1948 London Olympics

This summer's London Olympics has a $16 billion price tag, lavish new venues, and a revitalized East

End. Compare that with London's 1948 "Austerity Games"--which featured bombed-out buildings, rubble, and a shoestring budget. -- By Andrew Dubbins, Yahoo! Sports

The Olympic flag is hoisted by quartermaster Richardson C. Bang, left, on the liner America in New York City, July 14, 1948. The ship is sailing for London, England, with 260 athletes and 44 coaches of the United States Olympic teams for the Summer Olympic Games. Capt. John W. Anderson of the America, center, and Avery Brundage, second from right, President of the U.S. Olympic Committee, assist in the proceedings. Note the five interlocked rings are vertical on the white flag. (AP Photo)
Brundage
The Olympic flag is hoisted by quartermaster Richardson C. Bang, left, on the liner America in New York City, July 14, 1948. The ship is sailing for London, England, with 260 athletes and 44 coaches of the United States Olympic teams for the Summer Olympic Games. Capt. John W. Anderson of the America, center, and Avery Brundage, second from right, President of the U.S. Olympic Committee, assist in the proceedings. Note the five interlocked rings are vertical on the white flag. (AP Photo)
Olympic torch bearer lights the "Liohnos", sacred vase, in which the flame will be preserved, in the Public Square, Corfu, July 18, 1948, and wil then be taken to the British frigate HMS Whitesand Bay to be transported to Bari, Italy. The flame is due at Wembley Stadium, in London, for the opening ceremony of the XIV Summer Olympic Games on July 29. (AP Photo)
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Olympic torch bearer lights the "Liohnos", sacred vase, in which the flame will be preserved, in the Public Square, Corfu, July 18, 1948, and wil then be taken to the British frigate HMS Whitesand Bay to be transported to Bari, Italy. The flame is due at Wembley Stadium, in London, for the opening ceremony of the XIV Summer Olympic Games on July 29. (AP Photo)
The Olympic torch from Olympia, Greece, passed through Milan, Italy on July 23, 1948, on the way to London, United Kingdom, for the opening of the XIV Olympiad. In this image, a lieutenant of the Italian army, torch in hand, is crossing Milan's famous Piazza Del Duomo. The cathedral is seen in the background. (AP Photo)
Olymics
The Olympic torch from Olympia, Greece, passed through Milan, Italy on July 23, 1948, on the way to London, United Kingdom, for the opening of the XIV Olympiad. In this image, a lieutenant of the Italian army, torch in hand, is crossing Milan's famous Piazza Del Duomo. The cathedral is seen in the background. (AP Photo)
Jul 1948: The Olympic Torch is presented at the 1948 Summer Olympic Games at Wembley Stadium in London, England. Mandatory Credit: Allsport/Allsport
1948 Olympics Opening Ceremony
Jul 1948: The Olympic Torch is presented at the 1948 Summer Olympic Games at Wembley Stadium in London, England. Mandatory Credit: Allsport/Allsport
Members of the Canadian Olympic team march past the stand at Wembley Stadium in London, July 29, 1948, during opening ceremonies for the Summer Olympics. (AP Photo)
Olymics
Members of the Canadian Olympic team march past the stand at Wembley Stadium in London, July 29, 1948, during opening ceremonies for the Summer Olympics. (AP Photo)
Ralph Craig, center, of Albany, N.Y., who won the 100- and 200-meter dashes in the 1912 Olympic games in Stockholm, and is a member of the U.S. Olympic Yachting team in the 1948 games, bears the American flag in the parade of the nations at the opening of the Olympic games in London's Wembley Stadium, July 29, 1948. (AP Photo)
Olymics
Ralph Craig, center, of Albany, N.Y., who won the 100- and 200-meter dashes in the 1912 Olympic games in Stockholm, and is a member of the U.S. Olympic Yachting team in the 1948 games, bears the American flag in the parade of the nations at the opening of the Olympic games in London's Wembley Stadium, July 29, 1948. (AP Photo)
Mel Patton, left, anchor man of the U.S. men's 4 x 100-meter relay team, crosses the finish line well ahead of Britain's Jack Archer, during the Summer Olympics at Wembley Stadium, in London Aug. 7, 1948. Olympic judges disqualified the U.S. team on the grounds that their first exchange of the baton was not made within the 20-meter zone, but reversed their decision three days later giving the U.S. the gold medal and Britain the silver.(AP Photo)
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Mel Patton, left, anchor man of the U.S. men's 4 x 100-meter relay team, crosses the finish line well ahead of Britain's Jack Archer, during the Summer Olympics at Wembley Stadium, in London Aug. 7, 1948. Olympic judges disqualified the U.S. team on the grounds that their first exchange of the baton was not made within the 20-meter zone, but reversed their decision three days later giving the U.S. the gold medal and Britain the silver.(AP Photo)
The U.S. Summer Olympic rowing team (extreme far left) is seen winning their sixth successive victory in the eighths at Henley-On-Thames August 9, 1948 in 5 minutes, 56.7 seconds. The Americans were represented by a California University crew. Britain, represented by a Cambridge University crew were second and a Norwegian crew third. The U.S. is seen leading from Great Britain and Norway (right). Summer Olympic Games, London, England 1948. (AP Photo/stf)
USA Win the Eights at Henley-On-Thames
The U.S. Summer Olympic rowing team (extreme far left) is seen winning their sixth successive victory in the eighths at Henley-On-Thames August 9, 1948 in 5 minutes, 56.7 seconds. The Americans were represented by a California University crew. Britain, represented by a Cambridge University crew were second and a Norwegian crew third. The U.S. is seen leading from Great Britain and Norway (right). Summer Olympic Games, London, England 1948. (AP Photo/stf)
This overhead view of the 200-meter dash finish line shows how American Mel Patton (71) of Southern Calif., nosed out teammate H. Norwood "Barney" Ewell (70) of Lancaster, Pa., by a half-stride in the Summer Olympics, August 3, 1948. Left to right are: Leslie Laing (50) of Jamaica, Cliff Bourland (91) of Los Angeles, Ewell, Lloyd LaBeach (57) of Panama, who finished third, Patton, and Herb McKenley (90) of Jamaica. Both Patton and Ewell were clocked in 21.1 secs. for the event in Wembley Stadium, London.(AP Photo)
Olymics
This overhead view of the 200-meter dash finish line shows how American Mel Patton (71) of Southern Calif., nosed out teammate H. Norwood "Barney" Ewell (70) of Lancaster, Pa., by a half-stride in the Summer Olympics, August 3, 1948. Left to right are: Leslie Laing (50) of Jamaica, Cliff Bourland (91) of Los Angeles, Ewell, Lloyd LaBeach (57) of Panama, who finished third, Patton, and Herb McKenley (90) of Jamaica. Both Patton and Ewell were clocked in 21.1 secs. for the event in Wembley Stadium, London.(AP Photo)
FILE - This July 27, 1948 file photo shows Sammy Lee, member of the United States Olympic Diving Team, diving from the top of the diving tower during training at the Empire Pool in Wembley, London, England. Lee remembers the London 1948 Olympics vividly: the food rationing, the bombed-out buildings, the rubble. London was hosting the Olympics amid severe austerity conditions in the aftermath of World War II. The 2012 Olympics will showcase a much different London and a much different event from the 1948 "Austerity Games" held on a shoestring budget: This will be a $16 billion extravaganza featuring multimillionaire professionals, shiny new purpose-built venues and a revitalized East End. Britain's biggest peacetime project also comes with a massive security operation. (AP Photo/File)
Olymics
