Olympics Photo of the Day

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

1944 Summer Olympics

The anticipated 1944 Summer Olympics, which were to be officially known as the Games of the XIII Olympiad, were cancelled because of World War II. They would have been held in London, England, which won the bid in the June 1939 International Olympic Committee election, over Rome, Detroit, Lausanne, Athens, Budapest, Helsinki and Montreal.
London hosted the next Olympic Games, the 1948 Summer Olympics, awarded without an election.
In spite of the war, the IOC had many events at its headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland to celebrate its 50th anniversary. These events happened on 17 June to 19 June 1944 and were called "The Jubilee Celebrations of IOC" by Carl Diem, the man who began the modern tradition of the Olympic torch relay.
Polish POWs in the Woldenberg (Dobiegniew) Oflag II-C POW camp were granted permission by their Nazi captors to have an unofficial POW Olympics in 1944, showing that the Olympic spirit can survive even during war.