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The 2012 Summer Olympics (officially known as the Games of the XXX Olympiad and commonly known as London 2012) was an international
multi-sport event A multi-sport event is an organized sporting event, often held over multiple days, featuring competition in many different sports among organized teams of athletes from (mostly) nation-states. The first major, modern, multi-sport event of internat ...
held from 27 July to 12 August 2012 in
London, United Kingdom London is the capital and largest city of England and the United Kingdom. The city stands on the River Thames in the south-east of England, at the head of its estuary leading to the North Sea. London has been a major settlement for two millen ...
. The first event, the
group stage A tournament is a competition involving 4 or more teams, or a large number of competitors, all participating in a sport or game. More specifically, the term may be used in either of two overlapping senses: # One or more competitions held at a sing ...
in women's football, began on 25 July at the
Millennium Stadium The Millennium Stadium ( cy, Stadiwm y Mileniwm), known since 2016 as the Principality Stadium ( cy, Stadiwm Principality) for sponsorship reasons, is the national stadium of Wales. Located in Cardiff, it is the home of the Wales national rugby u ...
in
Cardiff Cardiff (; cy, Caerdydd ) is the capital city of Wales and a county. Officially known as the City and County of Cardiff, it is the United Kingdom's eleventh-largest city and the main commercial centre of Wales. Cardiff is the base for the Senedd ...
, followed by the opening ceremony on 27 July. 10,768 athletes from 204
National Olympic Committee A National Olympic Committee (NOC) is a national constituent of the worldwide Olympic movement. Subject to the controls of the International Olympic Committee, NOCs are responsible for organizing their people's participation in the Olympic Games. ...
s (NOCs) participated. Following a bid headed by former Olympic champion
Sebastian Coe Sebastian Newbold Coe, Baron Coe, (born 29 September 1956), often referred to as Seb Coe or Lord Coe, is a British politician and former track and field athlete. As a middle-distance runner, Coe won four Olympic medals, including the 1500 metr ...
and then-
Mayor of London The Mayor of London is the head of the executive of the Greater London Authority. The current mayor is Sadiq Khan, who took office on 9 May 2016. The position was held by Ken Livingstone from the creation of the role on 4 May 2000 until he was ...
Ken Livingstone Kenneth Robert Livingstone (born 17 June 1945) is an English politician who served as the Leader of the Greater London Council (GLC) from 1981 until the council was abolished in 1986, and as Mayor of London from the creation of the office in 20 ...

Ken Livingstone
, London was selected as the host city on 6 July 2005 during the
117th IOC Session Tight security was highly visible during the 117th IOC Session. A police officer stood watch on the fourth floor of the Raffles City complex where the session was taking place. The 117th International Olympic Committee Session was held for the fi ...
in
Singapore Singapore (), officially the Republic of Singapore, is a sovereign island city-state in maritime Southeast Asia. It lies about one degree of latitude () north of the equator, off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, bordering the Straits ...
, defeating bids from
Moscow Moscow (, ; rus, links=no, Москва, r=Moskva, p=mɐˈskva, a=Москва.ogg) is the capital and largest city of Russia. The city stands on the Moskva River in Central Russia, with a population estimated at 12.4 million residents within the ci ...
,
New York City New York City (NYC), often simply called New York, is the most populous city in the United States. With an estimated 2019 population of 8,336,817 distributed over about , New York City is also the most densely populated major city in the Unit ...

New York City
,
Madrid Madrid (, ) is the capital and most-populous city of Spain. The city has almost 3.4 million inhabitants and a metropolitan area population of approximately 6.7 million. It is the second-largest city in the European Union (EU), surpass ...
, and
Paris Paris () is the capital and most populous city of France, with an estimated population of 2,175,601 residents as of 2018, in an area of more than . Since the 17th century, Paris has been one of Europe's major centres of finance, diplomacy, co ...
. London became the first city to host the modern Olympics
three times ''Three Times'' (Chinese: 最好的時光; ''Zuìhǎo de shíguāng''; lit. 'Best of Times') is a 2005 Taiwanese film directed by Hou Hsiao-hsien. It consists of three separate stories of romance, set in different eras, using the same lead actors, S ...

three times
, having previously hosted the Summer Games in
1908 Events January 1908 Baby New Year on the cover of ''The Saturday Evening Post''.">The Saturday Evening Post">Baby New Year on the cover of ''The Saturday Evening Post''. * January 1 – The British Nimrod Expedition, ''Nimrod'' E ...
and in
1948 Events January * January 1 ** The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) is inaugurated. ** The Constitution of the Italian Republic goes into effect. ** The Constitution of New Jersey (later subject to amendment) goes into effect. ...
. Construction for the Games involved considerable redevelopment, with an emphasis on
sustainability Sustainability is the capacity to endure in a relatively ongoing way across various domains of life. In the 21st century, it refers generally to the capacity for Earth's biosphere and human civilization to co-exist. It is also defined as the ...
. The main focus was a new
Olympic Park An Olympic Park is a sports campus for hosting the Olympic Games. Typically it contains the Olympic Stadium and the International Broadcast Centre. It may also contain the Olympic Village or some of the other sports venues, such as the aquatics comp ...

Olympic Park
, constructed on a former industrial site at Stratford, East London. The Games also made use of
venues Venue is the location at which an event takes place. It may refer to: Locations * Venue (law), the place a case is heard * Financial trading venue, a place or system where financial transactions can occur * Music venue, place used for a concert ...
that already existed before the bid. The Games received general praise for their organisation, with the volunteers, the British military and public enthusiasm praised particularly highly. The
opening ceremony An opening ceremony, grand opening, or ribbon-cutting ceremony marks the official opening of a newly-constructed location or the start of an event.
, directed by
Danny Boyle Daniel Francis Boyle (born 20 October 1956) is an English film, television, and stage director and producer. He is known for his work on films including ''Shallow Grave'', ''Trainspotting'' and its sequel ''T2 Trainspotting'', ''The Beach'', ...
, received widespread acclaim throughout the world, particular praise from the British public and a minority of widely ranging criticisms from some social media sites. During the Games,
Michael Phelps Michael Fred Phelps II (born June 30, 1985) is an American former competitive swimmer and the most successful and most decorated Olympian of all time, with a total of 28 medals. Phelps also holds the all-time records for Olympic gold medals ...
became the most decorated Olympic athlete of all time, winning his 22nd medal.
Saudi Arabia (Shahada) , national_anthem = "" "National Anthem of Saudi Arabia" , image_map = Saudi Arabia (orthographic projection).svg , capital = Riyadh , coordinates = , largest_city = Riyadh , official_languages = Arabic , languages_type = Spoken l ...
,
Qatar Qatar (, , or ; ar, قطر ' ; local vernacular pronunciation: ), officially the State of Qatar ( ar, دولة قطر '), is a country located in Western Asia, occupying the small Qatar Peninsula on the northeastern coast of the Arabian Peni ...
, and
Brunei Brunei ( ; ), officially the Nation of Brunei, the Abode of Peace ( ms, Negara Brunei Darussalam, Jawi: ), is a country located on the north coast of the island of Borneo in Southeast Asia. Apart from its coastline with the South China Sea, t ...
entered female athletes for the first time, so that every currently eligible country has sent a female competitor to at least one Olympic Games. Women's boxing was included for the first time, thus the Games became the first at which every sport had female competitors. These were the final Olympic Games under the IOC presidency of Belgian
Jacques Rogge Jacques Jean Marie Rogge, Count Rogge (; ; born 2 May 1942) is a Belgian sports administrator and physician who served as the eighth President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) from 2001 to 2013. In 2013, the IOC announced that Rogge wo ...
, who was succeeded by German
Thomas Bach Thomas Bach (born 29 December 1953) is a German lawyer and former Olympic fencer. Bach is the ninth and current President of the International Olympic Committee, and a former member of the German Olympic Sports Confederation Executive Board. E ...
the next year. The final medal tally was led by the
United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, 326 India ...
, followed by
China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the world's most populous country, with a population of around 1.4 billion. Covering approximately 9.6 million square kilometers (3.7 million m ...
and host
Great Britain Great Britain is an island in the North Atlantic Ocean off the northwest coast of continental Europe. With an area of , it is the largest of the British Isles, the largest European island, and the ninth-largest island in the world. The isl ...
. Several world and Olympic records were set at the London Olympics. Though there were several controversies, the 2012 Games were deemed highly successful with the rising standards of competition amongst nations across the world, packed stadiums and smooth organisation. Furthermore, the focus on sporting legacy and post-Games venue sustainability was seen as a blueprint for future Olympics.