FILE - This July 27, 1948 file photo shows Sammy Lee, member of the United States Olympic Diving Team, diving from the top of the diving tower during training at the Empire Pool in Wembley, London, England. Lee remembers the London 1948 Olympics vividly: the food rationing, the bombed-out buildings, the rubble. London was hosting the Olympics amid severe austerity conditions in the aftermath of World War II. The 2012 Olympics will showcase a much different London and a much different event from the 1948 "Austerity Games" held on a shoestring budget: This will be a $16 billion extravaganza featuring multimillionaire professionals, shiny new purpose-built venues and a revitalized East End. Britain's biggest peacetime project also comes with a massive security operation. (AP Photo/File)
Australia's Jack Winters jumps in the men's Olympic Games High Jump competition, at Wembley Stadium, London, July 30, 1948. He qualified for the next round of the competition. (AP Photo)
Olymics
Australia's Jack Winters jumps in the men's Olympic Games High Jump competition, at Wembley Stadium, London, July 30, 1948. He qualified for the next round of the competition. (AP Photo)
An Italian representative protests from the side of the track over the elimination of France's Louis Chevalier, left, from heat two of the men's 10,000-metres Olympic Games Walk at Wembley Stadium, London, Aug. 3, 1948, after officials had requested his retirement. Several competitors were removed for infringement of the rules of walking. (AP Photo)
Olymics
An Italian representative protests from the side of the track over the elimination of France's Louis Chevalier, left, from heat two of the men's 10,000-metres Olympic Games Walk at Wembley Stadium, London, Aug. 3, 1948, after officials had requested his retirement. Several competitors were removed for infringement of the rules of walking. (AP Photo)
This Aug. 4, 1948 file photo shows Fanny Blankers-Koen, of Netherlands, crossing the finish line of the 80-meter hurdle final of the 1948 Olympic Games at Wembley Stadium in London. Blankers-Koen, who was one of the biggest stars of the 1948 London Olympics, was originally left off a new map of the London Underground dedicated to past Olympians, prompting criticism from her homeland. But on Wednesday, April 4, 2012, the track star known as the "Flying Housewife" was added to the list for future prints. (AP Photo/File)
Olymics
This Aug. 4, 1948 file photo shows Fanny Blankers-Koen, of Netherlands, crossing the finish line of the 80-meter hurdle final of the 1948 Olympic Games at Wembley Stadium in London. Blankers-Koen, who was one of the biggest stars of the 1948 London Olympics, was originally left off a new map of the London Underground dedicated to past Olympians, prompting criticism from her homeland. But on Wednesday, April 4, 2012, the track star known as the "Flying Housewife" was added to the list for future prints. (AP Photo/File)
The crew of Denmark's boat receive their Olympic Games Coxed Four Rowing bronze medals, at a landing stage, at Henley-on-Thames, England, Aug. 9, 1948. Olympic President Johannes Sigfrid Edstroem is seen presenting the medals. All others are unidentified. (AP Photo)
Olymics
The crew of Denmark's boat receive their Olympic Games Coxed Four Rowing bronze medals, at a landing stage, at Henley-on-Thames, England, Aug. 9, 1948. Olympic President Johannes Sigfrid Edstroem is seen presenting the medals. All others are unidentified. (AP Photo)
Captain of the United States basketball team J.B.Renick, number 55, left jumping, scores in the Olympic Games match against Switzerland, at Harringay Arena, London, July 30, 1948. From left to right; Renick; Wallace C. Jones, USA; Marc Bossy, Switzerland; unidentified player. America won the match by 86 points to 21. (AP Photo)
Olympics
Captain of the United States basketball team J.B.Renick, number 55, left jumping, scores in the Olympic Games match against Switzerland, at Harringay Arena, London, July 30, 1948. From left to right; Renick; Wallace C. Jones, USA; Marc Bossy, Switzerland; unidentified player. America won the match by 86 points to 21. (AP Photo)
Micheline Ostermeyer of France winds up to throw the discus during the XIV Summer Olympic Games in the women's discus meet at Wembly Stadium in London, England on July 31, 1948. (AP Photo)
OSTERMEYER
