chapter  Chapter 4
28 Pages

London and the Olympics

ByJohn Horne, Garry Whannel

London was the first city to stage a third Olympic Games, which marks the significant role the UK played in the development of modern sports. In 1908 the London Olympics had close links - and shared a site - with the Franco-British Exhibition near Shepherd's Bush. In 1948 the hastily arranged and financially pressed London Olympic Games did utilize the Wembley site, constructed for the Empire Exhibition, but in 1951 the Festival of Britain rejected both Wembley and White City, in favour of Battersea Park and the South Bank in Central London. In 2005 London beat Paris in the race to stage the 2012 Games, by 54 votes to 50. In 2012 London staged the Olympic Games for the third time, the first city to do so. The re-establishment of a London-wide authority in 2000, and development strategies for East London and the Thames estuary region, were key to London’s Olympic bid.