London promises the greatest Games ever

On July 6 2005, the Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone was the proud receiver of the news that his city had been chosen to host the Olympic (July 27 to August 12) and Paralympic Games (August 29 to September 9) for the third time in 2012, having held the event in 1908 and 1948, becoming the first city ever to do so. Within hours, London was shocked by a wave of terrorist bombings but today it stands resolute as the world comes together, united by sport.

Ten thousand athletes from 204 Olympic Committees are participating in the main sporting event since Beijing 2008, after the successful bid presented by Mayor Ken Livingstone and Lord Sebastian Coe, Olympic 1,500 metres gold medallist in the Moscow (1980) and Los Angeles Games (1984) and silver medallist at both venues in the 800 metres.

The Games have brought East London very much onto the map, opening up an unused area of the city with a 200-hectare Olympic Park, a new stadium and eight new Olympic venues. The Olympic Flame was carried around 8,000 miles of roads in the UK, by eight thousand people, witnessed by 14.6 million people who turned out to cheer.

Danny Boyle, the Artistic Director of the Opening Ceremony, called Isles of Wonder, stated that the event was "an attempt to capture a picture of ourselves as a nation, where we have come from and where we want to be". The twin mascots, Mandeville and Wenlock, are named after the village of Stoke Mandeville, where a previous version of the modern Paralympic Games was held and Wenlock, a town which used to hold a forerunner of the modern Olympics.

26 sports and 39 disciplines will be represented at London 2012:

Sport, discipline, (categories)


Aquatics : Diving (8); Swimming (34); Synchronized swimming (2); Water polo (2)


Archery (4)

Athletics (47)

Badminton (5)

Basketball (2)

Boxing (13)


Canoeing: Sprint (12); Slalom (4)


Cycling: BMX (2); Mountain biking (2); Road (4); Track (10)


Equestrian: Dressage (2); Eventing (2); Jumping (2)


Fencing (10)

Field hockey (2)

Football (2)


Gymnastics: Artistic (14); Rhythmic (2); Trampoline (2)


Handball (2)

Judo (14)

Modern pentathlon (2)

Rowing (14)

Sailing (10)

Shooting (15)

Table tennis (4)

Taekwondo (8)

Tennis (5)

Triathlon (2)


Volleyball (2)

Beach volleyball (2)

Weightlifting (15)

Wrestling: Freestyle (11); Greco-Roman (7)


Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey


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Author`s name Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey