1948 Olympic athletes reunite in London

Aug 8, 2012, 6:08 PM | Updated: 6:09 pm

LONDON — It’s been 64 years, but Lionel Price can still smell the newly pumped-up basketballs and hear the squeaky shoes on the court.

His basketball uniform is still intact and he’s pretty sure he could still fit into it, although it seems a bit small by today’s standards.

“Very short shorts,” Price said. “We had the minimum amount of equipment.”

Wu “Eddie” Chengzhang doesn’t have to think far back to remember his last jaunt around the basketball court. The 88-year-old retired for a second time in 2006 and coaches a senior citizen basketball league.

Both played basketball for their respective teams at the 1948 Olympic Games in London. Price, 86, played for Great Britain, while Chengzhang traveled from China.

The men hadn’t set eyes on each other since they met in a game China won 54-25, but each instantly remembered the other at a press conference at the London Media Centre.

“I remember he’s older than me,” Price joked.

“I feel very happy to be with Lionel,” Chengzhang replied.

This was Chengzhang’s first visit back to London since 1948.

“I find London quite familiar,” Chengzhang said.

After the press conference, they went sightseeing together and rode the London Eye, which wasn’t here 64 years ago.

“I’m very excited to see the change of the city of London,” Chengzhang said.

In 1948, the Chinese team fared better than Great Britain, earning 18th place while Great Britain placed 20th of 23 teams. The U.S. won the gold medal.

Price said gold was not important to him.

“I came from a generation where it wasn’t winning or losing, it was taking part,” Price said. “It upsets me when people cry over a silver or bronze.”

Wu agreed. He said it was more about the experience for him.

“I reached the peak of my own life at the Olympics. I realized my dream at the 1948 games,” Chengzhang said.

The former Olympians have followed the Olympic Games since and seen the many changes over the last six decades. Price was particularly impressed with the televising of each and every sport.

“There was very little media coverage [back then],” Price said. “Television wasn’t a factor.”

One thing that has not changed is the friendship between the men. Both insist there is no rivalry between them.

“I wish that the friendship between China and the U.K. will last forever,” Chengzhang said.

Both watched was Great Britain won Monday’s game against China, 90-58.

“Whoever wins, so be it,” Price said the day before the game.


No Author

Broomhead’s Action Alliance

Sign up to make a difference! Join Broomhead's Action Alliance to learn about upcoming volunteer opportunities where you'll work side by side with Mike Broomhead in service to others.
7 days ago
FILE - A sign bearing the company logo is displayed outside a Tesla store in Cherry Creek Mall in D...
Associated Press

US has over 750 complaints of Teslas braking for no reason

DETROIT (AP) — More than 750 Tesla owners have complained to U.S. safety regulators that cars operating on the automaker’s partially automated driving systems have suddenly stopped on roadways for no apparent reason. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration revealed the number in a detailed information request letter to Tesla that was posted Friday on […]
2 months ago
A destroyed window of a house is seen during a military sweep to search for possible remnants of Ru...
Associated Press

Zelenskyy: Retreating Russians leave many mines behind

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy warned his people early Saturday that retreating Russian forces were creating “a complete disaster” outside the capital as they leave mines across “the whole territory,” even around homes and corpses. He issued the warning as the humanitarian crisis in the encircled city of Mariupol deepened, with Russian […]
4 months ago
Arizona Department of Gaming

While March brings upsets and buzzer-beaters, it also needs to bring caution

In March, basketball fans around the country glue themselves in front of a television for almost 11 hours for four consecutive days.
5 months ago
Follow @KTAR923...

Some of the greatest Big Game comebacks in NFL history

The Big Game has brought some of the best and worst comebacks for not only the casual fan, but gambling fans.
6 months ago

Couple residing in Chandler arrested for AHCCCS, pandemic loan fraud

A couple residing in Chandler was arrested on Wednesday for allegedly fraudulently billing the Arizona healthcare system and for fraud in their applications for COVID-19 pandemic-related loans, authorities said.
12 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Ways to prevent clogged drains and what to do if you’re too late

While there are a variety of ways to prevent clogged drains, it's equally as important to know what to do when you're already too late.
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Update your child’s vaccines before kindergarten

So, your little one starts kindergarten soon. How exciting! You still have a few months before the school year starts, so now’s the time to make sure students-to-be have the vaccines needed to stay safe as they head into a new chapter of life.
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Tips to lower your energy bill in the Arizona heat

Does your summer electric bill make you groan? Are you looking for effective ways to reduce your bill?
1948 Olympic athletes reunite in London