Olympic Games runnerFrench educator Baron Pierre de Coubertin founded the modern Olympic Games in 1894 after proposing the ancient Greek tradition be revived. The ancient Greeks had Olympic Games from 776 B.C. to 393 A.D. They also hosted the first modern Olympic Games 2 years after Baron Pierre de Coubertin had proposed the idea in 1986, Greece won the most amount of medals that year (47). Three Olympic Games have been cancelled in the past in 1916, 1940 and 1944 due to World War I and II. The five Olympic rings represent the five major regions of the world, Europe, Africa, Americas, Asia and Oceania. Every country in the world has at least one colour of the Olympic rings in its flag.

China who has now become a medal winning powerhouse did not win its first medal until 1984; Xu Haifeng won gold in the 50 meter pistol event. The first Olympic drug suspension wasn’t until 1968 at the Mexico City games and was given to Swedish pentathlete – Hans-Gunnar Liljenwall who tested positive for alcohol, after drinking several beers before the event. In the first Modern Greek Olympic Games the gold medal was not given out, the first place athletes got silver medals instead with bronze going to second place, while third place got nothing. The second Olympic Games winners did not receive medals at all; instead they were given paintings by the host country France who believed they were more valuable. The gold medals haven’t been pure gold since 1912, instead they are now silver and gold plated. The cost of solid gold medals would be around £40 million pounds which is a tiny amount when considering some estimate the London games could cost £11 billion.

For this year’s London Olympic Games 10,490 competitors from 205 nations will be competing in 26 different sports, at over 34 venues across the country in 302 separate medal events.  The Games will last for 19 days which is much less than the last London Olympic Games of 1908, which lasted for 187 days from April to October. The Olympic stadium will have a capacity of 80,000 during the games and on the busiest day 800,000 people are expected to use public transport to travel to the games. Around 20,000 broadcasters, photographers and journalists will help bring the Olympic Games to an estimated four billion people around the world. The media centre also covers the area of 6 football pitches within the Olympic park which expands over 500 acres. The park is Europe’s biggest regeneration project, 46,000 people have helped in its construction. The park includes, the aquatics centre, basketball arena, BMX track, copper box, handball arena, hockey centre, velodrome, and of course the Olympic stadium. The Olympic stadium itself is build from 2,500 tonnes of steel tubing that has been recycled from old gas pipelines used for constructing the stadium roof.

The opening ceremony will be on Friday 27th July and the BBC has said that it will be broadcasting 2,500 hours worth of content across its media channels to cover the Olympics.