London's 1908 Olympics walking tour

Friday, July 11, 2008

I've been on a walking tour around west London, taking in the sites and stories of London's 1908 Olympics. Held in a stadium at White City, which was demolished in the 80s (the BBC are on the site now), memories of the Olympics remain, such as this mural and this street.


Mural on 1908 Olympics in underpass

Dorando Close

The street is named after Italian Dorando Pietri who finished the marathon first, but didn't win. Starting at Windsor Castle, the marathon wound through north and west London. Princess Mary at Windsor Castle asked that it start at the east wing - 'so the children could watch'. Meanwhile, Queen Alexandra requested that the finish line be in front of White City's Royal Box.

Both actions added several hundred yards to the race.

By the end, Pietri (also a Soho ice-cream seller) was in first place. Entering the stadium, he ran the wrong way and collapsed. Two officials - being sporting British chaps - helped him to the finish line. And he was disqualified! But, next day, Queen Alexandria presented him with a special silver cup, and he's now immortalised.

See here & here for more Olympic tales. Or go on this tour - there's another in August.

Finishing line of the White City Stadium

3 comments:

dgeezer said...

Thanks for the tip-off!
I went along on today's repeat, and discovered a couple of places I'd never been to before.
(that BBC subway mural is something else...)

Don said...

Hello,

May I suggest a link related to the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games?

Our site:

URL: http://www.2008chinaolympics.com
Title: Beijing Olympics

Please let me know if you want a link back.
Many thanks for your reply.

Best Regards,

Don
chinaolympics8@gmail.com

Don said...

Hello,

May I suggest a link related to the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games?

Our site:

URL: http://www.2008chinaolympics.com
Title: Beijing Olympics

Please let me know if you want a link back.
Many thanks for your reply.

Best Regards,

Don
chinaolympics8@gmail.com