Micheline Ostermeyer of France winds up to throw the discus during the XIV Summer Olympic Games in the women's discus meet at Wembly Stadium in London, England on July 31, 1948. (AP Photo)
First day of the Olympic Games sailing races, shows yachts from France preparing to put to sea, in Torquay Harbour, England, Aug. 3, 1948. (AP Photo)
Olympics
First day of the Olympic Games sailing races, shows yachts from France preparing to put to sea, in Torquay Harbour, England, Aug. 3, 1948. (AP Photo)
America's Anne Curtis, left, with Karen Harup of Denmark after they had finished the women's Olympic Games 400-metres Freestyle Final at the Empire Pool, Wembley, London, Aug. 7, 1948. Curtis won the race , with Harup taking second place. The first five in the race all beat the Olympic Record time that had been set in 1936. (AP Photo)
Olympics
America's Anne Curtis, left, with Karen Harup of Denmark after they had finished the women's Olympic Games 400-metres Freestyle Final at the Empire Pool, Wembley, London, Aug. 7, 1948. Curtis won the race , with Harup taking second place. The first five in the race all beat the Olympic Record time that had been set in 1936. (AP Photo)
America's Harrison Dillard, second left, hands over the baton to Melvin Patton, third left, for the final leg of the men's Olympic Games 4 x 100metres Relay Final at Wembley Stadium, London, Aug. 7, 1948, to win the race. Britain's John Archer, second right, came in second. The American team were disqualified for a wrong baton change. (AP Photo)
Olympics
America's Harrison Dillard, second left, hands over the baton to Melvin Patton, third left, for the final leg of the men's Olympic Games 4 x 100metres Relay Final at Wembley Stadium, London, Aug. 7, 1948, to win the race. Britain's John Archer, second right, came in second. The American team were disqualified for a wrong baton change. (AP Photo)
Cissie Davies of Great Britain on the balancing bar, during the Summer Olympic Games gymnastics event (transferred from the Wembley Stadium) at the Empress Hall, Earl's Court in London, United Kingdom on August 12, 1948. Eleven countries have entered the women's team competition. The competition is carried out on similar lines to the men's and comprises voluntary and compulsory exercises on swinging ring and beam, and springboard vaults over the pommel-horse. (AP Photo)
Cissie Davies
Cissie Davies of Great Britain on the balancing bar, during the Summer Olympic Games gymnastics event (transferred from the Wembley Stadium) at the Empress Hall, Earl's Court in London, United Kingdom on August 12, 1948. Eleven countries have entered the women's team competition. The competition is carried out on similar lines to the men's and comprises voluntary and compulsory exercises on swinging ring and beam, and springboard vaults over the pommel-horse. (AP Photo)
Belgium's Gaston Reiff wins the men's 5,000-metres Olympic Games Final at Wembley Stadium, London, Aug. 2, 1948. Czechoslovakia's Emil Zatopek finishes in second place, left. (AP Photo)
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Belgium's Gaston Reiff wins the men's 5,000-metres Olympic Games Final at Wembley Stadium, London, Aug. 2, 1948. Czechoslovakia's Emil Zatopek finishes in second place, left. (AP Photo)
This Aug. 4, 1948 file photo shows Fanny Blankers-Koen, of Netherlands, crossing the finish line of the 80-meter hurdle final of the 1948 Olympic Games at Wembley Stadium in London. Blankers-Koen, who was one of the biggest stars of the 1948 London Olympics, was originally left off a new map of the London Underground dedicated to past Olympians, prompting criticism from her homeland. But on Wednesday, April 4, 2012, the track star known as the "Flying Housewife" was added to the list for future prints. (AP Photo/File)
Olymics
