London 1908

The development of sports

The programme was a little bit extended compared to 1904. In opposite to the previous games in Paris and St. Louis the programme of sports and events is clarified, since they did not vegetate in the shadow of the world exhibitions as before. In other sources only 110 events are counted that leads back to the assumption that the 1,000 m track event in cycling was not counted based on the timeout in the final. Besides, following sports were performed:

  • Athletics, swimming, cycling, fencing, football, water diving, gymnastics and tennis were performed as in the years before.
  • Like 1904 boxers have again competed in five different weight categories.
  • Sport shooters and archers participated again, too.
  • For the first time not only the Graeco-Roman style but also the freestyle in wrestling was performed.
  • Besides sailing and rowing there was the one-time performance of motorboating; until today it is the only case that events with motorised vehicles are officially accepted.
  • There was a remake for players of lacrosse, polo, water polo and rugby.
  • First-time performed were hocke, jeu de Paume, a French precursor of lawn tennis, and racquet; latter one is similar to squash.
  • Since Olympic winter games were still an illusion and nobody thought in anything similar, figure skating has been included in the summer programme.