The Austerity Olympics

When the Games Came to London in 1948

By Janie Hampton; Sebastian Coe (Introduction by)
(Aurum Press, Paperback, 9781845134235, 368pp.)

Publication Date: April 2010

Other Editions of This Title: Paperback

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As the financial crisis puts a stranglehold on credit and funding, the upcoming 2012 Olympics in London already look to fall well short of their current budget. Fortunately, London has been through just such hard times before in the run-up to an Olympics, and in 1948 it showed how to run a fantastic event on a tiny budget. This thrilling history of the last Olympics in London is a tale of female competitors sewing their own kit, teams ferried to events on red London buses and billeted in Spartan hostels or even army camps, and the main stadium being hastily cleared of greyhound racing to allow the athletics to take place. The total budget was a shockingly low £760,000, and great athletes like Emil Zatopek and Fanny Blankers-Koen thrilled the crowds nonetheless.

About the Author

Janie Hampton is the author of Joyce Grenfell. Sebastian Coe is the chief of the 2012 London Olympics.

Saturday, Jul 21, 2012

From the ultimate Olympic reference book to an account of the last London Games, bibliophile cabbie Will Grozier recommends books that put both the 2012 Games and their host city in context. More at

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