Sunday, July 29, 2012

⅏Did You Know...London's 2012 Olympic FACTS

Did You Know... 57 million Britons are within 10 miles of the Olympic Flame, which was carried by 8,000 inspirational Torchbearers.... and that London holds the distinction of being the only city to be host of the Olympics 3 times... and
2,000 newts (yes, I said NEWTS), had to be relocated from Olympic Park to the Waterworks nature reserve during the olympics... and all this and more and 
I didn't have a clue! 

From July 27 - August 12, 2012, the London Summer Olympic games will be held followed by the 2012 Paralympic Games from August 29 - September 09, 2012. 

About 17,000 athletes and officials from around the world, (with debut appearances from Saudi Arabian female athletes and boxers), will be residing in their temporary 'home-away-from-home' at East London's “Olympic Village." 

With just over 200 nations competing in the 2012 Summer Games, countries had to be welcomed in batches. 

The ceremony starts with the ringing of the largest harmonically-tuned bell in the world, produced by the Whitechapel Bell Foundry.

The opening scene of the ceremony is called Green and Pleasant, and will portray a picture perfect view of the British countryside, complete with live farm animals, families having picnics, and people playing cricket.

Here are some more fun and interesting Facts and Figures that you probably never knew:

The Torch - Olympic and Paralympic Flames

8,000 inspiring Olympic Torchbearers, travelling 8,000 miles to over 1,000 communities, villages, towns and cities.
Each day, 110 Torchbearers (on average) took part and the Flame travelled 110 miles (on average) each day.
300 metres – the average distance each Torchbearer carried the Olympic Flame.

  • 150 words were required for each nomination.
  • 95% of the UK population will be within 10 miles of the Flame.
  • 66 evening celebration towns and cities.
  • 70 days is the duration of the relay.
  • Olympic Flame will visit all 33 London Boroughs.

Torch making its way down the Thames...

The Olympics

Over 8 million Games tickets are going to Britons for the Games – 75% of a total 11 million tickets. (Beijing 2008 made 50% of just over 7 million tickets publicly available. There are twice as many tickets available to the domestic public than at Athens 2004).

5 million people in the UK have signed up to receive Games-related emails.
  • 10,000 serving troops will go to the Games for free through Ticketshare.
  • 500,000 people will celebrate at Live Sites every day during the Games, at 22 permanent live sites and 47 big screens across every UK nation and region.
  • 30 miles of Games Lanes will be in place - less than any other Summer Games
    (Beijing 2008 had over 186 miles; Athens 2004 had over 99 miles).
  • There is a total workforce of around 200,000 people,including more than 6,000 staff, 70,000 volunteers and 100,000 contractors.
  • 22 Live Sites and 47 big screens will be in place across every nation and region.
  • 21,000. The number of international media expected to descend upon London for the Olympic Games.
  • 27,000. The security force deployed to monitor the Olympics. That figure includes 17,000 members of the military, the largest deployment of British troops on British soil since World War II.
  • 302. The number of medal events.
  • 1 billion.  The number of viewers watching the opening cerom

Venue building – temporary venues and overlay

  • 350 miles of cabling – could wrap the circumference of the London Eye 1.3 million times.
  • 539,000sq ft of concrete ballast - the equivalent of the weight of 30,000 elephants.
  • 76 miles (122km) of temporary fencing – enough to stretch from Canary Wharf to Weymouth and Portland.
  • 10,000 temporary toilets – enough to service the entire population of Malta.
  • 2,500 tent units – 2.5m sq ft, enough to cover all of Hong Kong.
  • 16,500 telephones to be installed across venues.

Equipment for Games time
1 million pieces of sport equipment are being sourced by LOCOG:
  • 510 adjustable hurdles for Athletics.
  • 600 basketballs.
  • 541 life jackets (Canoeing, Marathon Swimming, Rowing, Sailing and Triathlon).
  • 2,200 dozen Tennis balls.
  • 2,700 Footballs.
  • 53 sets of lane ropes for Swimming.
  • 6,000 Archery target faces.
  • 22 tape measures for Boccia.
  • 356 pairs of Boxing gloves.
  • 12 pairs of goalposts for Handball.
  • 120 head protectors for Taekwondo.
  • 99 training dolls for Wrestling and Judo.
  • 375 doctors, 150 nurses, 200,000 pairs of gloves and 150,000 condoms.
  • 766 miles of fabric needed for Games Maker uniforms.

The Olympic Park and Village
An Olympic Village is an accommodation centre built for the Olympic Games, usually within an Olympic Park or elsewhere in a host city.  For London's Olympic Village:

Is about 2.5sq km (246 hectares) in size – equivalent to Hyde Park or 357 football pitches. At Games time the Park will include:
- 9 major competition venues.

- 11 sponsor showcase areas.
- 1,000 picnic benches, 362 toilet blocks and almost 4,000 bins including recycling
and composting bins.
- 273 temporary buildings for back-of-house facilities – cleaning and waste compounds,
equipment rooms and workforce areas including 7 canteens.
- 8.35km of waterways in and around Park, with 30 new bridges built crossing roads, rail lines and rivers to link the site together.
- Over 4,000 trees, 74,000 plants, 60,000 bulbs and 350,000 wetlands plants planted –
the largest planting project ever undertaken in the UK.

