What’s Up N London: London Summer Olympics 2012


by Sasha Taylor | ARCHIVES

The British people are very excited about the opportunity to host London’s 2012 Olympic Games scheduled July27-August 12, 2012. London will become the first city to officially host the modern Olympic Games three times, having previously done so in 1908 and in 1948. London was selected as the host city on July 6, 2005 during the 117th IOC Session in Singapore, defeating Moscow, New York City, Madrid and Paris after four rounds of voting. The successful bid was headed by former Olympic champion Sebastian Coe. Athletes from 204 National Olympic Committees (NOCs) are expected to participate. The 2012 Summer Olympic program features 26 sports and a total of 39 disciplines.
The Olympic Games is a major international event featuring summer and winter sports, in which thousands of athletes participate in a variety of competitions. The Olympic Games have come to be regarded as the world’s foremost sports competition where more than 200 nations participate. The Games are currently held every two years, with Summer and Winter Olympic Games alternating, although they occur every four years within their respective seasonal games. Originally, the ancient Olympic Games were held in Olympia, Greece, from the 8th century BC to the 4th century AD. Baron Pierre de Coubertin founded the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 1894. The IOC has since become the governing body of the Olympic Movement, whose structure and actions are defined by the Olympic Charter. The costs for staging the Games (2 billion) are funded from the private sector by a combination of sponsorship, merchandising, ticketing and broadcast rights. This budget is raised and managed by the London 2012 Organizing Committee. According to Games organizers, the funding for this budget broadly breaks down as:

• 64% from Central Government;
• 23% from National Lottery
• 13% from the Mayor of London and the London Development Agency

There was a huge demand for tickets as 20 million tickets were bought by 1.8 million people, three times the 6.6 million tickets available in the first round lot, with 95% of the applications from Great Britain. More than 50% of the sessions went to a random ballot. A consumer group questioned the point of taking money out of people’s bank accounts before they knew what tickets they had successfully purchased. There has been a great demand for tickets with countless mishaps for ticket buyers in Russia experiencing flawed “Olympic vouchers” which one would have to redeem in London during July and August 2012, with people making their own accommodation and travel arrangements. In Brazil, the host of the 2016 Games, the ticket website did not work for three and a half days with people leaving disappointed as all their tickets appeared to sell out in a day, despite people having seemingly bought tickets. And the British government was asked to explain why it bought 9,000 tickets.

London’s public transport was an element of the bid which was scored poorly in the IOC’s initial evaluation; however, they felt that if the improvements were delivered in time for the Games then London would cope. Transport for London (TfL) carried out numerous improvements in preparation for 2012, including 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, using the Hitachi Corporation’s “bullet” trains.

Security is always a growing concern in London’s Mecca of several terrorists groups such Islamic Jihad, Algerian Armed Islamic Group (GIA), Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), Kurdish Workers Party (PKK) and Real IRA to name a few. Al Ahram, the Egyptian government daily, reports that London became the “Islamic” terrorist Mecca following the war in Afghanistan, when “legions” of unemployed Afghan mujahideen, who had been drawn to Afghanistan from all over the Islamic world, flocked to London for protection, and for new assignments. Among them, was the Islamic Group’s al Sirri.

The British government announced that 13,500 members of the armed forces will be in place for the Olympic Games, as well as 10,000 police (who will lead the security of the Games). Naval and air assets, including ships situated in the Thames, Euro fighter jets and surface-to-air missiles, will also be deployed as part of the security operation. The cost of security has also increased from 282 to 553 million. This will be the biggest security operation Britain has faced for decades. The figure of 13,500 armed forces personnel is more than Britain currently has deployed in Afghanistan. The Metropolitan Police and the Royal Marines performed security exercises in preparation for London Olympics on January 19, 2012. According to The Mirror, about 50 marine police officers in rigid inflatable and fast response boats were joined by up to 100 military personnel and a Lynx Navy helicopter for the familiarization exercises.

There have been two London 2012 logos: one for the bidding process created by Kino Design and a second as the brand for the Games themselves. The former is a ribbon with blue, yellow, black, green, and red stripes winding through the text “LONDON 2012,” making the shape of the River Thames in East London. The latter, designed by Wolff Olins, was unveiled on 4 June 2007 and cost £400,000. The new logo is a representation of the number 2012, with the Olympic Rings embedded within the zero. It’s the first time that the same essential logo is to be used for both the Olympic and Paralympics games.
The Olympics torch relay will be run from May19 – 27 July 2012, prior to the games. Plans for the relay have been further developed in 2010–11, with the torch bearer selection process announced on May 18, 2011. The torch relay will arrive on May 18, 2012 from Greece. The relay will last 70 days, with 66 evening celebrations, six Island Visits with about 8,000 people carrying the torch 330 yards each, starting from Land’s End in Cornwall. The torch will have one day outside of the United Kingdom when it will visit Dublin on June 6, 2012. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that our London Summer Olympic Games 2012 embrace human spirit, sportsmanship, and honored dignity and security harmony.


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