Bidding process

By 15 July 2003, the deadline for interested cities to submit bids to the
International Olympic Committee The International Olympic Committee (IOC; french: Comité international olympique, CIO) is a non-governmental sports organisation based in Lausanne, Switzerland. Founded by Pierre de Coubertin and Demetrios Vikelas in 1894, it is the authorit ...
(IOC), nine cities had submitted bids to host the 2012 Summer Olympics:
Havana Havana (; Spanish: ''La Habana'' ) is the capital city, largest city, province, major port, and leading commercial center of Cuba.Istanbul ) , postal_code_type = Postal code , postal_code = 34000 to 34990 , area_code = +90 212 (European side) +90 216 (Asian side) , registration_plate = 34 , blank_name_sec2 ...
,
Leipzig Leipzig (, also , ; Upper Saxon: ) is the most populous city in the German state of Saxony. With a population of 605,407 inhabitants as of 2021 (1.1 million residents in the larger urban zone), it is Germany's eighth most populous city as w ...

Leipzig
,
London London is the capital and largest city of England and the United Kingdom. The city stands on the River Thames in the south-east of England, at the head of its estuary leading to the North Sea. London has been a major settlement for two millen ...
,
Madrid Madrid (, ) is the capital and most-populous city of Spain. The city has almost 3.4 million inhabitants and a metropolitan area population of approximately 6.7 million. It is the second-largest city in the European Union (EU), surpass ...
,
Moscow Moscow (, ; rus, links=no, Москва, r=Moskva, p=mɐˈskva, a=Москва.ogg) is the capital and largest city of Russia. The city stands on the Moskva River in Central Russia, with a population estimated at 12.4 million residents within the ci ...
,
New York City New York City (NYC), often simply called New York, is the most populous city in the United States. With an estimated 2019 population of 8,336,817 distributed over about , New York City is also the most densely populated major city in the Unit ...

New York City
,
Paris Paris () is the capital and most populous city of France, with an estimated population of 2,175,601 residents as of 2018, in an area of more than . Since the 17th century, Paris has been one of Europe's major centres of finance, diplomacy, co ...
, and
Rio de Janeiro Rio de Janeiro (; ;), or simply Rio, is the second-most populous city in Brazil and the sixth-most populous in the Americas. Rio de Janeiro is the capital of the state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil's third-most populous state, after São Paulo and Mi ...
. On 18 May 2004, as a result of a scored technical evaluation, the IOC reduced the number of cities to five: London, Madrid, Moscow, New York and Paris. All five submitted their candidate files by 19 November 2004 and were visited by the IOC inspection team during February and March 2005. The Paris bid suffered two setbacks during the IOC inspection visit: a number of strikes and demonstrations coinciding with the visits, and a report that a key member of the bid team,
Guy Drut Guy Drut (born 6 December 1950) is an Olympic champion and politician who won gold at the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal in the 110 m hurdles. Biography Sports career Born in Oignies, Pas-de-Calais, France, Drut captured the silver medal in the ...
, would face charges over alleged corrupt party political finances. Throughout the process, Paris was widely seen as the favourite, particularly as this was its third bid in recent years. London was initially seen as lagging behind Paris by a considerable margin. Its position began to improve after the appointment of Lord Coe as the new chair of the
London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games The London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) was the organisation responsible for overseeing the planning and development of the 2012 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games. It was jointly established by the UK Governm ...
(LOCOG) on 19 May 2004. In late August 2004, reports predicted a tie between London and Paris. On 6 June 2005, the IOC released its evaluation reports for the five candidate cities. They did not contain any scores or rankings, but the report for Paris was considered the most positive. London was close behind, having closed most of the gap observed by the initial evaluation in 2004. New York and Madrid also received very positive evaluations. On 1 July 2005, when asked who would win,
Jacques Rogge Jacques Jean Marie Rogge, Count Rogge (; ; born 2 May 1942) is a Belgian sports administrator and physician who served as the eighth President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) from 2001 to 2013. In 2013, the IOC announced that Rogge wo ...
said, "I cannot predict it since I don't know how the IOC members will vote. But my gut feeling tells me that it will be very close. Perhaps it will come down to a difference of say ten votes, or maybe less." On 6 July 2005, the final selection was announced at the 117th IOC Session in
Singapore Singapore (), officially the Republic of Singapore, is a sovereign island city-state in maritime Southeast Asia. It lies about one degree of latitude () north of the equator, off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, bordering the Straits ...
. Moscow was the first city to be eliminated, followed by New York and Madrid. The final two contenders were London and Paris. At the end of the fourth round of voting, London won the right to host the 2012 Games with 54 votes to 50. The celebrations in London were short-lived, being overshadowed by bombings on London's transport system less than 24 hours after the announcement.


Development and preparation

The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG) was created to oversee the staging of the Games, and held its first board meeting on 3 October 2005. The committee, chaired by Lord Coe, was in charge of implementing and staging the Games, while the
Olympic Delivery Authority The Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) was a non-departmental public body of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, responsible for ensuring the delivery of venues, infrastructure and legacy for the 2012 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games in ...
(ODA), established in April 2006, was in charge of construction of the venues and infrastructure. The Government Olympic Executive (GOE), a unit within the
Department for Culture, Media and Sport Department may refer to: * Departmentalization, division of a larger organization into parts with specific responsibility Government and military *Department (country subdivision), a geographical and administrative division within a country, for e ...
(DCMS), was the lead government body for coordinating the London 2012 Olympics. It focused on oversight of the Games, cross-programme management, and the
London 2012 Olympic Legacy The London 2012 Olympic Legacy is the longer-term benefits and effects of the planning, funding, building and staging of the Olympic and Paralympic Games in summer 2012. It is variously described as: * economic – supporting new jobs ...
before and after the Games that would benefit London and the wider United Kingdom. The organisation was also responsible for the supervision of the £9.3 billion of public sector funding. In August 2011, security concerns arose surrounding the hosting of the Olympic Games in London, following the
2011 England riots The 2011 England riots, more widely known as the London Riots, were a series of riots between 6 and 11 August 2011. Thousands of people rioted in cities and towns across England, which saw looting, arson, as well as mass deployment of police an ...
. Some countries expressed safety concerns, despite the IOC's assurance that the riots would not affect the Games. The IOC's Coordination Commission for the 2012 Games completed its tenth and final visit to London in March 2012. Its members concluded that "London is ready to host the world this summer".


