'the austerity games' is an ongoing photographic study of senior british olympians. the portraits are a celebration of the 1948 london olympics, and those who participated in them.
â€œâ€¦we had to make our own uniforms by sewing union jack badges onto our tracksuits.â€ (audrey mitchell, 200m silver.)
the preparation for the 1948 'austerity gamesâ€™ was chaotic. there was no time, no money, and little sponsorship. athletes often had to fund their own transport, race without any knowledge of the track they were faced with, and bunk down in the nearest RAF barracks. there was no olympic village, only an olympic spirit. despite this, â€˜the austerity gamesâ€™ were a great success, and boosted morale after the war.
â€œoh, you won a medal then, now come on weâ€™ve got a job to do.â€ (tommy godwinâ€™s first day back at work after winning bronze medals in the team sprint, and 1km time trial cycling events.)
very few of the athletes were professional, and most didnâ€™t make a penny from the olympics. after the games they returned to their jobs and their lives, taking with them a lifelong connection to the olympics. my images aim to show the olympians in glorious, honest detail; capturing the beauty of these lived-in faces.
the athletes were at the peak of their physical capabilities in 1948. six decades on, their portraits reveal a different kind of physical magnificence. these elder statesmen of the games who competed in a post-war environment of scarcity are an inspiring and timely example for the 2012 olympics and future games.
stan cox - 10,000 m