This Aug. 4, 1948 file photo shows Fanny Blankers-Koen, of Netherlands, crossing the finish line of the 80-meter hurdle final of the 1948 Olympic Games at Wembley Stadium in London. Blankers-Koen, who was one of the biggest stars of the 1948 London Olympics, was originally left off a new map of the London Underground dedicated to past Olympians, prompting criticism from her homeland. But on Wednesday, April 4, 2012, the track star known as the "Flying Housewife" was added to the list for future prints. (AP Photo/File)
The crew of Denmark's boat receive their Olympic Games Coxed Four Rowing bronze medals, at a landing stage, at Henley-on-Thames, England, Aug. 9, 1948. Olympic President Johannes Sigfrid Edstroem is seen presenting the medals. All others are unidentified. (AP Photo)
Olymics
The crew of Denmark's boat receive their Olympic Games Coxed Four Rowing bronze medals, at a landing stage, at Henley-on-Thames, England, Aug. 9, 1948. Olympic President Johannes Sigfrid Edstroem is seen presenting the medals. All others are unidentified. (AP Photo)
Captain of the United States basketball team J.B.Renick, number 55, left jumping, scores in the Olympic Games match against Switzerland, at Harringay Arena, London, July 30, 1948. From left to right; Renick; Wallace C. Jones, USA; Marc Bossy, Switzerland; unidentified player. America won the match by 86 points to 21. (AP Photo)
Olympics
Captain of the United States basketball team J.B.Renick, number 55, left jumping, scores in the Olympic Games match against Switzerland, at Harringay Arena, London, July 30, 1948. From left to right; Renick; Wallace C. Jones, USA; Marc Bossy, Switzerland; unidentified player. America won the match by 86 points to 21. (AP Photo)
Micheline Ostermeyer of France winds up to throw the discus during the XIV Summer Olympic Games in the women's discus meet at Wembly Stadium in London, England on July 31, 1948. (AP Photo)
OSTERMEYER
Micheline Ostermeyer of France winds up to throw the discus during the XIV Summer Olympic Games in the women's discus meet at Wembly Stadium in London, England on July 31, 1948. (AP Photo)
First day of the Olympic Games sailing races, shows yachts from France preparing to put to sea, in Torquay Harbour, England, Aug. 3, 1948. (AP Photo)
Olympics
First day of the Olympic Games sailing races, shows yachts from France preparing to put to sea, in Torquay Harbour, England, Aug. 3, 1948. (AP Photo)
America's Anne Curtis, left, with Karen Harup of Denmark after they had finished the women's Olympic Games 400-metres Freestyle Final at the Empire Pool, Wembley, London, Aug. 7, 1948. Curtis won the race , with Harup taking second place. The first five in the race all beat the Olympic Record time that had been set in 1936. (AP Photo)
Olympics
America's Anne Curtis, left, with Karen Harup of Denmark after they had finished the women's Olympic Games 400-metres Freestyle Final at the Empire Pool, Wembley, London, Aug. 7, 1948. Curtis won the race , with Harup taking second place. The first five in the race all beat the Olympic Record time that had been set in 1936. (AP Photo)
America's Harrison Dillard, second left, hands over the baton to Melvin Patton, third left, for the final leg of the men's Olympic Games 4 x 100metres Relay Final at Wembley Stadium, London, Aug. 7, 1948, to win the race. Britain's John Archer, second right, came in second. The American team were disqualified for a wrong baton change. (AP Photo)
Olympics
America's Harrison Dillard, second left, hands over the baton to Melvin Patton, third left, for the final leg of the men's Olympic Games 4 x 100metres Relay Final at Wembley Stadium, London, Aug. 7, 1948, to win the race. Britain's John Archer, second right, came in second. The American team were disqualified for a wrong baton change. (AP Photo)
Cissie Davies of Great Britain on the balancing bar, during the Summer Olympic Games gymnastics event (transferred from the Wembley Stadium) at the Empress Hall, Earl's Court in London, United Kingdom on August 12, 1948. Eleven countries have entered the women's team competition. The competition is carried out on similar lines to the men's and comprises voluntary and compulsory exercises on swinging ring and beam, and springboard vaults over the pommel-horse. (AP Photo)