Venues

The 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games used a mixture of new venues, existing and historic facilities, and temporary facilities, some of them in well-known locations such as Hyde Park and
Horse Guards Parade Horse Guards Parade is a large parade ground off Whitehall in central London, at grid reference . It is the site of the annual ceremonies of Trooping the Colour, which commemorates the monarch's official birthday, and Beating Retreat. History Ho ...
. After the Games, some of the new facilities will be reused in their Olympic form, while others will be resized or relocated. The majority of venues have been divided into three zones within
Greater London Greater London is a ceremonial county of England that makes up the majority of the London region. This region forms the administrative boundaries of London and is organised into 33 local government districtsthe 32 London boroughs and the City ...
: the Olympic Zone, the River Zone and the Central Zone. In addition there are a few venues that, by necessity, are outside the boundaries of Greater London, such as the
Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy The Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy is a centre for the sport of sailing on the Isle of Portland, Dorset, on the south coast of England. The academy building is located in Osprey Quay on the northern tip of the island, and the water ...
some southwest of London, which hosted the
sailing Sailing employs the wind—acting on sails, wingsails or kites—to propel a craft on the surface of the ''water'' (sailing ship, sailboat, windsurfer, or kitesurfer), on ''ice'' (iceboat) or on ''land'' (land yacht) over a chosen course, whic ...
events. The football tournament was staged at several grounds around the UK. Work began on the Park in December 2006, when a sports hall in
Eton Manor Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre is a sports and leisure venue located in Leyton, London Borough of Waltham Forest, to the north of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Owned and managed by Lee Valley Regional Park Authority, the site was previously k ...
was pulled down. The athletes' village in Portland was completed in September 2011. In November 2004, the 200-hectare (500-acre) Olympic Park plans were revealed. The plans for the site were approved in September 2004 by Tower Hamlets, Newham, Hackney and Waltham Forest. The redevelopment of the area to build the Olympic Park required
compulsory purchase Compulsion may refer to: * Compulsive behavior, a psychological condition in which a person does a behavior compulsively, having an overwhelming feeling that they must do so. * Obsessive–compulsive disorder, a mental disorder characterized by in ...
orders of property. The London Development Agency was in dispute with
London and Continental Railways London and Continental Railways (LCR) is a property development company owned by the Government of the United Kingdom for developing former railway land. The company was originally established in 1994 as a private consortium to own European Passe ...
about the orders in November 2005. By May 2006, 86% of the land had been bought as businesses fought eviction. Residents who opposed the eviction tried to find ways to stop it by setting up campaigns, but they had to leave as 94% of land was bought and the other 6% bought as a £9 billion regeneration project started. There were some issues with the original venues not being challenging enough or being financially unviable. Both the Olympic road races and the mountain bike event were initially considered to be too easy, so they were eventually scheduled on new locations. The Olympic marathon course, which was set to finish in the Olympic stadium, was moved to The Mall, since closing Tower Bridge was deemed to cause traffic problems in central London. North Greenwich Arena 2 was scrapped in a cost-cutting exercise,
Wembley Arena Wembley Arena (originally the Empire Pool and, since 1 July 2014, currently known as The SSE Arena, Wembley for sponsorship reasons) is an indoor arena adjacent to Wembley Stadium in Wembley, London. Used for music, comedy, family entertainme ...

Wembley Arena
being used for badminton and rhythmic gymnastics events instead. Test events were held throughout 2011 and 2012, either through an existing championship such as
2012 Wimbledon Championships The 2012 Wimbledon Championships was a tennis tournament played on grass courts at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in Wimbledon, London in the United Kingdom. It was the 126th edition of the Wimbledon Championships and were held from ...
or as a specially created event held under the banner of '' London Prepares''. Team GB House was the British Olympic Association's operational HQ up to and during the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Designed by architects Gebler Tooth on the top floor of an office building in Westfield Stratford City, it combined the team HQ, athletes' "Friends and Family" lounge, Press Centre and VIP lounge.


Public transport

London's public transport scored poorly in the IOC's initial evaluation; however, it felt that, if the improvements were delivered in time for the Games, London would cope.
Transport for London Transport for London (TfL) is a local government body responsible for most of the transport network in London, England. TfL has responsibility for various rail networks including the London Underground and Docklands Light Railway, as well as ...
(TfL) carried out numerous improvements in preparation for 2012, including the expansion of the
London Overground London Overground (also known simply as the Overground) is a suburban rail network serving London and its environs. Established in 2007 to take over Silverlink Metro routes, (via archive.org). it now serves a large part of Greater London as wel ...
's
East London Line#REDIRECT East London line {{R from other capitalisation ...

East London Line
, upgrades to the
Docklands Light Railway The Docklands Light Railway (DLR) is an automated light metro system serving the redeveloped Docklands area of London, England. First opened on 31 August 1987, the DLR has been extended multiple times, and now reaches north to Stratford, south ...

Docklands Light Railway
and the
North London Line#REDIRECT North London line {{Rcat shell, {{R from move {{R from other capitalisation ...
, and the introduction of a new "
Javelin A javelin is a light spear designed primarily to be thrown, historically as a ranged weapon, but today predominantly for sport. The javelin is almost always thrown by hand, unlike the sling, bow, and crossbow, which launch projectiles with the a ...
" high-speed rail service. According to Network Rail, an additional 4,000 train services operated during the Games, and train operators ran longer trains during the day. During the Games,
Stratford International station Stratford International is a National Rail station in Stratford and a separate Docklands Light Railway (DLR) station nearby, located in East Village in London and within the Greater London metropolitan area. Despite its name, no international s ...
was not served by any international services (just as it had not been before the Games), westbound trains did not stop at
Hackney Wick railway station Hackney Wick is a station on the North London Line in the area of Hackney Wick, East London. It is in Travelcard Zone 2. The station and all trains serving it are operated by London Overground. It opened on 12 May 1980 by British Rail on the re- ...

Hackney Wick railway station
, and Pudding Mill Lane DLR station closed entirely during the Games. TfL also built a £25 million cable car across the
River Thames The River Thames ( ), known alternatively in parts as the River Isis, is a river that flows through southern England including London. At , it is the longest river entirely in England and the second-longest in the United Kingdom, after the Ri ...
, called the Emirates Air Line, to link 2012 Olympics venues. It was inaugurated in June 2012 and crosses the Thames between
Greenwich Peninsula The Greenwich Peninsula is an area of Greenwich in south-east London, England. It is bounded on three sides by a loop of the Thames, between the Isle of Dogs to the west and Silvertown to the east. To the south is the rest of Greenwich, to the sou ...
and the
Royal Docks Royal Docks is an area and a ward in the London Borough of Newham in the London Docklands in East London, England. The area is named after three docks – the Royal Albert Dock, the Royal Victoria Dock and the King George V Dock. They are more co ...
, carrying up to 2,500 passengers an hour, cutting journey times between the
O2 arenaO2 Arena may refer to: *The O2 Arena (London) *O2 Arena (Prague) *O2 World (Berlin) *O2 World (Hamburg) *The 3Arena, Dublin, formerly The O2, Dublin {{disambig ...
and the
ExCeL exhibition centre ExCeL London (an abbreviation for Exhibition Centre London) is an exhibition and international convention centre in the Royal Docks area of Newham, East London. Its site is on the northern quay of the Royal Victoria Dock in London Docklands, b ...
and providing a crossing every 30 seconds. The plan was to have 80% of athletes travel less than 20 minutes to their event and 93% of them within 30 minutes of their event. The Olympic Park would be served by ten separate railway lines with a combined capacity of 240,000 passengers per hour. In addition, LOCOG planned for 90% of the venues to be served by three or more types of public transport. Two park-and-ride sites off the M25 with a combined capacity of 12,000 cars were 25 minutes away from the Olympic Park. Another park-and-ride site was planned in Ebbsfleet with a capacity for 9,000 cars where spectators could board a 10-minute shuttle train service. To get spectators to
Eton Dorney Dorney Lake (also known as Eton College Rowing Centre, and as Eton Dorney as a 2012 Summer Olympics venue) is a purpose-built rowing lake in England. It is near the village of Dorney, Buckinghamshire, and is around 3 km (2 miles) west of Wind ...
, four park-and-ride schemes were set up. These Park and Ride services were operated by First Games Transport. TfL defined a network of roads leading between venues as the
Olympic Route Network#REDIRECT Olympic route network {{R from other capitalisation ...
; roads connecting between all of the Olympic venues located within London. Many of these roads also contained special "Olympic lanes" marked with the Olympic ringsreserved for the use of Olympic athletes, officials, and other VIPs during the Games. Members of the public driving in an Olympic lane were subject to a fine of £130. Additionally, London buses would not include roads with Olympic lanes on their routes. The painting of Olympic lane indicators in mid-July led to confusion from commuters, who wrongly believed that the Olympic lane restrictions had already taken effect (they were to take effect on 27 July). The A4 experienced traffic jams due to drivers avoiding the Olympic lane, and likewise on a section of
Southampton Row Southampton Row is a major thoroughfare running northwest–southeast in Bloomsbury, Camden, central London, England. The road is designated as part of the A4200. Location To the north, Southampton Row adjoins the southeast corner of Russell ...
, where the only lanes available in one direction were the Olympic lane and the bus lane. Concerns were expressed at the logistics of spectators travelling to the events outside London. In particular, the sailing events at
Portland Portland most commonly refers to: * Portland, Oregon, the largest city in the state of Oregon, in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States * Portland, Maine, the largest city in the state of Maine, in the New England region of the northeast ...
had no direct motorway connections, and local roads are heavily congested by tourist traffic in the summer. However, a £77 million relief road connecting Weymouth to Dorchester was built and opened in 2011. Some £16 million was put aside for the rest of the improvements. TfL created a promotional campaign and website, ''Get Ahead of the Games'', to help provide information related to transport during the Olympics and Paralympics. Through the campaign, TfL also encouraged the use of cycling as a mode of transport during the Games. However, despite this encouragement to use bicycles, members of the public protested that riding bikes on London roads would be more dangerous due to the blocked Olympic lanes, and also protested against a decision to close the during the Olympics and Paralympics due to security concerns.


