1908 Olympics

  • Category: American History
  • Words: 488
  • Grade: 100
1908 Olympic Games
The 1908 Olympic Games were originally scheduled to be hosted by Rome, but the 1906 eruption of Mount Vesuvius caused the Games to be relocated to London.Also it was considered as the wettest Olympic Games in history.
These games was held in a new stadium In Shepherds Bush section of London.As you know these games was held under countinually rainy skies.During the games there was arguments through out the crowd and especially the United States.
These Games were much better organized than the previous regularly scheduled Olympic Games these games was the first to have an opening ceromony yet they were marred by politics and nationalism. Britain's recent refusal to give Ireland its independence caused Irish athletes to boycott.
"The Battle of Shepherds Bush" began almost immediately, when the U.S. delegation noticed that there was no American flag among the national flags decorating the stadium for the opening ceremonies. U.S. flag bearer and discus champion Martin Sheridan responded by refusing to dip the Stars and Stripes when he passed King Edward VII's box in the parade of athletes. "This flag dips to no earthly king," Sheridan said. And it hasn't since.
The Americans, at least, got to march with their flag. Finland, then ruled by Russia, could not. Informed they would have to use a Russian flag, the furious Finns elected to march with no flag at all.
There was also controversy over the 400-meter final heat. As four runners came into the final stretch, W.C. Robbins (U.S.) was first, followed by J.C. Carpenter (U.S.), with British Wyndham Halswelle coming in third, and followed by a fourth runner from the U.S. As Carpenter and Halswelle (second and third runners) swung out to pass Robbins, someone shouted "Foul!" Though Carpenter (the U.S. runner who had been in second) finished first, with Robbins (U.S.) in second, and Halswelle (U.K.) in third, the British officials accused Carpenter of blocking and elbowing Halswelle to this day and voided the whole race. The race was ordered to be rerun, but since the American runners refused to redo the race, Halswelle ran the race all by himself to win the gold.
An other controversy took place at the course that stretched from Windsor Castle to the royal box at Shepherds Bush, whenthe leader Dorando Pietri of Italy staggered into the packed stadium, took a wrong turn, collapsed, was helped up by doctors, wobbled and fell three more times before being half-carried across the finish line by race officials. Caught up in the drama of Pietri's agony, the cheering crowd hardly noticed that he was declared the winner just as second place runner, Johnny Hayes of the U.S., entered the stadium.
Pietri was later disqualified in favor of Hayes, but only after British and U.S. officials argued for an hour and fights had broken out in the stands.


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