Own Mint Monaco Stamps Commemorating the 1948 Summer Olympics – the “Austerity Games”
Held in London, the 1948 Olympics were the first summer games held since Berlin in 1936, having been delayed due to World War II. Great Britain was the second city to host the games twice (after Paris).
At the time of the games, Britain was still observing war-time rationing of food, fuel, and building materials. This led to the 1948 Olympics being called the “Austerity Games.” No new venues were constructed, and athletes slept and lived in existing housing. The athletes did receive increased rations, similar to those given to dockers and miners.
The 1948 games included 136 medal events for 23 disciplines in 17 different sports and arts. These were the last games to include an arts competition. The arts included sports-related architecture, literature, music, painting, and sculpture. Basketball was played for the second time as a medal sport, and these were the first games to have it played inside. These were the first games to include women’s canoeing and lacrosse was played as an exhibition sport.
Dutch sprinter Fanny Blankers-Koen was one of the breakout stars, nicknamed the “Flying Housewife.” Competing in the decathlon, American Bob Mathias became the youngest man to win an Olympic gold medal at the age of 17. And Finland’s Veikko Huhtanen won the most individual medals – three gold, one silver, and one bronze in men’s gymnastics.
A total of 59 nations participated, including 14 that made their first Olympic appearances. 4,104 athletes participated – 3,714 men and 390 women. Germany and Japan were not invited to participate, as they were under post-war military occupation. By the games’ end, the US had the most gold medals (38) and the most medals overall (84), followed by Sweden and France. Great Britain ranked 12th with three gold medals and 23 medals total.
Get these five stamps picturing popular events from the 1948 Summer Olympics now.