International transport

The 2012 Games were a unique operational task and a massive challenge for Heathrow airport. A temporary terminal was created at Heathrow Airport to be used by 10,100 departing athletes after the Games. Up to 35% more bags than normal were expected on 13 August, which was predicted to be the busiest day in the airport's history, according to Nick Cole, head of Olympic and Paralympic planning at Heathrow.


Cost and financing

A study from Oxford University found that the sports-related costs of London 2012 amounted to US$15 billion, compared with $4.6 billion for Rio 2016, $40–44 billion for Beijing 2008, and $51 billion for Sochi 2014 (the most expensive Olympics in history). London 2012 went over budget by 76% in real terms, measured from bid to completion. Cost per athlete was $1.4 million. This does not include wider costs for urban and transport infrastructure, which often equal or exceed the sports-related costs. The costs of staging the Games were separate from those for building the venues and infrastructure and redeveloping the land for the Olympic Park. While the Games were privately funded, the venues and infrastructure were largely financed using public money. According to ''The Wall Street Journal'', the original budget for the Games was increased to about £9.3 billion (US$15.28 billion) in 2007. The revised figures were announced to the
House of Commons The House of Commons is the name for the elected lower house of the bicameral parliaments of the United Kingdom and Canada. In the UK and Canada, the Commons holds much more legislative power than the nominally upper house of parliament. The lead ...

House of Commons
on 15 March 2007 by
Tessa Jowell Tessa Jane Helen Douglas Jowell, Baroness Jowell, (''née'' Palmer; 18 September 1947 – 12 May 2018) was a British Labour politician who was the Member of Parliament (MP) for Dulwich and West Norwood from 1997 to 2015, having previously been ...

Tessa Jowell
. Along with East End regeneration costs, the breakdown was: * Building the venues and infrastructure – £5.3 billion * Elite sport and Paralympic funding – £400 million * Security and policing – £600 million * Regeneration of the Lower Lea Valley – £1.7 billion * Contingency fund – £2.7 billion


Volunteers

Unpaid volunteers known as Games Makers performed a variety of tasks before and during the Games. A target of 70,000 volunteers was set as early as 2004. When recruitment took place in 2010, over 240,000 applications were received. Sebastian Coe said in February 2012, "Our Games Makers will contribute a total of around eight million volunteer hours during the Games and the Games simply wouldn't happen without them". The volunteers wore clothing which included purple and red polo shirts and jackets, beige trousers, grey socks and grey-and-white
trainers Sneakers (also called trainers, athletic shoes, tennis shoes, gym shoes, kicks, sport shoes, flats, running shoes, skate shoes, or runners) are shoes primarily designed for sports or other forms of physical exercise but that are now also wide ...
which they collected from the Uniform Distribution and Accreditation Centre. Volunteers also wore photo accreditation badges which were also worn by officials, athletes, family members and media which gain them access to specific venues and buildings around the site.


Ticketing

Organisers estimated that some 8 million tickets would be available for the Olympic Games, and 1.5 million tickets for the Paralympic Games. LOCOG aimed to raise £375–£400 million in ticket sales. There were also free events such as marathon, triathlon and road cycling, although, for the first time in Olympic history, the sailing events were ticketed. Eventually, more than 7,000,000 tickets were sold. Following IOC rules, people applied for tickets from the NOC of their country of residence. European Union residents were able to apply for tickets in any EU country. In Great Britain, ticket prices ranged from £20 for many events to £2,012 for the most expensive seats at the opening ceremony. Some free tickets were given to military personnel as part of the Tickets For Troops scheme, as well as to survivors and families of those who died during
7 July 2005 London bombings The 7 July 2005 London bombings, often referred to as 7/7, were a series of coordinated Islamist suicide attacks in London, England, that targeted commuters travelling on the city's public transport system during the morning rush hour. Four te ...
. Initially, people were able to apply for tickets via a website from 15 March until 26 April 2011. There was a huge demand for tickets, with a demand of over three times the number of tickets available. The process was widely criticised as more than 50% of the sessions went to a random ballot, and over half the people who applied got no tickets. On 11 May 2012 a round of nearly one million "second chance" tickets went on sale over a 10-day period between 23 June and 3 July 2011. About 1.7 million tickets were available for football and 600,000 for other sports, including archery, field hockey, football, judo, boxing and volleyball. Although technical difficulties were encountered, ten sports had sold out by 8 am of the first day.


Countdown

During the closing ceremony of the 2008 Olympics, the
Olympic Flag The Olympic symbols are icons, flags and symbols used by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to elevate the Olympic Games. Somesuch as the flame, fanfare and themeare more commonly used during Olympic competition, but others, such as the f ...

Olympic Flag
was formally handed over from the
Mayor of BeijingThe politics of Beijing is structured in a dual party-government system like all other governing institutions in the mainland of the People's Republic of China. The Mayor of Beijing is the highest-ranking official in the People's Government of Beiji ...

Mayor of Beijing
to the
Mayor of London The Mayor of London is the head of the executive of the Greater London Authority. The current mayor is Sadiq Khan, who took office on 9 May 2016. The position was held by Ken Livingstone from the creation of the role on 4 May 2000 until he was ...
. This was followed by a section highlighting London, One month later, the Olympic and
Paralympic flag The Paralympic symbols are the icons, flags, and symbols used by the International Paralympic Committee to promote the Paralympic Games. Motto The Paralympic motto is "Spirit in Motion". The motto was introduced in 2004 at the Paralympic Games in ...
s were raised outside the
London City Hall City Hall is the headquarters of the Greater London Authority (GLA), which comprises the Mayor of London and the London Assembly. It is located in Southwark, on the south bank of the River Thames near Tower Bridge. It was designed by Norman Foster ...
. A countdown clock in
Trafalgar Square Trafalgar Square ( ) is a public square in the City of Westminster, Central London, established in the early 19th century around the area formerly known as Charing Cross. The Square's name commemorates the Battle of Trafalgar, the British naval ...
was unveiled, 500 days before the Games. The clock broke down the following day, but was later fixed. It was a two-sided clock with the Paralympic countdown on the other side. The countdown to the start of the Olympics began with a ceremony for the lighting of the Olympic flame in
Olympia, Greece Olympia (Greek: ; ; ''Olymbía'') is a small town in Elis on the Peloponnese peninsula in Greece, famous for the nearby archaeological site of the same name, which was a major Panhellenic religious sanctuary of ancient Greece, where the ancient Ol ...
.


Security

The security operation was led by the police, with 10,000 officers available, supported by 13,500 members of the
armed forces A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare. It is typically officially authorized and maintained by a sovereign state, with its members identifiable by their ...
.
Naval A navy, naval force, or maritime force is the branch of a Nation's armed forces principally designated for naval and amphibious warfare; namely, lake-borne, riverine, littoral, or ocean-borne combat operations and related functions. It includes ...
and air assets, including ships situated in the
Thames The River Thames ( ), known alternatively in parts as the River Isis, is a river that flows through southern England including London. At , it is the longest river entirely in England and the second-longest in the United Kingdom, after the Ri ...
,
Eurofighter The Eurofighter Typhoon is a European twin-engine, canard delta wing, multirole fighter. The Typhoon was designed originally as an air superiority fighter and is manufactured by a consortium of Airbus, BAE Systems and Leonardo that conducts the ...

