2012 – London Olympic Games & 400th anniversary of Cotswold Olimpick Games
During their successful bid for the 2012 London Olympic Games the British Olympic Association included the following statement “An Olympic Games held in London in 2012 will mark a unique anniversary – it will be exactly 400 years from the moment that the first stirrings of Britain’s Olympic beginnings can be identified. In 1612 in the tiny village of Chipping Campden, Robert Dover opened the first Cotswold Olimpicks, an annual sporting fair that honoured the ancient Games of Greece.”
This was the pre-dawn of the Olympic Movement and the Cotswold Games began the historical thread in Britain that was to ultimately lead to the creation of the modern Olympics.
The Cotswold Olimpick Games organising committee recently met with the South West Director for events linked to the 2012 Olympic Games to discuss possible partnerships and amongst the suggestions were – having the traditional Olympic flame carried through Chipping Campden on its way to London and having some Royal attendance for the 2012 Cotswold Olimpick Games as in 1636 Prince Rupert attended the Cotswold Games.
The Robert Dover’s Cotswold Olimpick Games have a long history going back to the time when the Dovers Hill site was part of the Kiftsgate Hundred Court. Their present form takes much from the records of the Games in the early 17th Century.
Robert Dover (1582-1652) came from Great Ellingham in Norfolk and settled in Saintbury near Chipping Campden in 1611 and he was given permission by James I to hold the Games which still bear his name.