1948 Summer Olympics

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The 1948 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XIV Olympiad, were an international multi-sport event which was held in London, United Kingdom. After a 12 year hiatus because of World War II, these were the first Summer Olympics since the 1936 Games in Berlin. The 1940 Games had been scheduled for Tokyo, and then Helsinki; the 1944 Games had been provisionally planned for London. This was the second occasion that London had hosted the Olympic Games, the city had previously been the venue in 1908.

The event came to be known as the Austerity Games due to the economic climate and post-war rationing. No new venues were built for the games and athletes were housed in existing accommodation instead of an Olympic Village. A record 59 nations were represented by 4,104 athletes, 3,714 men and 390 women, in 19 sport disciplines. Because of their roles as aggressors in World War II Germany and Japan were not invited to participate; the USSR were invited but chose not to send any athletes. The United States team won the most total medals, 84, and the most gold medals, 38. The host nation won 23 medals, three of them gold.

One of the star performers at the Games was Dutch sprinter Fanny Blankers-Koen. Nicknamed "The Flying Housewife" the 30-year old mother of three children won four gold medals in athletics. In the decathlon American Bob Mathias became the youngest ever Olympic gold medallist at the age of 17. The most individual medals were won by Veikko Huhtanen of Finland who took three golds, a silver and a bronze in men's gymnastics.


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