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As the UK capital prepares to host the Olympics, a tiny market town near the country's second city of Birmingham is celebrating its own historic ties to the biggest show on earth. There are some who say that origins of the modern International Olympics are rooted – not in Athens – but in a little place called Much Wenlock.
In 1890 Baron Pierre de Coubertin accepted Brookes invitation to come to Much Wenlock and the Wenlock Olympian Games. It is thought the two discussed their similar ambitions for an International Olympic Games.
It was they say one man's field of dreams perched amid the picture post card setting of England's Shropshire Hills. In a little country town of just 2, 500 people, a world class claim to fame. For it was here they say around 150 years ago the spirit of the modern Olympics was brought to life by the town's doctor William Penny Brooks.
And if we harbour any doubts about the claim, well they can be disposed of with the London 2012 Mascot – Wenlock.
Penny Brooks you see was a keep fit fan. He organised the Wenlock Olympian Games – for moral and physical improvement. The games still being played every year to this day were in 1890 observed by Frenchman Baron Pierre de Coubertin who six years later staged the first modern international Olympics in Athens.
All thanks to the inspiration of Much Wenlock, according the man organizing London 2012. So, perhaps not surprisingly, around here they're proud of their local lad made good.
Of course, it's not only Much Wenlock which has aspirations to Olympian claims just down the road in the Cotsworld Olympics.
This lot have been indulging in all sorts of Olympian style nonsense for 500 years including the very local talent of shin kicking – a pastime most certainly not on the agenda for London 2012. But it's Much Wenlock that wins gold here, its claim to Olympian fame now secure.