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Stockholm Olympics 1912

On Friday I took part in an anniversary dinner at the Stockholm City Hall in commemoration of the 1912 Olympic Games in Stockholm. The evening was a great opportunity for the Swedish sports movement and their friends from around the world to get together in the presence of the Swedish King and Queen to celebrate the Sunshine Olympics. It was also an opportunity to make a connection between Stockholm 1912 and London 2012.

It is quite striking if you compare the Olympic Games in Stockholm a hundred years ago with the upcoming Olympics in London. The 1912 Games in Stockholm brought together 2,300 participants from 28 nations. The 2012 Games in London will have 10,500 participants from 204 nations.

The 1912 Games are actually considered the first modern Olympics. For the first time there was electronic timing, photo finish and film rights were sold exclusively. At the dinner on Friday the IOC President Jacques Rogge concluded that the Stockholm Olympics became a blueprint for the future. The chairman of the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games Sebastian Coe gave one of his very inspiring speeches.

During the evening we had an opportunity to see hilarious extracts from Jens Lind’s documentary about the Stockholm Olympics. The documentary was recently broadcast on Swedish television. It was particularly funny to watch distracted photographers as well as our King Gustav V handing out medals and wreaths almost mechanically and at great speed. Hopefully the documentary will be broadcast in Britain as well.

We also learned that Swedish athletes have won 604 medals (475 at summer games) over the years which gives us a good position in the Olympic statistics.


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