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Summer Olympic Series: London Preparations

24 May, 2011 19:27  Erin Erin

London Olympic logo 2012Though still a year away, the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London is fast approaching. The Games, officially known as the Games of the XXX Olympiad, are scheduled to take place from July 27th to August 12th and will be the 30th modern Olympic Games. London is the first city to host the games a record three times.

Around 17,000 athletes are expected to participate representing over 200 countries. An estimated 500,000 visitors will descend on the event to watch the competitions live. Over 63,000 peoples are involved in the process to make the event successful. As always, the Olympics are a world event with the eyes of many nations already upon London.

Bidding Process

The international fight to host the Olympics is always an intense and delicate battle. Nine bids were submitted on July 15th, 2003. Havana, Istanbul, Leipzig, London, Madrid, Moscow, New York, Paris and Rio de Janeiro all competed to host the event. By May 2004 the International Olympic Committee (IOC) had narrowed the field to five: London, Madrid, Moscow, New York, and Paris. Each city is inspected to determine acceptability and Paris suffered serious setbacks in a number of strikes and demonstrations, as well as a report that Guy Drut, one of the key members of the Paris bid team and IOC member, would face charges over alleged corrupt party political finances. However, after evaluations Paris was in the lead with London a close second. On July 6th, 2005 the decision was handed down from the 117th IOC Session in Singapore. Moscow was the first city to be eliminated, followed by New York and Madrid. At the end of the fourth round of voting, London won the right to host the 2012 Games with 54 votes, defeating Paris's 50.

Redevelopment in London


Several areas and venues have been deemed not good enough and are being updated and improved for the games. The committee has taken a particular interest in sustainability. A budget of 11.3 billion pounds has been allotted for the 2012 Olympic Games.

Over 30 venues (new and old) are being considered for London Olympics 2012. The Olympic Park is currently being developed in Stratford. The park will have a seating capacity of 80,000 on a 200-hectare plot.

Venues are divided into three zones within Greater London: the Olympic Zone, the River Zone and the Central Zone. There are also several facilities outside the boundaries of Greater London. These include Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy on the Isle of Portland in Dorset which will host the sailing events, some 125 miles (200 km) southwest of the Olympic Park. The football tournament will also be staged at several grounds around the UK, including Wembley Stadium. A complete list of sites can be found on the official Olympic Venues page.

After the games cease, 55,000 seats from the top tiers will be removed and the stadium would be donated to the country. Actually, most of the structure being constructed for the Olympics event will be re-purposed after the Olympics event.


Transportation is another issue that the planning committee is time, energy and money on. Transport for London (TfL) are carrying out numerous improvement projects and offer up-to-date information about closures, projects, and traffic news. They have set a goal of having 80 percent of athletes travel less than 20 minutes to their event. To facilitate this, Olympic Park would be served by ten separate railway lines with a combined capacity of 240,000 passengers per hour. Park-and-ride plans are also among the many plans aimed at reducing road traffic levels during the games. Changes to the current public transport system include the expansion of the London Overground's East London Line, upgrades to the Docklands Light Railway and the North London Line, and the introduction of a new "Javelin" high-speed rail service. These will whisk spectators between St. Pancras international terminal to Olympic Park.

TfL also propose the construction of a cable car across the River Thames called the "Thames Gateway Cable Car". This would link 2012 Olympics venues between Greenwich Peninsula and the Royal Docks. It would carry up to 2,500 passengers an hour and cut the journey times between the O2 arena and the ExCel exhibition centre to a minimum. The major problem with this plan is the cost- an estimated 25 million pounds.


There will be 28 sports featured in this Olympics.

    These include:
  • Archery
  • Badminton
  • Basketball
  • Boxing
  • Canoe Slalom & Canoe Sprint
  • Cycling - BMX, Mountain Bike, Road, & Track
  • Diving
  • Equestrian - Dressage, Eventing, & Jumping
  • Fencing
  • Field Hockey
  • Football (soccer)
  • Gymnastics - Artistic, Rhythmic & Trampoline
  • Handball
  • Judo
  • Modern Pentathlon
  • Rowing
  • Sailing
  • Shooting
  • Swimming
  • Synchronized Swimming
  • Table Tennis
  • Taekwondo
  • Tennis
  • Triathlon
  • Volleyball & Beach Volleyball
  • Water Polo
  • Weight lifting
  • Wrestling

The IOC voted to drop baseball and softball from the 2012 Games. These events remain Olympic sports, but will not be in the games. A replacement of karate, squash, golf, roller sports, or rugby sevens were all considered. Though karate and squash were the two final nominees, neither received enough votes to reach the required two-thirds majority.

Official 2012 Olympic Summer Games

Stay tuned for further articles on Athletes, How to buy tickets, Torch procession, Controversies, and more.




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