Eurofighter
jets and surface-to-air missiles, were deployed as part of the security operation; the biggest security operation Britain had faced for decades. The cost of security increased from £282 million to £553 million, and the figure of 13,500 armed forces personnel was more than Britain currently had deployed in Afghanistan. The Metropolitan Police and the Royal Marines carried out security exercises in preparation for the Olympics on 19 January 2012, with 50 marine police officers in rigid inflatables and fast response boats, joined by up to 100 military personnel and a Lynx Navy helicopter. The
Ministry of Defence {{unsourced, date=February 2021 A ministry of defence or defense (see spelling differences), also known as a department of defence or defense, is an often-used name for the part of a government responsible for matters of defence, found in states wh ...
distributed leaflets to residents of the Lexington building in Bow, announcing that a missile system was to be stationed on top of the water tower. This caused concern to some residents. The Ministry said it probably would use
Starstreak Starstreak is a British short range man-portable air-defence system (MANPADS) manufactured by Thales Air Defence (formerly Shorts Missile Systems), in Belfast. It is also known as Starstreak HVM (High Velocity Missile). After launch, the missile a ...
missiles and that site evaluations had taken place, but that no final decision had taken place.


Medals

Approximately 4,700 Olympic and Paralympic medals were produced by the
Royal Mint The Royal Mint is a government-owned mint that produces coins for the United Kingdom. Operating under the legal name ''The Royal Mint Limited'', the mint is a limited company that is wholly owned by Her Majesty's Treasury and is under an exclus ...
at
Llantrisant Llantrisant (; "Parish of the Three Saints") is a town in the county borough of Rhondda Cynon Taf, within the historic county boundaries of Glamorgan, Wales, lying on the River Ely and the Afon Clun. The three saints of the town's name are SS. Il ...
. They were designed by David Watkins (Olympics) and Lin Cheung (Paralympics). 99% of the gold, silver and copper was donated by Rio Tinto from a mine in
Salt Lake County, Utah Salt Lake County is located in the U.S. state of Utah. As of the 2010 United States Census, the population was 1,029,655, (1,160,437 as of July 1, 2019) making it the most populous county in Utah. Its county seat and largest city is Salt Lake City ...
in the U.S. The remaining 1% came from a
Mongolia Mongolia (, Mongolian: , Traditional Mongolian: ') is a landlocked country in East Asia. Its area is roughly equivalent with the historical territory of Outer Mongolia, which is sometimes used to refer to the current state. It is situated be ...
n mine. Each medal weighs , has a diameter of and is thick, with the sport and discipline engraved on the rim. The obverse, as is traditional, features
Nike Nike often refers to: * Nike (mythology), a Greek goddess who personifies victory * Nike, Inc., a major American marketer of athletic shoes, apparel, and sports equipment Nike may also refer to: People * Nike (name), a surname and feminine given n ...
, the Greek goddess of victory, stepping from the
Panathinaiko Stadium The Panathenaic Stadium ( el, Παναθηναϊκό Στάδιο, Panathinaïkó Stádio, ), as spelled by Philostratus. or ''Kallimarmaro'' (Καλλιμάρμαρο, , lit. "beautiful marble") is a multi-purpose stadium in Athens, Greece. One of ...
that hosted the first modern Olympic Games in 1896, with Parthenon in the background; the reverse features the Games logo, the
River Thames The River Thames ( ), known alternatively in parts as the River Isis, is a river that flows through southern England including London. At , it is the longest river entirely in England and the second-longest in the United Kingdom, after the Ri ...
and a series of lines representing "the energy of athletes and a sense of pulling together". The medals were transferred to the Tower of London vaults on 2 July 2012 for storage. Each gold medal is made up of 92.5 per cent silver and 1.34 per cent gold, with the remainder copper. The silver medal (which represents second place) is made up of 92.5 per cent silver, with the remainder copper. The bronze medal is made up of 97 per cent copper, 2.5 per cent zinc and 0.5 per cent tin. The value of the materials in the gold medal is about £410 (US$644), the silver about £210 (US$330), and the bronze about £3 (US$4.71) as of 30 July 2012.


Torch relay

The Olympics torch relay ran from 19 May to 27 July 2012, before the Games. Plans for the relay were developed in 2010–11, with the torch-bearer selection process announced on 18 May 2011. The torch was designed by Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby. On 18 May 2012 the
Olympic flame The Olympic flame is a symbol used in the Olympic movement. It is also a symbol of continuity between ancient and modern games. Several months before the Olympic Games, the Olympic flame is lit at Olympia, Greece. This ceremony starts the Olympic t ...

Olympic flame
arrived at RNAS Culdrose in
Cornwall Cornwall (; kw, Kernow ) is a ceremonial county in South West England. It is recognised as one of the Celtic nations and is the homeland of the Cornish people. Cornwall is bordered to the north and west by the Atlantic Ocean, to the south by ...

Cornwall
from Greece on flight BA2012, operated by a
British Airways British Airways (BA) is the flag carrier airline of the United Kingdom. It is headquartered in London, England, near its main hub at Heathrow Airport. The airline is the second largest UK based carrier, based on fleet size and passengers carr ...
Airbus A319 The Airbus A319 is a member of the Airbus A320 family of short- to medium-range, narrow-body, commercial passenger twin-engine jet airliners manufactured by Airbus. The A319 carries 124 to 156 passengers and has a maximum range of . Final assem ...
named "Firefly". The relay lasted 70 days, with 66 evening celebrations and six island visits, and involved some 8,000 people carrying the torch about , starting from
Land's End Land's End ( kw, Penn an Wlas or ''Pedn an Wlas'') is a headland and tourist and holiday complex in western Cornwall, England, situated within the Penwith peninsula about west-south-west of Penzance at the western end of the A30 road. To the ea ...
in Cornwall. The torch had three days outside the United Kingdom when it visited the
Isle of Man ) , anthem = "O Land of Our Birth" , image = Isle of Man by Sentinel-2.jpg , image_map = Europe-Isle_of_Man.svg , mapsize = 290px , map_alt = Location of the Isle of Man in Europe , map_caption = Location of the Isle of Man (green) in Europe ...
on 2 June,
Dublin Dublin (, ; ) is the capital and largest city of Ireland. Situated on a bay on the east coast, at the mouth of the River Liffey, it lies within the province of Leinster. It is bordered on the south by the Dublin Mountains, a part of the Wic ...
in Ireland, on 6 June, and both
Guernsey ) , song = , song_type = , image_map = , mapsize = 290px , map_alt = Location of Guernsey , map_caption = , image_map2 = Guernsey-Guernsey.png , mapsize2 = 290px , map_alt2 = Map of Guernsey within the Bailiwick , map_caption2 = Map of Guerns ...

Guernsey
and
Jersey Jersey ( , ; nrf, label=Jèrriais, Jèrri ), officially the Bailiwick of Jersey (french: Bailliage de Jersey, links=no; Jèrriais: ''Bailliage dé Jèrri''), is an island and self-governing British Crown Dependency near the coast of north-west F ...

Jersey
on 15 July. The relay focused on National Heritage Sites, locations with sporting significance, key sporting events, schools registered with the Get Set School Network, green spaces and biodiversity, Live Sites (city locations with large screens), and festivals and other events.
Dumfries and Galloway Dumfries and Galloway ( sco, Dumfries an Gallowa; gd, Dùn Phrìs is Gall-Ghaidhealaibh) is one of 32 unitary council areas of Scotland and is located in the western Southern Uplands. It comprises the historic counties of Dumfriesshire, Stewartr ...

