LONDON: With less than 24 hours to go until the real deal, final rehearsals for the Olympic Games opening ceremony have been held.
Here look at the thrilling features of this mega event.
London: the venue of Olympic Games 2012
The 2012 Summer Olympic Games is going to be held in London. The city of London was decided as the host city for Olympics in the 117th International Olympic Committee Session held in Singapore. Sebastian Coe, former Olympic champion, and Ken Livingstone, ex Mayor of London, filed a bid for London to be the next venue for the Olympics.
By beating the bids from Moscow, New York, Madrid and Paris; London became the first city to host the modern Olympic Games for the third time. First Olympic Games to be held in London was in 1908 and the second was in 1948.
Preparations for London 2012
There was a lot of construction and development in the city after London was chosen as the venue. The major chuck of construction was redevelopment aimed towards sustainability.
One of the main focuses of the preparation was the construction of Olympic Park, spread across 200 hectare of land. It is built on the former industrial site at Stratford in east London.
Another main target was the improvement in public transportation. Transport for London did several improvements like the extension of the London Overground’s East London Line and some work on the Docklands Light Railway and the North London Line.
The total cost for building the venues and infrastructure for the games was £5.3 billion, elite sport and Paralympic funding was £400 million, security and policing cost was £600 million, regeneration of the Lower Lea Valley cost was £1.7 billion, contingency fund was £2.7 billion and VAT fund was £800 million.
A 70,000-strong volunteer army from across the globe is helping to put on the 2012 Olympics, giving up their free time or holidays in return for a part in the biggest show on Earth.
Teachers, lawyers and students are among the “Games Makers” eagerly taking a role in London’s Olympic adventure and relishing the chance to rub shoulders with global sporting superstars.
The 70,000 volunteers at the Olympics and the Paralympics which follow are drawn from 70 countries and were whittled down from 250,000 who applied.
They receive a free travel pass for the duration of the Games, but it only covers them up to the London boundary.
Other volunteers are spending several nights camping on the edge of the Olympic Park, to get round the costly and delay-prone transport system.
Physical education teacher Ros Cramp is among those spending a few nights under canvas. Her pupils are begging her to bring back some autographs.
Games and contestants
More than 10,000 participants are expected to take part in London 2012 from 205 National Olympic Committees.
This year Olympic Games aim to bring 26 different sports and a total of 29 disciplines.
There will be women boxing for the first time in the Olympics games. And 36 athletes will take part in this sport, divided into three weight categories.
And there is also a special allowance for many shooting games, which are otherwise illegal in the London, under the UK gun law.
The torch relay of London 2012
The torch relay starts from 19 May and ends on 27 July 2012. The torch will be carried by 8000 people covering 8000 miles. The locations involved in this relay are mainly focused on the national heritage sites with some sporting importance
Opening Ceremony: the show begins
The opening ceremony of the London 2012 known as “The Isles of Wonder” will be on 27th of July. Danny Boyle, Oscar winning director, will be the director of this show and Rick Smith with Karl Hyde will take control of music direction.
Queen Elizebeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburg, will officially open the games. Sir Paul McCartney will also perform in the end of this ceremony.
London 2012 has an official song
“Survival” is going to be the official song of London 2012, a single release by an English band known as Muse. And it will be played many times during the Olympics.
Closing ceremony: the end
The closing ceremony will start from 12 of August 2012. There will also be a handover by Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, to the Eduardo Paes, Mayor of Rio de Janeiro, the next venue of 2016 summer Olympics.