We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

Why Did the Olympics Last for More Than 6 Months in 1908?

By Kevin Hellyer
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

When the modern Olympics began in Athens, Greece, in 1896, only traditional summer sports like swimming and running events were included. In 1901, the first world competition in cold weather sports such as ice hockey, ski jumping, and figure skating took place at the Nordic Games, but only Scandinavian athletes competed.

Taking advantage of the increasing popularity of figure skating, the sport was added to the 1908 Summer Olympics schedule in London. Although most events were held at White City Stadium in Shepherd's Bush, figure skating took place at an indoor ice rink in Knightsbridge. As the only "winter" event on the schedule, the figure skating competition wasn’t held until October of that year, many months after all of the other events had concluded. This made the 1908 Olympics the longest Games in history, spanning 187 days from beginning to end.

Figure skating would be absent from the Games until Antwerp 1920. The sport would soon become a mainstay of the Winter Olympics, which took place for the first time at Chamonix in 1924.

A look back at 1908:

  • Twenty-one athletes from six countries, including the Russian Empire and the United States, competed in figure skating. Alongside famed skaters like Ulrich Salchow of Sweden and Nikolai Panin-Kolomenkin of Russia, 47-year-old Horatio Torrome became the only Argentinean figure skater to compete at the Games.

  • Skaters competed for medals in mixed pairs, men's singles, ladies' singles, and men's "special figures,” an event that required skaters to perform different skills, such as carving figures on the ice while skating on one leg. This odd event was never included again at the Games.

  • The 1908 Games were notable for a number of firsts. 1908 was the first time athletes entered the stadium behind their nation’s flag. It was also the first time all winners were awarded medals (previously, some had simply received diplomas). And it was the last time that the host country provided all of the judges and timekeepers, amid allegations of favoritism.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.