Clare Balding looks back at the time the Olympic Games came to London in 1948. Three years after the end of the Second World War, Britain was still gripped by austerity. Rationing was still in force, severe bomb damage was still much in evidence and no new sports facilities could be built. Visiting athletes were put up in schools and RAF camps. Yet the Games were a resounding success and actually made a profit. Clare Balding meets athletes who competed in 1948, including cyclist Tommy Godwin, who won two bronze medals, and Dorothy Manley, who won silver in the athletics. She also talks to Roger Bannister who saved the day for the British team in the opening ceremony. The programme also includes fascinating voices from the archives, including Dutch sprinter Fanny Blankers-Koen, who won four gold medals.
The Ration Book Olympics / Clare Balding
“Starting out in the 1948 velodrome grandstand, the BBC's Clare Balding dives into the archives for a look back at the first post-WWII Olympics in London. Bits of original radio coverage and interviews with the people involved—including athlete Roger Bannister—help portray the event. Among the more entertaining segments is the 1948 BBC commentators' guide to courtesy and impartiality. British winners are covered, but the emphasis is on the austere times and the modest preparations rather than on sports. It's short—about an hour—but it packs a lot of information. Listeners who aren't yet satiated by the 2012 London coverage will enjoy this documentary, originally broadcast on BBC radio.” ~AudioFile (J.A.S.)