The 1908 Summer Olympics, officially the IV Olympic Games, was an international multi-sport event which took place in London, United Kingdom from 27 April to 31 October 1908. Such games were initially intended to be played in Rome, after a disastrous eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 1906 but relocation on financial grounds. In 1960 Rome finally hosted the Summer Olympics. These are the fourth modern consecutive Summer Olympics in keeping with the four-year cycle currently agreed, as opposed to the four-year alternating span of the first Intercalated Games. During those Games Baron Pierre de Coubertin was the IOC representative. Such games were the longest in modern Olympic history for a total of 187 days, or 6 months and 4 days; now, since 1988, the games typically last 17 days. The 1908 Summer Olympics had four bids. Picked Rome in front of Paris, Berlin and Milan. The decision was taken in 1904 at the 6th London IOC Meeting. The Italian government agreed to stage the Olympics as Mount Vesuvius erupted on 7 April 1906, devastating the city of Naples. The funds were diverted to the reconstruction of Naples, which required a new host country. London was selected for the first time to host the Games played in White City alongside the Franco-British Festival, the most notable event at the time. The White City Stadium, constructed in little time for the games, seated 68,000 but just 65,000 people turned up to watch the games. The stadium circuit with a swimming and diving pool and wrestling and gymnastics stages was in the centre of three circles, not the usual distance of 400 metres. For these games the distance was set at the stadium from the beginning of the Marathon to the finish. The original distance of 25 miles had been updated to 26 miles so that the marathon could begin at Windsor Castle and then alter again at the request of Princess Mary, so that the launch would be under the windows of the Royal Nursery. To ensure the race finished in front of the Queen, the starting line was shifted by British officials "feeling obligated to maintain the value of the throne. The marathon covered a distance of 26 miles 385 yards as a result of these changes, which became the standard length starting with the 1924 Summer Olympics. Disputes emerged at the tournaments. Teams paraded behind national flags on the opening day following the tradition introduced at the Intercalated Games in 1906. Ralph Rose, the holder of the U.S. flag, refused to lower the banner in the royal box to King-Emperor Edward VII. His fellow opponent Martin Sheridan reportedly declared that "this banner falls to no earthly Sovereign." The quote is viewed as an example of the Irish and American opposition of the British empire, though disputed by historicity. The 1908 Olympics has prompted the creation of universal athletic rules, and the participation of jurors from various nations rather than only the host country. Another trigger was the 400-meter event where a U.S. competitor, John Carpenter, was suspected by Uk authorities of interfering with an Uk participant. Part of the problem has been the differing interpretation of interference under Uk and international law. The officials decided to disqualify Carpenter without him, and arranged a second final race. Halswelle, from Britain, faced the other two contestants. Both players, William Robbins and John Taylor, were both Americans who opted not to compete in the final to protest the judges ' decision. Yet Halswelle was the only medallist in the 400 metres. There were 22 professional sports in 24 athletic disciplines and 110 competitions. The Summer Olympics of 1908 hired 13 positions for competition. The first winter festival was sponsored by Hockey Club of Prince. The White City Stadium had been a reference of modern stadiums. The figure skating events didn't take place at the next Olympics in Stockholm but returned at the 1920 Games in Antwerp.