1944 Summer Olympics

The 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, United Kingdom, which won the bid on the first ballot in a June 1939 IOC election over Rome, Detroit, Lausanne, Athens, Budapest, Helsinki and Montreal. The selection was made at the 38th IOC Session in London in 1939.[1]

Games of the XIII Olympiad
Host cityLondon, United Kingdom


Because of the cancellation, London went on to host the 1948 Summer Olympics.

In spite of the war, the IOC organised many events to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of its foundation at its headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland. Held from 17 to 19 June 1944, this celebration was referred to as "The Jubilee Celebrations of IOC" by Carl Diem, the originator of the modern tradition of the Olympic torch relay.[2]

Polish Prisoners of War (POWs) in the Woldenberg (Dobiegniew) Oflag II-C POW camp were granted permission by their German captors to stage an unofficial POW Olympics during 23 July to 13 August 1944, and an Olympic Flag made with a bed sheet and pieces of coloured scarves was raised. The event has been considered to be a demonstration of the Olympic spirit transcending war.[3]

Bid resultsEdit

IOC voting[1]
City Country Round 1
London   United Kingdom 20
Rome   Italy 11
Detroit   United States 2
Lausanne    Switzerland 1
Athens   Greece 0
Budapest   Hungary 0
Helsinki   Finland 0
Montreal   Canada 0

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "Past Olympic host city election results". GamesBids. Archived from the original on 24 January 2011. Retrieved 17 March 2011.
  2. ^ "Beijing 2008 Olympic Games: Mount Olympus Meets the Middle Kingdom | Beijing 2008 Olympic Games :: History of the Olympic Games". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 11 December 2015.
  3. ^ Grys, Iwona (1996), "The Olympic Idea Transcending War" (PDF), Olympic Review, XXV (8, April–May 1996): 68, archived from the original (PDF) on 10 September 2008, retrieved 26 June 2012.
Summer Olympics
Preceded by
cancelled due to World War II
XIII Olympiad

1944 (cancelled due to World War II)
Succeeded by