Cissie Davies
Cissie Davies of Great Britain on the balancing bar, during the Summer Olympic Games gymnastics event (transferred from the Wembley Stadium) at the Empress Hall, Earl's Court in London, United Kingdom on August 12, 1948. Eleven countries have entered the women's team competition. The competition is carried out on similar lines to the men's and comprises voluntary and compulsory exercises on swinging ring and beam, and springboard vaults over the pommel-horse. (AP Photo)
Belgium's Gaston Reiff wins the men's 5,000-metres Olympic Games Final at Wembley Stadium, London, Aug. 2, 1948. Czechoslovakia's Emil Zatopek finishes in second place, left. (AP Photo)
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Belgium's Gaston Reiff wins the men's 5,000-metres Olympic Games Final at Wembley Stadium, London, Aug. 2, 1948. Czechoslovakia's Emil Zatopek finishes in second place, left. (AP Photo)
First day of the Olympic Games sailing races, shows yachts from France preparing to put to sea, in Torquay Harbour, England, Aug. 3, 1948. (AP Photo)
Olympics
First day of the Olympic Games sailing races, shows yachts from France preparing to put to sea, in Torquay Harbour, England, Aug. 3, 1948. (AP Photo)
America's Anne Curtis, left, with Karen Harup of Denmark after they had finished the women's Olympic Games 400-metres Freestyle Final at the Empire Pool, Wembley, London, Aug. 7, 1948. Curtis won the race , with Harup taking second place. The first five in the race all beat the Olympic Record time that had been set in 1936. (AP Photo)
Olympics
America's Anne Curtis, left, with Karen Harup of Denmark after they had finished the women's Olympic Games 400-metres Freestyle Final at the Empire Pool, Wembley, London, Aug. 7, 1948. Curtis won the race , with Harup taking second place. The first five in the race all beat the Olympic Record time that had been set in 1936. (AP Photo)
America's Harrison Dillard, second left, hands over the baton to Melvin Patton, third left, for the final leg of the men's Olympic Games 4 x 100metres Relay Final at Wembley Stadium, London, Aug. 7, 1948, to win the race. Britain's John Archer, second right, came in second. The American team were disqualified for a wrong baton change. (AP Photo)
Olympics
America's Harrison Dillard, second left, hands over the baton to Melvin Patton, third left, for the final leg of the men's Olympic Games 4 x 100metres Relay Final at Wembley Stadium, London, Aug. 7, 1948, to win the race. Britain's John Archer, second right, came in second. The American team were disqualified for a wrong baton change. (AP Photo)
Cissie Davies of Great Britain on the balancing bar, during the Summer Olympic Games gymnastics event (transferred from the Wembley Stadium) at the Empress Hall, Earl's Court in London, United Kingdom on August 12, 1948. Eleven countries have entered the women's team competition. The competition is carried out on similar lines to the men's and comprises voluntary and compulsory exercises on swinging ring and beam, and springboard vaults over the pommel-horse. (AP Photo)
Cissie Davies
Cissie Davies of Great Britain on the balancing bar, during the Summer Olympic Games gymnastics event (transferred from the Wembley Stadium) at the Empress Hall, Earl's Court in London, United Kingdom on August 12, 1948. Eleven countries have entered the women's team competition. The competition is carried out on similar lines to the men's and comprises voluntary and compulsory exercises on swinging ring and beam, and springboard vaults over the pommel-horse. (AP Photo)
Belgium's Gaston Reiff wins the men's 5,000-metres Olympic Games Final at Wembley Stadium, London, Aug. 2, 1948. Czechoslovakia's Emil Zatopek finishes in second place, left. (AP Photo)
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Belgium's Gaston Reiff wins the men's 5,000-metres Olympic Games Final at Wembley Stadium, London, Aug. 2, 1948. Czechoslovakia's Emil Zatopek finishes in second place, left. (AP Photo)

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