The Olympics is a time where the entire world comes together to support their countries’ athletes. It is the quintessential sporting competition with at least 200 nations and over 10,000 athletes. This year, all eyes are turning to London, England, for the big event. On July 27 the opening ceremony will take place. Danny Boyle, director of award winning film Slumdog Millionaire, will be directing both the opening and closing ceremonies. Once the opening ceremony takes place and the games have officially begun, a series of 300 plus sporting events. The games will come to a close on the 12th of august, with another memorable ceremony.
The Ceremony will begin with an entrance of Her Majesty the Queen. Then, a long procession of the 10,500 plus athletes will take place. A series of speeches will then take place where the games will officially be declared, open!! Oaths and anthems are then to be said leading up to the grand finale of the lighting of the torch. The athletes will pass it around to the final Torchbearer, who will then light the cauldron, signifying that the games have officially begun. This flame will burn for the next 16 days, until the games have ended. Along with these exciting events within the opening act, there are a total of about 15,000 performers. Ex-Beatles member Paul McCartney is so far the only big-name performer confirmed as well as Duran Duran.
About 10,500 athletes from a total of 204 nations will partake this year. There will be a total of 26 sports as well. These sports are…
- Aquatics (diving, swimming, synchronized swimming and water polo)
- Athletics (track and field, road-running and racewalking)
- Canoeing (sprint and slalom)
- Cycling (BMX, mountain biking, road and track)
- Equestrian (dressage, eventing, jumping)
- Field Hockey
- Gymnastics (artistic, rhythmic, trampoline)
- Modern Pentathlon
- Table Tennis
- Taekwondo (a martial art very similar to karate)
- Volleyball (volleyball and beach volleyball)
- Wrestling (freestyle and Greco-Roman)
Athletes to Watch:
Serena Williams will be representing team USA in the 2012 Olympics for tennis. Her parents Richard and Oracene coached her from a young age of 5. Serena has won 2 gold medals in doubles. (2000 and 2008).
Venus Williams, the sister to Serena will also compete in the 2012 Olympics and representing team USA. In the past, she has won 2 gold medals in doubles, (2000 and 2008) as well as a gold medal in singles (2000).
Michel Phelps was the youngest male swimmers, starting out as a 15-year-old at the 2000 Sydney, Australia Olympic games. Phelps did not receive any medals from his first Olympic event; however, he received 2 bronze medals (2004), 6 gold medals (2004), and 8 gold medals (2008). He holds 7 world records, 8 American records as well as 8 Olympic records.
Ryan Lochte is another American swimmer, holding a world record in the 4x200 freestyle relay. He has a total of 6 medals. Gold medals in 4x200 meter freestyle (2004 and 2008), 200 meter backstroke (2008), a silver medal in the 200 meter individual medley (2004), and 2 bronze medals in the 200 and 400 meter individual medley both received in 2008.
Jordyn Wieber makes her debut as an Olympic athlete for team USA gymnastics. Only 17 years old, she received a gold medal at the 2011 World Championships and a bronze medal for the balance beam. She is also a three-time all-around gold medallist for the American Cup and a two-time gold medallist for the Visa Championship. Her favorite and strongest events are the balance beams.
Tyson Gay is another American athlete, running the 100-meter and 200-meter dash events in the track and field category. He has set an American record of 9.69 seconds in the 100-meter dash. This also made him the second fastest ever. As a result to an injury to his hamstring in 2008, Tyson could only run 100-meter dashes; however, he plans to make a comeback for the 2012 Olympics.
The closing ceremony of the 2012 summer Olympics commemorates the accomplishments of all the athletes, and comprises of the handover from London, to Rio de Janeiro, the host city of the 2016 summer Olympic games. It will begin by another march of the athletes, which will then be followed by speeches and final thoughts. There will also be the extinguishing of the flame, which will symbolize the end of the games. Some artists that will be contributing to the Closing events include the spice girls, (yes, all 5 of them,) Jessie J, The Who, Take That, and George Michel. Some alleged celebrities who have yet to be confirmed for the closing ceremony, include Leona Lewis and Adele, who are rumored to perform a duet together, as well as mega boy-band One Direction!