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The City of London Police struck gold for Great Britain in the
1908 Olympic Games held in the purpose-built stadium at The White
City, Shepherd's Bush. These were the first Olympics to see the now
traditional gold, silver and bronze medal awards.
The medals won by the City Police, came from three events – the
Tug-of-War (gold) heavyweight boxing (gold) and heavyweight
The Tug-of-War was an Olympic sport for only six games. Few
people know that the City of London Police team won the competition
in 1908, provided half of the joint City and Metropolitan team that
won silver in 1912 (Stockholm) and again won gold in 1920 in
Antwerp. Three City Policemen were in all three Olympics, thereby
winning two gold and one silver medal each. Great Britain fielded
three Tug-of-War teams in 1908. Great Britain I was the City of
London Police team; Great Britain II was drawn from the Liverpool
City Police; and Great Britain III was made up of policemen from
the Metropolitan K Division. Teams were entered by the United
States, Sweden, Greece and Germany.
The Times of 18 July 1908 reported that the Great Britain II
team (the Liverpool Police) beat the USA in the first pull of their
competition. The Americans then objected to the Liverpool team's
boots. When the objection was overruled, they retired from the
competition. The Liverpool team then went on to beat the Swedes by
two pulls to none.
The Greek and German teams having scratched and the City Police
having beaten K Division Metropolitan (by two pulls to one) the
final was between Great Britain I and Great Britain II. Team I –
the City of London Police – was victorious.
The Swedes joined the Greek and German teams in scratching from
the competition, leaving Metropolitan K Division with the bronze
The winning City team offered to compete against their American
rivals in bare feet. The offer was declined!
The City Police jointly with the Metropolitan Police won silver
to the Swedish Police team's gold in 1912. In 1920, the City Police
again fielded Great Britain's team and were victorious, not losing
one single pull during the competition.
As Tug-of-War has not featured as an Olympic event since 1920,
the City of London Police remain reigning champions!
In every modern Olympic Games the City of London Police has had
a representative. In 2000, Pc Kate Mackenzie represented Britain in
the Rowing Ladies 8's. This was her second Olympics.