Notes:The 1908 London Olympic Games were originally slated for Rome. The Italians were in full swing preparing for the games when Mount Vesuvius erupted on April 7th 1906 resulting in the devastation of the City of Naples. As a result the funds allocated to the Olympics were redirected to rebuilding Naples. British Pathe.
There was much controversy surrounding the games, at the opening ceremony the Swedes refused to march as their flag had been omitted from being flown above the stadium. The Finns, being part of the Russian Empire, were expected to march under the Russian flag, so many chose to march with no flag at all. The US flag had also been left out from flying above the stadium and the US flag bearer refused to dip his flag to Edward the VII in the Royal box.
Probably the most famous event though, was the end of the marathon. Dorando Pietri entered the stadium in first place, collapsed several times and ran in the wrong direction. Two officials came to his aid and as a result the second place American, Johnny Hayes, complained and was awarded gold following Pietri's disqualification. Pietri's performance did not go unrewarded though and Queen Alexandra gave him a gilded silver cup. Arthur Conan-Doyle reporting for the Daily Mail wrote "The Italian's great performance can never be effaced from our record of sport, be the decision of the judges what it may." Funds were raised to help Pietri and he soon became an international celebrity which included Irving Berlin dedicating a song to him.