The Dramatic Finish in the Marathon at the 1908 Olympic Games in London – The British Newspaper Archive Blog

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The Dramatic Finish in the Marathon at the 1908 Olympic Games in London

With the men’s Olympic marathon taking place in London this weekend, we thought we’d post some newspaper reports on perhaps the most amazing marathon even to take place at an Olympics – the marathon of the 1908 Games.

The reason why this marathon is so famous is due to the collapse of the Italian runner, Dorando Pietri. Leading from the 24 mile mark, it looked as though Pietri would win the race.

However, when Pietri arrived in White City Stadium for the final part of the race, to the horror of the crowd, the exhausted runner fainted several times. Some of the race umpires (one of whom was a doctor) rushed to help the Italian back to his feet, so he could cross the finish line and win the race.

Sadly, by the humane act of helping Pietri back to his feet, the authorities disqualified Pietri and awarded the race to the American, Johnny Hayes, who had finished second. In appreciataion of his efforts, however, Pietri received a gilded silver cup from Queen Alexandria.

There are dozens of stories about this famous event in the Archive – just type ‘marathon race’ into the search box, and then navigate your way to late July 1908.

newspaper story about Dornado Pietri in the marathon at the 1908 Olympics

Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser – Tuesday 11 August 1908

Image © Northcliffe Media Limited. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.

http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000206/19080725/041/0006

newspaper story about Dornado Pietri in the marathon at the 1908 Olympics

Western Times – Saturday 25 July 1908

Image © Northcliffe Media Limited. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.

http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000265/19080725/056/0004

newspaper story about Dornado Pietri in the marathon at the 1908 Olympics

Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser – Saturday 25 July 1908

Image © Northcliffe Media Limited. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.

http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000206/19080811/077/0007

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