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Olympics – 1948 London – Track – Mens 100m & 200m Dash & 400m Relay – The Barney Ewell Story


The 1948 Summer Olympics….officially known as the Games of the XIV Olympiad….were an international multi-sport event….which was held in London, England, United Kingdom.  After a 12-year hiatus because of World War II….these were the first Summer Olympics since the 1936 Games in Berlin.  The event came to be known as the Austerity Games….because of the economic climate and post-war rationing.  No new venues were built for the games….and athletes were housed in existing accommodation instead of an Olympic Village….as were the 1936 Games and the subsequent 1952 Games.  A record 59 nations were represented by 4,104 athletes, 3,714 men and 390 women, in 19 sport disciplines. Germany and Japan were refused permission to participate….and the USSR was invited but chose not to send any athletes. The United States team won the most total medals, 84, and the most gold medals, 38. The host nation won 23 medals, three of them gold.  These Olympics were the first to be broadcast on television.

The men’s 100m dash in track at the London Games on July 31st…..had four sprinters that were vying for the gold medal….USA Harrison Dillard, USA Mel Patton, PAN Lloyd LaBeach and USA Barney Ewell….whom the press called “Old Man”….cuz in had participated in the 1936 Berlin Olympics 12 year before the London Games.  In the course of 5 days….Barney Ewell would lose the gold medal by inches in both the 100m dash and 200m dash…..but the 400m relay would provide another close call…..as this video so beautifully presents. 

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