Occasionally, one finds stories buried among the daily cycling news that rather gladden the heart and bring a smile to one’s lips. This is one such story which caught my eye on the Cycling News website.
The IOC, somewhat late in the day it has to be said, has decided to finally award the team road cycling medals from the 1948 London Olympic Games. Maybe given that it’s the location of the next games their collective memories were jogged to correct a long overdue oversight.
On Monday, IOC president Jacque Rogge finally presented Eugene Van Roosbroeck with his medal. Lode Wouters, 81, was too ill to attend the ceremony, but will receive his medal later. The third team member, Leon De Lathouwer, has passed away.
After the 194 kilometre road race event at the London games, the three Belgians simply got on the bus and went back to their barrack accommodation, not realising they had won gold. By the time the organisers had worked out which was the winning team, they were all back home in Belgium.
According to Van Roosbroeck “it was only afterwards that we heard we were the best team. None of us thought that there was a medal awarded for the team event. The honour was enough for us.”