30 JULY 1948, Page 5

By the time you read these words the Fourteenth Olympiad

will have been inaugurated at Wembley, where 6,000 athletes will have paraded before the King, and 7,000 pigeons will have been released by Boy Scouts. (At Berlin in 1936 they had 35,000 pigeons, and whoever released them I bet it wasn't Boy Scouts). Another slight difference from the 1936 Olympiad is noticeable in the instructions to those taking part in the inauguration ceremony. As they approach the saluting base " all athletes should turn their heads towards the Royal Box—but NOT raise their arms " (that military NOT recurs rather quaintly in the French translation : "mais ifs NE devront PAS lever leurs bras," and the Household Cavalry sound curiously elfin and operetta-ish when you turn them into "la Cavalerie de la Maison du Roi"). Undue political significance need not, I am sure, be attached to the fact that in a galaxy of Olympic bunting the flag of Israel was flying this morning, along with those of older and more firmly established States, outside Swan & Edgars.

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