Did you know that Rome left the organization of the 1908 Olympic Games…?

Yes, and it did because of the volcanic eruptions in the country. Rome had been the city chosen by the International Olympic Committee, however, the eruption of Mount Vesuvius on April 7, 1907, meant that the efforts of the Italian government were devoted to the reconstruction of the city of Naples, totally devastated. London, site of the Franco-British Exhibition, was chosen as a replacement.

After the failure of the two previous editions, the games finally received the attention they deserved. During the course of the games, the first president of the IOC, the Greek Demetrius Bikelas, died.

London 1908For the Games, the White City Stadium was created, with a capacity of 68,000 spectators, who witnessed the first parade of the participating nations, originating from the Intercalated Games of 1906. This event had several drawbacks, due to the refusal of the athletes Irish and Finns to parade under the British and Russian flags respectively, the absence of the Swedish flag and the American standard bearer’s refusal to pay homage to King Edward VII.