The British Olympics at the University of Winchester
On 4th November, Dr Martin Polley, Senior Lecturer in Sport at the University of Southampton, gave a lecture on Olympic history as part of our 12 for 12 Project. Martin, a sports historian who used to lecture in the History and Sport Studies departments here at Winchester, has recently written The British Olympics: Britain's Olympic heritage 1612-2012 for English Heritage's Played in Britain series, and he spoke to an audience of sport students and staff about some of his findings. Taking next year's Olympic Games in London as his starting point, he looked at the two previous London Olympic Games, those of 1908 and 1948, and at the role of Stoke Mandeville Hospital in the birth if the Paralympics. He then moved on to explore some of the older sporting events in Britain that were called Olympic, Olimpick, or Olympian, like the Cotswold Olimpick Games that started in the early seventeenth century, and the Much Wenlock Olympian Games, the Liverpool Olympic Festivals and Morpeth Olympic Games of the Victorian period. The illustrated lecture raised questions about the word 'Olympic', and about what planners for 2012 can learn from the past. The lecture was followed by a book signing, with the University's booksellers P & G Wells providing copies of The British Olympics.
For more about Played in Britain, visit: http://www.playedinbritain.co.uk/index.php
For Martin's website, visit: http://martinpolley.co.uk/GB Fencing Demonstration
The talk was part of the 12 for 12 celebrations.