Host City: London, Great Britain
Venue(s): Empress Hall, Earls Court Exhibition Centre, Kensington, London
Date Started: August 12, 1948
Date Finished: August 13, 1948
Format: Eight-person teams. Best six individual total scores to count towards team score.
Sixteen nations were entered with eight-man teams, although Argentina and Cuba had only seven team members, and Mexico only five. The team score was made up of the six best all-around scores among the eight team members. With no international competition since the 1938 World Championships, it was difficult to choose a favorite. Germany had won the gold medal at Berlin in 1936, but was not present at London in 1948, barred because of its war record.
The competition was remarkably close, with Finland winning the gold medal over Switzerland by only 1.60 points – 1,358.30 to 1,356.70. Hungary was a distant third to win the bronze medal, while France was well back in fourth. Finland was led by the individual gold medalist, Veikko Huhtanen, with another team member, Heikki Savolainen, competing in his fourth Olympics, and he would return again in 1952, eventually winning nine Olympic medals. Another Finn, Einari Teräsvirta, had also competed in 1932 and 1936. The Swiss had four of the top six individual performers, but the consistency of the Finnish team brought them the gold medal. They were led by Walter Lehmann, silver medalist in the individual all-around. The final scoring member for Switzerland was Michael Reusch, who won two silver medals at Berlin in 1936, and three apparatus gold medals at the 1938 World Championships.