Wednesday, July 4, 2012

1908 London Summer Olympic Opening Ceremony
1906 Athens - Stockholm 1912

The Games of the IV Olympiad
London, England
White City Stadium - host of the Opening Ceremony
Olympic Ceremony Records
italics indicate records at the time

  • First Parade of Nations by Country in an Official Olympics (originated 1906 Intercalated Games)
  • First Playing of the National Anthem at an Official Opening Ceremony (The Star-Spangled Banner was performed in 1904 but it was neither the official National Anthem of the U.S. nor was it an official Opening Ceremony)
  • First Parade of Nations to Use a Standard Displaying the Country Name
  • First Competitions in Winter Sports (Figure Skating) - These games were split into Summer Games and Autumn Games, figure skating obviously being competed in the later.
  • Largest Stadium to Host the Opening Ceremony (68,000) - previous Athens 1896 (45,000)
  • Most Athletes Participating (2,008) - previous Paris 1900 (997)
  • Most Olympic Events (110) - previous Paris 1900 (95)
Opening Ceremony
White City Stadium (68,000)
July 13, 1908


Official Report
(photos of the ceremony at the end of the report)

Opening Ceremony Highlights

The London Olympics of 1908 were anticipated to be the greatest Olympics yet.  Only the two previous games in Athens were successful; Paris and St. Louis were poorly run and part of the World's Fair.  Rome was the city elected to host, but with an eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 1906, the games were moved to London.  The Opening Ceremony of the 1908 games began the modern tradition and grandiosity of the modern Olympic ceremonies.  Even though the stadium seated 68,000 there had been rain all day and only 40,000 spectators attended the ceremony.

  • King Edward VII of England arrives with many dignitaries to the Stadium
  • The first Parade of Nations by country in an official Olympics began (1906 games are not considered an official Olympic Games).  This was the highlight of many of the following Opening Ceremonies as this was in the height of the Nationalist age - which led to WWI.
  • The King of England declares the games open
  • Trumpeters sounded a fanfare
  • Band played the National Anthem
  • The athletes and crowd sound three "God Save the King" chants
  • The athletes left the field and the first track events began

Gold Medal from the 1908 Summer Olympics in London

Olympic Program Cover from the 1908 Summer Olympics in London

Opening Ceremony of the 1908 Olympics

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