Wow… what a year it’s been for London! First the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and now the 2012 Summer Olympic Games. Did you know that London is the first city to host the Olympic Games three times? (1908, 1948 and 2012)
This year’s Olympics are going to be a tough act to follow (especially after Beijing’s spectacular Olympic Opening and Closing Ceremonies), but no one does “Pomp & Circumstance” (a splendid celebration with ceremony and fuss) better than the Brits. And with the Opening Ceremony being produced by “Slumdog Millionaire” director Danny Boyle, it looks like we’re all in for a real treat!
London 2012 Summer Olympics
– Opening Ceremony – July 27, 2012
– Closing Ceremony – August 12, 2012
The Olympic Games is the biggest sporting event in the world. This year, for the first time ever at the Olympics, London’s 2012 Summer Games will include three Women’s Boxing events (Women’s Fly, Women’s Middle and Women’s Light).
A British “Isles of Wonder” theme (named after a line in Shakespeare’s play The Tempest) and the ringing of the largest harmonically-tuned bell in the world kicks off the Opening Ceremony. The Olympic Stadium will be transformed into a traditional English countryside (“a green and pleasant land”) — complete with meadows and rivers, picnicking families, cricket on the village green, and a host of farm animals. England’s rose, Scotland’s thistle, Wales’ daffodil and Northern Ireland’s flax (the national flower of each of the four nations) will be represented. And a British History Parade will also take place.
One of the Olympic highlights will be the five Olympic rings converging and bursting into flames in a stunning pyrotechnic display. David Beckham (carrying the Olympic Torch), will arrive at the Olympic Stadium via speedboat along the River Thames. Expect to see an even more spectacular fireworks display after the lighting of the Olympic cauldron.
Stay tuned for more details of the Opening Ceremony. We’re hoping that the famous Royal Guards will make an appearance (if it was up to us, we’d feature them for sure) – wouldn’t it be great to see a magnified version of The Changing of the Guards ceremony. And what better entrance leading the Parade of Athletes into the stadium than a Royal Carriage Procession with the Queen – and Wills & Kate. What do you think?
It’s no surprise that the Olympic entertainment will be predominantly British. The Arctic Monkeys will perform The Beatles classic Come Together and Sir Paul McCartney will perform the closing act of the Opening Ceremony (at midnight) singing Hey Jude. Closing Ceremony performers will include The Who, George Michael, Take That (British pop band) and Emeli Sandé (Scottish soul and R&B singer-songwriter).
During the London 2012 Olympic Games, events will be taking place at Olympic Park and various venues in and around London – and sites throughout the U.K. will beam live broadcasts of games on giant outdoor screens for people who don’t have tickets.
Check out the full Olympic Schedule (sporting events, dates and times) to find out when your favorite Olympic events are taking place — and get up-to-date info on sports, athletes, and medal results. Our favorite Olympic sports are Athletics, Beach Volleyball, Diving, Gymnastics, Swimming and Synchronized Swimming. What are your favorites?
Fun Things To Do in London
During your visit, have fun taking in all the sights. We’ve put together some of our favorite things to do in and around London.
Cycle out to the site where the main events of the London Summer Olympics are taking place — 2012 London Olympics: Bike Tour of Olympic Park and East London. Or take the Royal London Bike Tour and visit London’s royal palaces and the city’s most spectacular landmarks by bicycle. And if you like to walk, take the I Love London Walking Tour – see London’ top attractions and learn about London’s thriving music and fashion scenes. The tour also includes a River Thames Sightseeing Cruise.
Of course no trip to London is complete without a visit to the Tower of London to see the fabulous Crown Jewels. Book your ticket in advance and don’t waste time waiting in long lines on vacation – Skip the Line: Tower of London Tickets.
Ride the London Eye and get a bird’s eye view of the city, including Buckingham Palace, MI5 (U.K. Secret Service), River Thames, Big Ben, Houses of Parliament, St. Paul’s Cathedral… and more! Buy Tickets to London Eye
Let the Games begin. For those of you going to the London 2012 Summer Olympics (or watching live broadcasts), have FUN and Good Luck to your country’s athletes. And if you’re like us, staying home and watching the Games on TV, enjoy 🙂