1908 v 1948 v 2012

London has staged 3 Olympic Games which must be a record in itself. Recent comparative analysis made me wonder which I’d prefer to go between 1908, 1948 and 2012. I’m going for the former. My reasons are near as facetious as our recent purchase of world darts finals tickets.

The BBC has a short summary of the 3 games here and there is something endearing about 1908. Being there by today’s standards might be disappointing. There were no fireworks, little media coverage and many irregularities. But that doesn’t take much away for me. While an athlete now might lament they’ve worked their whole their for this moment, back then triple gold swimming medallist Henry Taylor went back to run a pub in Oldham.

I love the inclusion of the tug of war, the fact it’s sponsored by oxo, Wyndham Halswelle ran (and naturally won) the men’s 400m by himself after everyone else was disqualified or withdrew or that some athletes individually withdrew on a matter of conscience. The story of Italian marathon runner collapsing on the final straight and being helped across the line by the crowds is heart-warming even if he was later demoted. Derek Redmond’s Dad would probably now be shot as a terrorist. It was run privately by the Olympic committee with no government intervention or financing. .

1948 took place after the Second World War when rationing was still in place. The quirky highlight now must be the medals for painting and sculpture.The games also included Fanny Blankers-Koen, winner of 4 gold medals and named Female Athlete of the Century in 1999. Oh and guess what, it made a profit!

I can’t comment on 2012 as it has yet to happen but even now I can say this. Despite years of university courses, books and marketing itself, the marketing industry still has much to learn about making a poster!


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