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Last Updated: Friday, 9 July, 2004, 13:05 GMT 14:05 UK
London 1908
London 1908
The start of the men's 200m
Did you know?
The White City stadium was demolished in 1984 and the site now houses a BBC building
The Olympics were awarded to Rome but money that would have been spent on the Games was required elsewhere following the eruption of Mount Vesuvius.

London stepped in to take over and a new stadium was rapidly constructed in ten months at White City.

This was the first official Olympics to see athletes marched into the stadium behind their respective national flags.

With over 100 events and 2,000 athletes the level of competition was high but controversy left a bitter taste.

With the US team accusing the host nation's judges of partiality, the International Olympic Committee announced that it intended to use judges from various nations on future occasions.

However, sportsmanship was evident in the final of the middleweight Greco-Roman wrestling between Sweden's Frithiof Martensson and Mauritz Andersson.

It was delayed one day to allow Martensson to recover from a minor injury and he duly recovered to be victorious.

There were 21 sports featured in total, including ice skating, while bicycle-polo featured as a demonstration sport.

But it was left to the marathon to produce an event that caught the imagination of people around the world.

Italian Dorando Pietri was the first athlete back in the stadium, but collapsed several times before being disqualified when officials helped him across the line.

American John Hayes won the race, but Dorando became more famous as a plucky loser.

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