Can you picture Olympic Games where women compete in full-length skirts instead of skin-tight bodysuits? How about runners taking more than 10 seconds to complete a hundred-meter dash? See them for yourself in these archived Olympic photos from 1936 and beyond.
The first time London hosted the Olympics, it was as a backup—the Games, originally scheduled to take place in Rome, were relocated to London after Mount Vesuvius erupted. The year was 1908, a bygone era of international competition when tug-of-war and the ten-mile walk were official sports, women competed in floor-length skirts, and it took men a glacial 10.8 seconds to complete the hundred-meter dash. Only at these early stages of the Olympic Games could a runner win the marathon after falling repeatedly and running in the wrong direction (he was later disqualified due to the physical assistance he received from a megaphone-toting man in a boater hat, above). In celebration of the 2012 London Games, here’s a look back at the early days.
The above images were taken during the Olympics Games in Missouri (1904), London (1908), Antwerp (1920), Paris (1924), Los Angeles (1932), and Berlin (1936).
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Sourced from The New Yorker.