Dumfries and Galloway
was the only Region in the whole of the United Kingdom that had the Olympic Torch pass through it twice. A group of young athletes, nominated by retired Olympic athletes, ran the torch around the stadium. These torchbearers were Callum Airlie, Jordan Duckitt, Desiree Henry, Katie Kirk, Cameron MacRitchie, Aidan Reynolds, and
Adelle Tracey Adelle Tracey (born 27 May 1993) is a British middle-distance runner competing primarily in the 800 metres. She achieved her 800 metres best of 1:59.86 in the 2018 European Championships semifinals, and went on to finish fourth in the final. C ...
. Together the torchbearers each lit a petal which spread the fire to the 204 petals of the
cauldron A cauldron (or caldron) is a large cast iron pot (kettle) for cooking or boiling over an open fire, with a lid and frequently with an arc-shaped hanger. In other words, a large kettle. Etymology The word cauldron is first recorded in Middle Engl ...
, representing the countries that participated in the Games. The cauldron was designed by
Thomas Heatherwick Thomas Alexander Heatherwick, (born 17 February 1970) is an English designer and the founder of London-based design practice Heatherwick Studio. He has been described as one of Britain's most significant designers. He works with a team of aroun ...
.


Environmental policy

The
Olympic Park An Olympic Park is a sports campus for hosting the Olympic Games. Typically it contains the Olympic Stadium and the International Broadcast Centre. It may also contain the Olympic Village or some of the other sports venues, such as the aquatics comp ...

Olympic Park
was planned to incorporate 45 hectares of wildlife habitat, with a total of 525 bird boxes and 150 bat boxes. Local waterways and riverbanks were enhanced as part of the process. Renewable energy also features at the Olympics. It was originally planned to provide 20% of the energy for the Olympic Park and Village from renewable technologies; however, this may now be as little as 9%. Proposals to meet the original target included large-scale on-site wind turbines and
hydroelectric generators Hydroelectricity, or hydroelectric power, is electricity produced from hydropower. In 2015, hydropower generated 16.6% of the world's total electricity and 70% of all renewable electricity,http://www.ren21.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/GSR_20 ...
in the River Thames. These plans were scrapped for safety reasons. The focus has since moved to installing solar panels on some buildings, and providing the opportunity to recover energy from waste. Food packaging at the Olympics is made from compostable materials – like starch and cellulose-based
bioplastics Bioplastics are plastic materials produced from renewable biomass sources, such as vegetable fats and oils, corn starch, straw, woodchips, sawdust, recycled food waste, etc. Bioplastic can be made from agricultural by-products and also from used pl ...
 – where it cannot be reused or recycled. This includes fast-food wrappers, sandwich boxes and drink cartons. After they have been used, many of these materials would be suitable for
anaerobic digestion Anaerobic digestion is a sequence of processes by which microorganisms break down biodegradable material in the absence of oxygen. The process is used for industrial or domestic purposes to manage waste or to produce fuels. Much of the fermentati ...
(AD), allowing them to be made into renewable energy. Buildings like the
Water Polo Arena The Water Polo Arena was a venue of the 2012 Summer Olympics held in London from 27 July to 12 August 2012. It was situated in the south-east corner of the Olympic Park, alongside the Aquatics Centre, and opposite the Olympic Stadium on the opp ...
will be relocated elsewhere. Building Parts like Roofing Covers and membranes of different temporary venues will be recycled via
Vinyloop VinyLoop is a proprietary physical plastic recycling process for polyvinyl chloride (PVC). It is based on dissolution in order to separate PVC from other materials or impurities. Background A major factor of the recycling of polyvinyl chloride was ...
. This allowed organisers to meet the standards of the
Olympic Delivery Authority The Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) was a non-departmental public body of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, responsible for ensuring the delivery of venues, infrastructure and legacy for the 2012 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games in ...
concerning environmental protection. Through this recycling process, the Olympic Games PVC Policy is fulfilled. It says that :Where London 2012 procures PVC for temporary usage or where permanent usage is not assured, London 2012 is required to ensure that there is a take-back scheme that offers a closed-loop reuse system or mechanical recycling system for
post-consumer waste Post-consumer waste is a waste type produced by the end consumer of a material stream; that is, where the waste-producing use did not involve the production of another product. The terms of pre-consumer and post-consumer recycled materials are not ...
. "The majority of temporary facilities created for the Olympic Games including the Aquatic centre temporary stands, basketball arena,
Water Polo Arena The Water Polo Arena was a venue of the 2012 Summer Olympics held in London from 27 July to 12 August 2012. It was situated in the south-east corner of the Olympic Park, alongside the Aquatics Centre, and opposite the Olympic Stadium on the opp ...
, and the shooting facilities at the
Royal Artillery Barracks Woolwich Garrison, also referred to as Woolwich Station or Woolwich Barracks, is a garrison of the British Army which forms part of London District. Royal Artillery Barracks, based in the garrison were home to the Royal Artillery until 2007 whe ...
, are essentially big tents. Basically, PVC stretched over lightweight steel frame. This design solution makes them efficient to install, reduces the need for any significant foundations and are, of course, reusable. We were challenged by the public around the use of PVC; but we considered it to be the right material for certain functions. We therefore challenged the PVC supply chain to have certain environmental performance criteria in place, including a take back and recycle scheme" says Kirsten Henson, Materials Manager for the London 2012 Olympic Park. London 2012 inaugurated Olympic Games guidelines that included the recycling of PVC.


Cultural Olympiad

The
Olympic Charter upOlympic torch The Olympic Charter is a set of rules and guidelines for the organisation of the Olympic Games, and for governing the Olympic movement. Its last revision was on the 17th of July 2020 during the 136th IOC Session, held by video con ...
, the set of rules and guidelines for the organization of the Olympic Games and for governing the Olympic Movement, states that
LOCOG shall organise a programme of cultural events which must cover at least the entire period during which the
Olympic VillageAn Olympic Village is an accommodation center built for the Olympic Games, usually within an Olympic Park or elsewhere in a host city. Olympic Villages are built to house all participating athletes, as well as officials and athletic trainers. After t ...
is open.
The Cultural Olympiad comprises many programmes, with over 500 events spread over four years across the whole of the United Kingdom, and culminating in the
London 2012 Festival The 2012 Cultural Olympiad was a programme of cultural events across the United Kingdom that accompanied the 2012 Summer Olympics and 2012 Summer Paralympics. The Olympic Charter, the set of rules and guidelines for the organization of the Olympic ...
.


Opening ceremony

The opening ceremony officially began at 9:00 pm British Summer Time (UTC+1) on 27 July in the Olympic Stadium and was called "Isles of Wonder". Oscar-winning director
Danny Boyle Daniel Francis Boyle (born 20 October 1956) is an English film, television, and stage director and producer. He is known for his work on films including ''Shallow Grave'', ''Trainspotting'' and its sequel ''T2 Trainspotting'', ''The Beach'', ...
was its artistic director, with music direction by Rick Smith of
Underworld The underworld is the supernatural world of the dead in various religious traditions and myths, located below the world of the living. Chthonic is the technical adjective for things of the underworld. The concept of an underworld is found in ...
. The Games were officially opened by
Queen Elizabeth II Elizabeth II (Elizabeth Alexandra Mary; born 21 April 1926) is Queen of the United Kingdom and 15 other Commonwealth realms. Elizabeth was born in Mayfair, London, as the first child of the Duke and Duchess of York (later King George VI a ...