  • 46,000 people have worked on the Olympic Park and Village.  Of these, 8,500 were from the Host Boroughs and more than 4,000 were previously unemployed. 457 apprenticeships were created.
  • Rooms are said to be described as a cross between a college dorm and a freshly-painted motel! That’s because only some of the rooms have their own bathrooms, and the only furniture includes single-size beds, beanbags and chairs, and a few tables and dressers designed to be, quote: “functional, not indulgent."
  • Each room for the athletes will have a TV, but they will have only 28 channels to choose from, including live feeds of all the Olympic events, of course.
  • There are more than 350,000 fixtures and fittings in the Olympic and Paralympic Village; 250,000sq m of apartment space and more than 250km of copper cable.
  • There are 2,818 apartments requiring 16,000 beds, 9,000 wardrobes, 11,000 sofas, 22,000 pillows, 1,200 blankets and 28,000 branded duvets.
  • There are a total of 76 elevators throughout the village to ensure full accessibility.
  • All cooking will be done in a 24-hour cafeteria, which is big enough to seat 5,000 people! Officials say they expect to serve 60-thousand meals a day during the Olympics.
  • Speaking of (olympic-size) meals - A typical breakfast for Gold-medal swimmer Michael Phelps includes three fried egg sandwiches, a five-egg omelet, three slices of French toast, the chocolate chip pancakes, and two cups of coffee!
    Detailed nutritional information is displayed above the food
     available at the London 2012 Olympic Athletes Village in the
    Olympic Park in east London, on July 12, 2012.
    Pic Source 
    Athletes will have access to a private gym, dry cleaner, medical center, and bar. But while the bar has pool tables, a gaming area, and a movie theater, it serves no alcohol! That’s because not all the Olympic competitors are of legal drinking age.
  • 2,000 newts relocated from Olympic Park to the Waterworks nature reserve.
  • 200km of electrical cables – enough to stretch from London to Nottingham – laid in two six kilometre tunnels built to allow 52 overhead pylons to be removed.
  • Over 90% of demolition materials from Olympic Park site are recycled or reused.
  • There were 4 skeletons removed from a prehistoric settlement discovered while excavating the site for the Olympic Aquatics Center. The center will host events for a variety of swimming and diving events.

Some Olympic Facts You May Not Have Known...

The Official Olympic Flag
Created by Pierre de Coubertin in 1914, the Olympic flag contains five interconnected rings on a white background. The five rings symbolize the five significant continents and are interconnected to symbolize the friendship to be gained from these international competitions. The rings, from left to right, are blue, yellow, black, green, and red. The colors were chosen because at least one of them appeared on the flag of every country in the world. The Olympic flag was first flown during the 1920 Olympic Games.

Real Gold Medals
The last Olympic gold medals that were made entirely out of gold were awarded in 1912.

The Medals
The Olympic medals are designed especially for each individual Olympic Games by the host city's organizing committee. Each medal must be at least three millimeters thick and 60 millimeters in diameter. Also, the gold and silver Olympic medals must be made out of 92.5 percent silver, with the gold medal covered in six grams of gold.

The First Opening Ceremonies
The first opening ceremonies were held during the 1908 Olympic Games in London.

Opening Ceremony Procession Order
During the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games, the procession of athletes is always led by the Greek team, followed by all the other teams in alphabetical order (in the language of the hosting country), except for the last team which is always the team of the hosting country.

A City, Not a Country
When choosing locations for the Olympic Games, the IOC specifically gives the honor of holding the Games to a city rather than a country.

First Modern Champion

James B. Connolly (United States), winner of the hop, step, and jump (the first final event in the 1896 Olympics), was the first Olympic champion of the modern Olympic Games.

The First Marathon
In 490 BCE, Pheidippides, a Greek soldier, ran from Marathon to Athens (about 25 miles) to inform the Athenians the outcome of the battle with invading Persians. The distance was filled with hills and other obstacles; thus Pheidippides arrived in Athens exhausted and with bleeding feet. After telling the townspeople of the Greeks' success in the battle, Pheidippides fell to the ground dead. In 1896, at the first modern Olympic Games, held a race of approximately the same length in commemoration of Pheidippides.

Women were first allowed to participate in 1900 at the second modern Olympic Games.

Winter Games Begun
The winter Olympic Games were first held in 1924, beginning a tradition of holding them a few months earlier and in a different city than the summer Olympic Games. Beginning in 1994, the winter Olympic Games were held in completely different years (two years apart) than the summer Games.

Cancelled Games
Because of World War I and World War II, there were no Olympic Games in 1916, 1940, or 1944.

Tennis Banned
Tennis was played at the Olympics until 1924, then reinstituted in 1988.

Russia Not Present
Though Russia had sent a few athletes to compete in the 1908 and 1912 Olympic Games, they did not compete again until the 1952 Games.

Motor Boating
Motor boating was an official sport at the 1908 Olympics.

?Did you know:

  • One of the most famous weightlifters in Olympic history is Turkey’s Naim Suleymanoglu, who won three straight gold medals in 1988, 1992 and 1996. Nicknamed “Pocket Hercules”, he was under five feet tall.
  • One of the best known Hungarian water polo players in history is Oliver Halassy, who won three Olympic medals (1928, 1932 and 1936) despite having one of his legs amputated below the knee following a streetcar accident when he was 11.


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