July 29th 1948: Olympics open in London

July 29th 1948: Olympics open in London

On this day in 1948, the Games of the XIV (14th) Olympiad officially began in London. The Games were the first Summer Olympics after World War Two, which caused a 12 year hiatus of the Games. The last Olympics had been held in 1936 in Berlin. The 1948 Games became known as the Austerity Games as they were held at a time of a struggling post-war economy. They were held in Wembley Stadium, with no new venues built. 59 nations took part with the notable exceptions of wartime aggressors Germany and Japan who were not invited, and the USSR who declined participation. There were 4,104 athletes (only 390 were women). The United States won the most medals with 84, and the most gold medals with 38. These historic Games began on this day in 1948 and were officially opened by King George VI (the father of the current Queen). The Games returned to London for a third time 64 years later in 2012.


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