Queen Elizabeth II
, accompanied by
Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh#REDIRECT Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh ...
. It was the second Olympic Games opened personally by the Queen, the first being in
1976 Events January * January – The Cray-1, the first commercially developed supercomputer, is released by Seymour Cray's Cray Research. * January 1 – PDVSA, nationalization from Corporacion Venezolana del Petroleo (CVP) in Venezuela. * J ...
in
Montreal Montreal ( ; officially Montréal, , Tio'tia:ke in Mohawk) is the second-most populous city in Canada and most populous city in the Canadian province of Quebec. Founded in 1642 as ''Ville-Marie'', or "City of Mary", it is named after Mount Royal ...
. The ceremony included a short comic film starring
Daniel Craig Daniel Wroughton Craig (born 2 March 1968) is an English actor. He is best known for playing James Bond in the eponymous film series, beginning with ''Casino Royale'' (2006), which brought him international fame. As of January 2021, he has sta ...
as secret agent
James Bond The ''James Bond'' series focuses on a fictional British Secret Service agent created in 1953 by writer Ian Fleming, who featured him in twelve novels and two short-story collections. Since Fleming's death in 1964, eight other authors have wri ...
and the Queen as herself, and another starring
Rowan Atkinson Rowan Sebastian Atkinson (born 6 January 1955) is an English actor, comedian, and writer. He is best known for his work on the sitcoms ''Blackadder'' (1983–1989) and ''Mr. Bean'' (1990–1995). Atkinson first came to prominence in the BBC sk ...
as Mr. Bean. Live musical performers included
Frank Turner Francis Edward Turner (born 28 December 1981) is an English punk and folk singer-songwriter from Meonstoke, Hampshire. He began his career as the vocalist of post-hardcore band Million Dead, then embarked upon a primarily acoustic-based solo car ...
, Dame Evelyn Glennie,
Mike Oldfield Mike is a masculine given name. It is also encountered as an abbreviation or shorthand for Michael. Notable people with the name include: People * Mike Adenuga, Nigerian billionaire businessman * Mike Affleck, American football player * Mike Ak ...
, the
London Symphony Orchestra The London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) is a British symphony orchestra based in London. Founded in 1904, the LSO is the oldest of London's symphony orchestras. The LSO was set up by a group of players who left Henry Wood's Queen's Hall Orchestra ...
,
Dizzee Rascal Dylan Kwabena Mills (born 18 September 1984), better known by his stage name Dizzee Rascal, is an English MC, rapper, songwriter and record producer. A pioneer of grime music, his work has also incorporated elements of UK garage, bassline, Britis ...
,
Arctic Monkeys Arctic Monkeys are an English rock band formed in Sheffield in 2002. The group consists of Alex Turner (lead vocals, guitar, keyboards), Jamie Cook (guitar, keyboards), Nick O'Malley (bass guitar, backing vocals), and Matt Helders (drums, backi ...

Arctic Monkeys
, and
Sir Paul McCartney Sir is a formal English honourific address for men, derived from ''Sire'' in the High Middle Ages. Traditionally, as governed by law and custom, Sir is used for men titled knights i.e. of orders of chivalry, and later also to baronets, and other ...

Sir Paul McCartney
who performed "
Hey Jude "Hey Jude" is a song by the English rock band the Beatles that was released as a non-album single in August 1968. It was written by Paul McCartney and credited to the Lennon–McCartney partnership. The single was the Beatles' first release on ...
" as the closing act. The ceremony transmitted live on BBC One attracted a peak viewing audience of over 27 million in the UK.


Closing ceremony

The closing ceremony was held on 12 August. It featured a flashback fiesta to
British music at the Royal Albert Hall in 2004, alt= Throughout history of the United Kingdom, its history, the United Kingdom has been a major producer and source of musical creation, drawing its early artistic basis from church music and the ancient and tradi ...
with
The Who The Who are an English rock band formed in London in 1964. Their classic lineup consisted of lead singer Roger Daltrey, guitarist and singer Pete Townshend, bass guitarist and singer John Entwistle, and drummer Keith Moon. They are considered o ...
closing the performance. The ceremony also included a handover of the
Olympic flag The Olympic symbols are icons, flags and symbols used by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to elevate the Olympic Games. Somesuch as the flame, fanfare and themeare more commonly used during Olympic competition, but others, such as the f ...
by
Boris Johnson Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson (; born 19 June 1964) is a British politician and writer serving as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Leader of the Conservative Party since July 2019. He was Secretary of State for Foreign and Common ...
,
Mayor of London The Mayor of London is the head of the executive of the Greater London Authority. The current mayor is Sadiq Khan, who took office on 9 May 2016. The position was held by Ken Livingstone from the creation of the role on 4 May 2000 until he was ...
, to
Eduardo Paes Eduardo da Costa Paes (, born 14 November 1969) is a Brazilian politician who was the mayor of the city of Rio de Janeiro from 2009 to 2012 and re-elected for a second term from 2013 to 2016. He is currently the 13th mayor of Rio de Janeiro. On ...
,
Mayor of Rio de Janeiro This is a list of mayors of Rio de Janeiro. History The city of Rio de Janeiro was founded in 1565. It was the seat of the Crown captaincy of Rio de Janeiro, a district of colonial Brazil under Portuguese rule. In 1763 Rio de Janeiro city became t ...
, the host city of the
2016 Summer Olympics ) , nations = 207 , athletes = 11,238 , events = 306 in 28 sports (41 disciplines) , opening = 5 August , closing = 21 August , opened_by = Acting president Michel Temer , cauldron = Vanderlei Cordeiro de Lima , stadium ...
.


The Games


Participating National Olympic Committees

Around 10,700 athletes from 204
National Olympic Committee A National Olympic Committee (NOC) is a national constituent of the worldwide Olympic movement. Subject to the controls of the International Olympic Committee, NOCs are responsible for organizing their people's participation in the Olympic Games. ...
s (NOCs) took part, (85 countries acquired at least one medal: gold, silver or bronze) surpassing the
1948 Summer Olympics The 1948 Summer Olympics (officially known as the Games of the XIV Olympiad and commonly known as London 1948) were an international multi-sport event held from 29 July to 14 August 1948 in London, United Kingdom. Following a twelve-year hiatus ...
in London and the
2002 Commonwealth Games The 2002 Commonwealth Games, officially known as the XVII Commonwealth Games and commonly known as Manchester 2002 were held in Manchester, England, from 25 July to 4 August 2002. The 2002 Games were to be hosted in the United Kingdom to coincide w ...
in
Manchester Manchester () is a city and metropolitan borough in Greater Manchester, England. The city has the country’s fifth-largest population at 547,627 (as of 2018) and lies within the United Kingdom's second-most populous urban area, with a populati ...
as the largest multi-sport event ever to be held in the
United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Some prefer to use Britain as shortha ...
. Three athletes from the
Netherlands Antilles Olympic Committee The Netherlands Antilles Olympic Committee, ( nl, Nederlands Antilliaans Olympisch Comité; pap, Comité Olímpico di Antia Hulandes) generally abbreviated NAOC was a member of the IOC from 1950 to 2011. It constituted the National Olympic Committee ...
, which the IOC Executive Committee had ceased to recognise at the IOC session of July 2011, and one athlete from
South Sudan South Sudan (), officially known as the Republic of South Sudan, is a landlocked country in East-Central Africa. It is bordered to the east by Ethiopia, to the north by Sudan, to the west by the Central African Republic, to the southwest by ...
which had no recognized NOC until
2015 2015 was designated as: * International Year of Light * International Year of Soil __TOC__ Events January * January 1 **The Eurasian Economic Union comes into effect, creating a political and economic union between Russia, Belarus, Armenia, ...
, participated independently under the Olympic flag.


National houses

During the Games, some countries and continents had a "national house". These temporary meeting places for supporters, athletes and other followers were located throughout London.


Sports

The 2012 Summer Olympics featured 26 different sports encompassing 39 disciplines and 302 events. In the list below, the number of events in each discipline is noted in parentheses. Women's boxing was included in the programme for the first time, and 36 women competed in three weight classes. There was a special dispensation for the shooting events, which would otherwise have been illegal under Firearms (Amendment) (No. 2) Act 1997, UK gun law. In tennis, mixed doubles returned to the Olympic programme for the first time since 1924. London's bid featured the same 28 sports that had been included in other recent Summer Olympics, but the IOC voted to drop baseball and softball from the 2012 Games just two days after London had been selected as the host city. There was an appeal, but the IOC voted to uphold the decision, and the two sports were scheduled to be discontinued after their last appearance at the 2008 Summer Olympics, 2008 Olympics. The IOC then voted on whether or not to replace them; karate, squash (sport), squash, golf, roller sports and rugby sevens were considered. Karate and squash were the two final nominees, but neither received enough votes to reach the required two-thirds majority. Although formal demonstration sports were eliminated after the 1992 Summer Olympics, special tournaments for non-Olympic sports can be run during the Games, such as the Wushu Tournament Beijing 2008, Wushu tournament at the 2008 Summer Olympics. There were attempts to run Twenty20 cricket and netball tournaments alongside the 2012 Games, but neither campaign was successful.


