Host City: London, Great Britain
Date Started: August 12, 1948
Date Finished: August 14, 1948
Participants: 211 (123 men and 88 women) from 19 countries
Youngest Participant: Licia Macchini (12 years, 34 days)
Oldest Participant: Robert Pranz (42 years, 295 days)
Most Medals (Athlete): Veikko Huhtanen (5 medals)
Most Medals (Country): Finland (10 medals)
The 1948 Olympic gymnastics events were scheduled to be held outdoors in the [Empire Stadium], but the IOC and the FIG (Fédération Internationale de Gymnastique) did not count on the vagaries of an English summer and when rain made it impossible to conduct the gymnastics events outdoors, they were switched, literally at the last minute, to the [Empress Hall] at Earls Court Exhibition Centre. The events were also postponed for three days because of the venue switch.
The men contested the standard Olympic program, with all-around competition in individual and teams. All entrants competed on every apparatus, with the individual all-around scores simply added from the apparatus scores, and the team scores derived by adding the individual team member scores. This was the last Olympics at which the Soviet Union would not compete and beginning in 1952 they would start to dominate gymnastics.
Women contested only a team all-around event, which was the last time the women would not have individual apparatus championships or an individual all-around at the Olympics. The women's team event was especially poignant. Czechoslovakia brought two Misáková sisters – Eliska and Miloslava. But Eliska contracted poliomyelitis on arriving in England, and was quickly placed into an iron lung for four days at Uxbridge Isolation Hospital. She died on the day the women's gymnastic event started. Czechoslovakia still competed and won the gold medal. At the victory ceremony, the Czechoslovak flag was raised with a black border around it in mourning for Eliska.