normal and peace restored.
HISTORIAN & COLLECTOR - RALEIGH DEGEER AMYX