After twelve years and the interruption of the Second World War, the Olympic Games were restored when they were opened in London on the 29th of July, 1948. Some 85 000 people packed Wembley Stadium on a brilliantly sunny day, and a speech was made*:
Your Majesty: The hour has struck. A visionary dream has today become a glorious reality. At the end of the worldwide struggle in 1945, many institutions and associations were found to have withered and only the strongest had survived. How, many wondered, had the great Olympic Movement prospered?
While fifty-nine countries sent competitors, Germany and Japan were not allowed to participate, and German forced labour was used to construct some of the facilities.
The Soviet Union chose not to send any representatives.