A Guide to the London 2012 Olympic Games
With the Opening Ceremonies of the Games of the XXX Olympiad tonight, we share a few tips and facts to help you best experience the Games from the comfort of your living room.
First a few quick facts and tidbits on the Summer Olympics and London 2012:
London is the first city to host the Summer Olympics three times (1908, 2048 and 2012).
Greece’s athletes are traditionally first to enter the stadium in the parade.
The five-ring Olympic symbol represents the world’s five inhabited continents. The rings’ colors were chosen because every nation’s flag uses at least one.
Athletics, swimming, fencing and artistic gymnastics are the only sports that have been contested in each of the games.
Only five nations -- Greece, Great Britain, France, Switzerland and Australia -- have participated in all of the Summer Olympic games (the United States boycotted the 1980 Games in Moscow).
Great Britain is the only nation to win at least one gold medal in every Summer Olympic Game.
The United States leads in total medals (2297) and gold medals (930) by a wide margin. The Soviet Union is second in both with 1010 medals and 395 gold medals.
In the London Games:
Over 10,000 athletes from 205 countries will compete for 2,100 medals in 36 events.
The Games will be covered by over 20,000 media members.
The Opening Ceremony will feature 15,000 performers, and is expected to be viewed by a worldwide audience of over 1 billion people.
Attendance at the Games is expected to approach 9 million people,with over 4 billion people worldwide expected to watch the Games on television.
The cheapest tickets are £20, while the most expensive ones are £725.
The London Philharmonic recorded the national anthems of all 205 nations to be played at the medal ceremonies. It took the orchestra 50 hours over six days to complete the project.
The Olympic Village will serve the athletes 682 tons of seafood, 100 tons of meat, 350 tons of vegetables, 232 tons of potatoes, 25,000 loaves of bread and 70,000 quarts of milk during the course of the Games.
The Games will generate £10 billion for the British economy.
And finally, a few tips to help you follow the Games:
Some events to keep an eye on?
- Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochtie get their much-hyped rivalry underway right out of the gate in the 400 meter individual medley final on Saturday, July 28.
- Can US Women's Gymnastics bring home more gold in the team final on July 31?
- Oscar “The Blade Runner’’ Pistorius of South Africa, a double amputee who is making history by becoming the first amputee runner to compete in the Olympics, competes in the men's 400 meter run beginning August 4.
- On August 5, the spectacular Usain Bolt attempts to defend his gold medal and break his world record in the 100 meter final.
- Also on August 5, the men's tennis final takes place at the venerable Wimbledon.
- US Beach Volleyballers Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh aim for their third gold medal in the final on August 8.
- Another dominating squad, the US Women's Soccer teams, hopes to go for their third straight gold medal in the final at Wembley Stadium on August 9.
- In the latest incarnation of the Dream Team, the US Men's Basketball Team hopes to defend its gold medal, and win its 14th in 17 appearances, on the Games' final day, August 12.