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The Olympic Games in London – Fact Sheet

Guest Story by Maria Silko
cc image courtesy of Sum of Marc on FlickrThis month the world’s most spectacular sport event will begin in one of the most iconic cities in the world. From 27 July until 12 August more than 10 000 athletes will compete for gold in the 2012 Olympic Games held in London. It’s not only the stadiums where adrenaline will be running high but the whole country as well.

This year London will be hosting the Olympic games for the third time. England started preparing for the event since 2005. Eleven billion pounds were spent to make the event the safest and the most memorable and enjoyable for the visitors. The Olympic park will be the epicenter of the action. It is home to Aquatic Center, Velodrome and a huge Olympic Stadium able to host 80 000 visitors. The Olympic park itself is located in the district of Stratford. After everything that has been done during the preparation for the Olympic Games, Stratford became one of the most fashionable and modern districts of the city. Next to the venues there is the biggest shopping complex in Europe – Westfield Stratford City.

cc Image courtesy of Victor Marx on FlickrThe luckiest ones who have tickets will have a chance to witness the exciting rivalries of tennis players Andrew Murray, Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer; two fastest men in the world Asafa Powell and Usian Bolt and swimmers Ryan Lochte and 14 time gold medal winner Michael Phelps. Those who don’t have tickets will be able to watch BBC’s television coverage either at home or on big screens in Hyde Park, Victoria Park and Potters Fields. The major London city landmarks have been turned into sporting venues.

The Opening Ceremony of Olympic Games in London will include the parade of all competing nations, the Olympic Flame and the performances. The cast of 15 000 people will take part in the London 2012 Opening and Closing Ceremonies. The Closing Ceremony will feature the performance by internationally famous British rock band Coldplay. The Closing Ceremony itself will be held on the 9th September when 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games will be finished. The most important part of the Closing Ceremony is when London sends the Olympic Flame to Rio de Janeiro for the 2016 Games.

Even during such a huge event as the Olympic Games there are a lot of things to do in London besides watching sports. London boasts of a lot of cultural spots that are worth visiting. One of them is the Museum of London. It will be hosting the exhibition “London and the Olympics” till September 2012. You will learn a lot about the previous games held in London in the years 1908 and 1948. While practically everyone will be travelling to Stratford you will find all major museums almost all to yourselves. Besides sightseeing, in London you can always go shopping. Numerous fashion houses in London make it an ideal place for every shopping lover at any time of the year.

Visiting London during the Olympic Games is a must and you don’t necessarily need to be a huge fan of sport to enjoy it.

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