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The London 2012 Games were centred around the Olympic Park in east London, which is the site of a number of new sports venues. Up to 180,000 spectators a day entered the Park to enjoy the Games, making it the principal focus of Olympic activity.The main venues – the Olympic Stadium, Aquatics Centre, Velodrome and BMX Circuit, as well as the hockey, handball and basketball arenas – were easily accessible through a network of footbridges and walkways within the Park.The Olympic Village was within walking distance of all the venues in the Park, enhancing the experience for athletes and officials. The use of other prestigious venues – such as Wembley Stadium for football, the All-England Club in Wimbledon for tennis, Lord’s Cricket Ground for archery and Horse Guards Parade for beach volleyball – was also a feature of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The London 2012 Games included a four-year Cultural Olympiad. It reached a climax with the Olympic Games Opening Ceremony on 27 July 2012, starting a 60-day festival of sport and culture across the UK, as the Olympic and Paralympic spirit crosses the world once again.
The Olympic Games are one of the biggest and most complex events in the world, as highlighted by some of these mind-boggling facts and figures:
On the obverse, the traditional goddess of victory flies into the Panathinaikos stadium bringing victory to the best athlete. For these Games, the figure of victory is accompanied by the specific inscription: “XXX Olympiad London 2012”.
The reverse features an abstract design with the 2012 Games emblem at its centre as a metaphor for the modern city. The design also includes a ribbon representing London’s Thames river and an interlocking grid pattern that radiates from the centre and pulls the design together, giving it a sense of outreach while also representing the achievements and efforts of Olympic athletes. A square, which encases the balance of the design, opposes the circular shape of the medals and emphasizes its focus on the centre, reinforcing the sense of ‘place, as in a map inset.
Wenlock takes his name from the town of Much Wenlock in Shropshire, which still hosts the traditional Much Wenlock Games. These were one of Pierre de Coubertin's sources of inspiration for the modern Olympic Games.
Number of torchbearers: around 500 in Greece and 8 000 in Great Britain
Total distance: 15 775 km including 2 900 km in Greece and 12 875 in Great Britain
Countries crossed: Greece, Great Britain
The official report published by the LOCOG consists of a single set of two commemorative books published by Wiley (The official commemorative book; The Games, Britain’s Olympic and Paralympic Journey to London 2012) and a DVD, “London 2012 Olympic Games: official report”. This bilingual DVD, in English and French, contains all the official texts and results, plus the “Official Film of the IOC report”.