Monday, August 06, 2012

1948 London Olympics – The story of an Olympic scarf souvenir.

Photographs courtesy Missoni press

 The story of an Olympic scarf souvenir with a happy ending

And  “… they live happily ever after”.  Way back in 1948 during the London Olympic Games, Rosita Missoni was introduced to Ottavio.  She was a sixteen-year-old student learning English and he was a handsome twenty-seven year old member of the Italian 400 meters hurdle team.  After watching him run at Wembley, Rosita and her fellow students were invited to lunch with the Italian athletes, and it was love at first sight.
1948 Olympic scarf souvenir.   Shortly afterwards, Rosita saw this Arnold Lever Olympic Scarf souvenir at Harrods which included Ottavio’s name as an Olympic winner and remembering the handsome, intelligent athlete she had had lunch with, wanted to buy it, but was afraid her fellow schoolmates would pull her leg.  She regretted this ever since…and for the past sixty-four years has been trying to find another one…luckily this June, one was found at the renowned Alfie’s Antique Market in London, ending the quest concurrently with – wait for it - the 2012 London Olympic Games.  
  Photographs courtesy Missoni press

         … they live happily ever after - Ottavio and Rosita on their wedding day 18 April – 1953.

  Photographs courtesy Missoni press

 The commemorative Olympic stamp. A commemorative Italian stamp shows Ottavio Missoni, who ran in the 1948  London Olympics 400 meter hurdles.  Ottavio Missoni also produced the 1948 Italian Olympic team sportswear, marking the beginning of the Missoni fashion empire it is today.

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