One doesn’t have to be an avid sports enthusiast to get caught up in the hype for the Summer Olympics.
As a sports follower, the Summer Olympics has always been one of my super favorite sporting events.
It’s the world element of competition that causes one to cheer for their home country.
The 2012 Summer Olympic Games, officially the Games of the XXX Olympiad, and also known as London 2012 as per the official logo, are scheduled to take place in London, England, United Kingdom from Friday, July 27 to Sunday, Aug. 12.
The Olympic Games, which originated in ancient Greece as many as 3,000 years ago, were revived in the late 19th century and have become the world’s pre-eminent sporting competition.
From the 8th century B.C. to the 4th century A.D., the Games were held every four years in Olympia, located in the western Peloponnese peninsula, in honor of the god Zeus.
The first modern Olympics took place in 1896 in Athens, and featured 280 participants from 13 nations, competing in 43 events.
Since 1994, the Summer and Winter Olympic Games have been held separately and have alternated every two years.
Official website of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games can be found at http://www.london2012.com/
The official Olympics website will provide the visitor these links:
• Schedule and Results
• Torch Relay
• Join in
Another must bookmark for your computer is the Wikipedia site for the 2012 Summer Olympics.
Following a bid headed by former Olympic champion Sebastian Coe and the then-Mayor of London Ken Livingstone, 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.
London will become the first city to officially host the modern Olympic Games three times, having previously done so in 1908 and in 1948.
While budgetary considerations for the games have generated some criticism, they have also been welcomed by others as having prompted a redevelopment of many of the areas of London in which events are to be held – particularly themed towards sustainability.
The main focus of the games will be a new 200 hectare Olympic Park, constructed on a former industrial site at Stratford in the east end of London.
The Games also make use of many venues which were already in place before the bid.
Maybe your best website to follow Summer Olympics action 24/7 will be the NBC Olympics website to be found at http://www.nbcolympics.com/
Select a sport on the grouping of links at the top of the NBC website: archery, badminton, basketball, beach volleyball, boxing, canoe/kayak, cycling, diving, equestrian, fencing, field hockey, gymnastics, handball, judo, modern pentathlon, rhythmic gymnastics, rowing, sailing, shooting, soccer, swimming, synch. swimming, table tennis, taekwondo, tennis, track and field, trampoline, triathlon, volleyball, water polo, weightlifting and wrestling.
Let’s read about Team USA, the Olympic tradition:
“The United States has hosted more Olympics and won more Olympic medals than any other nation.
“The Games of the XXVI Olympiad in Atlanta were the fourth Summer Games on U.S. soil, following the Games of the III Olympiad in St. Louis in 1904 and the Games of the X and XXIII Olympiads in Los Angeles in 1932 and 1984.
“(With the 2012 London Games, Britain becomes the only other nation to host the Summer Olympics more than twice.)
“The U.S. has also hosted the Olympic Winter Games in 1932 and 1980 in Lake Placid, in 1960 in Squaw Valley and in 2002 in Salt Lake City.
“Chicago was a finalist to host the 2016 Games, which were awarded to Rio de Janeiro.
“The London Games are the 27th Olympics in which the United States has participated, having missed only the 1980 Games in Moscow when the U.S. led a boycott of about 50 countries in protest of the Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan.
“By NBC’s count, the United States has won 2,304 medals, more than any other country (other counts differ for historical reasons such as multinational teams, and the IOC does not keep an official count).
“The Soviet Union is second with 1,122.
“The U.S. has finished lower than second in the medal standings only once – in 1988, when East Germany won six more medals than the United States for second place behind the Soviet Union.
“The U.S. had the most overall medals in Beijing in 2008, with 110 (36 gold, 38 silver, 36 bronze), but was second in gold medals to China, which finished with 51.”
Find a preview of the American team in London and see who may be favored to bring home some medals.
Four years after his unprecedented success in Beijing, where he became the first athlete to win eight gold medals at a single Games, swimmer Michael Phelps returns for his fourth Olympics at age 27.
Phelps’ eight-for-eight performance followed a six-gold, two-bronze showing in Athens in 2004 and makes a strong case for the Baltimore native as the greatest Olympian of all time.
With 14 total, Phelps has five more than his predecessors.
“In London, Phelps could become the most decorated Olympian of all time; he needs three more medals of any color to break the Soviet Union’s Larisa Latynina’s (gymnastics) overall record of 18.
Follow a local twist to see how Minnesotans are doing in the Games of the XXX Olympiad in London by visiting the KARE 11 Olympic Zone at http://www.nbcolympics.com/KARE/
Editor’s note: Howard Lestrud is ECM online managing editor.