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Olympics
11:20 am
Fri July 20, 2012

Grumbling, Excitement Build For London Olympics

[NPR] The last time the British did this, they had a king: George VI, the father of Queen Elizabeth, was on the throne.

George was so often tongue-tied, yet he proclaimed open the 1948 London Olympics flawlessly.

It was late July. The sun shone down on London from a cloudless sky. The BBC had acquired the TV broadcasting rights for just $4,000 and made the most of them.

People packed Wembley Stadium, eager to forget the horrors of the second world war.

The 1948 Olympics are known as the austerity games. London was rebuilding after being bombed to smithereens by Hitler. Food and gas were still rationed. The athletes had no luxurious Olympic Village. They slept in military barracks, or colleges.

The Olympics are back — and, despite these difficult economic times, this time, they'll be far grander.

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