Today marks the official opening of the 2012 Summer Olympic Games from London, England. London 2012 marks the first time a city has hosted the Olympics three times – previously in 1908 and 1948. As you can imagine, the opening ceremony today will display a different look in 2012 compared to 1948 where the U.K. was recovering from World War II and there was simply no money for an elaborate opening ceremony.
While some folks care to be indifferent to the Olympics or protest their country as hosts due to economic or political issues, I prefer to focus on the fact it’s an amazing spectacle of sport and competition that unites people from all walks of life.
I have been lucky enough to experience two global sporting events firsthand to date: the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany and the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in my hometown of beautiful Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. I would give my left leg to go to a World Cup again or be over in jolly ol’ England as we speak.
The beauty of large international sporting events is the passion for sport from the athletes, organizers, volunteers, fans and supporters that unites people from different backgrounds and various parts of the world. What makes these events special is the number of fans and supporters from all over the globe that make the trip to support their nation and Olympic heroes in their quest to reach the podium.
Some fun facts about London 2012:
- There will be 204 nations competing in 302 events in 26 sports in 34 venues
- There will be 10,490 athletes and 21,000 media and broadcasters
- 10,000 Britons are involved in the Opening and Closing Ceremonies
- 10,000 serving troops will go to the Games for free
- Total workforce of over 200,000 including more than 6,000 staff, 70,000 volunteers and 100,000 contractors
- Over 8 million 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 available to the public than Athens 2004.
Check here for a wide range of facts, numbers and information on London 2012.
Read about the events I’m looking forward to here.