Calendar

:''All times are in British Summer Time (UTC+1)'' The final official schedule was released on 15 February 2011.


Records

These Olympic Games resulted in 32 world records in eight sports. The largest number of records were set in swimming, at eight. China, Great Britain and the United States set the most records, at five each.


Medal table

A total of 85 National Olympic Committees (NOCs) won medals, 54 of those countries winning at least one gold medal. Bahrain at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Bahrain, Botswana at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Botswana, Cyprus at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Cyprus, Gabon at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Gabon, Grenada at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Grenada (a gold medal), Guatemala at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Guatemala, and Montenegro at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Montenegro won their first ever Olympic medals. The
United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, 326 India ...
finished at the top of the table winning 46 gold medals, and winning 104 medals overall.
China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the world's most populous country, with a population of around 1.4 billion. Covering approximately 9.6 million square kilometers (3.7 million m ...
finished second with 38 gold medals and 88 medals overall. Hosts
Great Britain Great Britain is an island in the North Atlantic Ocean off the northwest coast of continental Europe. With an area of , it is the largest of the British Isles, the largest European island, and the ninth-largest island in the world. The isl ...
came in third place winning 29 gold medals and 65 medals overall in their best performance since
London London is the capital and largest city of England and the United Kingdom. The city stands on the River Thames in the south-east of England, at the head of its estuary leading to the North Sea. London has been a major settlement for two millen ...
hosted its inaugural Summer Olympics in
1908 Events January 1908 Baby New Year on the cover of ''The Saturday Evening Post''.">The Saturday Evening Post">Baby New Year on the cover of ''The Saturday Evening Post''. * January 1 – The British Nimrod Expedition, ''Nimrod'' E ...
pushing Russia at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Russia into fourth place who won 20 gold medals although they won 68 medals (3 more than
Great Britain Great Britain is an island in the North Atlantic Ocean off the northwest coast of continental Europe. With an area of , it is the largest of the British Isles, the largest European island, and the ninth-largest island in the world. The isl ...
) overall. ;Key Host nation (Great Britain) See 2012 Summer Olympics medal table, subpage: Changes in medal standings


Podium sweeps


Broadcasting

The host broadcaster was Olympic Broadcasting Services (OBS), an agency of the IOC. The OBS used its own cameras and crews subcontracted from other Olympic broadcasters to cover the events. The base video and audio were sold to other broadcasters, who added their own Sports commentary, commentary and presentation. The official recording format of the 2012 Summer Olympics used Panasonic's digital technologies. The official video was produced and distributed from the London Olympics Media Centre, International Broadcast Centre in 1080/50i High-Definition (HD) format. Panasonic announced that DVCPRO HD would be the official recording format. OBS London used P2 (storage media), P2 HD shoulder-mount camcorders. The IOC's wanted television coverage to reach as broad a worldwide audience as possible, and London 2012 was covered by several national and regional broadcasters. In the UK, the BBC carried the Olympics and Channel 4 the Paralympics. The BBC aimed to broadcast all 5,000 hours of the Games. BBC Parliament's Freeview (UK), Freeview channel was suspended, BBC Three's on-air time was extended so that it could show Olympic events in the daytime, and 24 additional BBC Olympics channels were available via cable, satellite and the internet in the UK. The US television rights, owned by NBC, accounted for over half the rights revenue for the IOC. Thousands of Americans, however, accessed the BBC's omnibus coverage using proxy servers or VPNs. Despite high viewership, many viewers were disappointed with NBC's coverage. The operations of broadcasters granted rights to the Games were hosted in the dedicated International Broadcast Centre inside the security cordon of the Olympic Park. YouTube planned to stream the Games in 64 territories in Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa where there were no official broadcasters. In Sri Lanka a dispute occurred between Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation, Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation (SLRC) and MTV Channel, MBC Networks (MTV/MBC) as to who was the official broadcaster of the Games. This problem was caused as Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union, Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU) had offered the official broadcasting rights to both networks, as both of the networks were ABU members. So SLRC filed a case against MBC Networks for broadcasting rights at the Colombo Magistrate's Court. Considering the case, the court issued a special court order preventing MBC Networks' Olympic broadcast and stated that SLRC should be the sole broadcaster. However, when the Games started, both networks broadcast most of the events simultaneously. Another dispute had previously occurred between Carlton Sports Network, Carlton Sports Network (CSN) and SLRC, but the Sports Minister, Mahindananda Aluthgamage, had stated that SLRC had the exclusive rights.


Olympic Golden Rings Awards

In November 2012, the IOC announced the winners of the Golden Ring Awards for the best broadcast coverage of the Games. Best Olympic Sports Production was awarded to the sailing, produced by Christopher Lincoln, Gary Milkis, and Ursula Romero. The production for the canoe/kayak slalom and the rowing/canoe sprint came second and third respectively. The award for Best On Air Promotion went to NBC Olympics, NBC with Foxtel and ZDF finishing second and third. The Best Olympic Feature category was also won by NBC Olympics, as Sky Italia came second and ZDF third. The Best Athlete Profile award went to RecordTV, TV Record's profile of Sarah Menezes, NBC came second with their profile of David Rudisha, and ESPN (Latin America), ESPN Latin America took third place with a profile of Miguel Correa and Ruben Rezola. The award for Best Olympic Programme went to NBC, host broadcasters BBC took second place for Super Saturday (the middle Saturday of the Games), and third place was claimed by Seven Network for their live coverage of Day 16 of the Games.


Marketing

"Survival (Muse song), Survival" by Muse (band), Muse was announced as the official song of the Olympics, to be played by international broadcasters reporting on the Games. In August 2009, the Royal Mail commissioned artists and illustrators to design 30 stamps, which were released in batches of 10 between 2009 and 2011. The last ones were released on 22 July 2011. Two £5 coins designed by Saiman Miah have been made to commemorate the Olympics. As with other Olympics since 1952, the Royal Mint will strike a set of commemorative one-kilogram gold and silver coins.


Motto

The official motto for the 2012 Summer Olympics is "Inspire a generation". It was chosen to highlight the organisers' commitment to inspire the world, including younger generations, to get involved in sporting events through the Games' legacy.


Logo and graphics

There have been two London 2012 logos: one used for the bidding process, and the other used in the branding for the Games themselves. The bid logo, created by Kino Design, was a ribbon with blue, yellow, black, green, and red stripes winding through the text "LONDON 2012", making the shape of the River Thames in East London. The main logo, designed by Wolff Olins and published on 4 June 2007, is a representation of the number 2012, with the Olympic symbols, Olympic Rings embedded within the zero. Public reaction to the main logo in a June 2007 BBC poll was largely negative; more than 80% of votes gave it the lowest possible rating. Several newspapers ran their own logo competitions, displaying alternative submissions from their readers, and several writers from news agencies criticised the logo. A segment of animated footage released at the same time as the logo was reported to trigger seizures in a small number of people with photosensitive epilepsy, and a short segment was removed from the London 2012 website in response. It was suggested that the logo resembled the cartoon character Lisa Simpson performing fellatio on her brother Bart Simpson. In February 2011, Iran threatened to boycott the Olympics, complaining that the logo appeared to spell out the word "Zion". However, this boycott did not occur. The official London 2012 Olympic typeface was called Headline 2012 and also suffered some criticism. Journalist Simon Garfield made it number 1 in the list of the "8 Worst Fonts in the World" in his 2010 book ''Just My Type'', commenting that "the uncool font is based on jaggedness and crudeness", although he conceded that it was "a brilliant piece of corporate branding". The magazine ''Wired (magazine), Wired'' pointed out that the typeface was intended for "awareness, impact and memorability as a headline typeface" rather than elegance or readability in long sections of text.


Colours

The four main colours used in the branding of the Games were pink, blue, green, and orange. These colours were chosen to showcase the spirit of the Games: energetic, spirited, youthful, and bright. The auxiliary colours used in the branding were dark purple, grey, and gold. These were mostly used in symbols and graphics to offset the brightness of the main colours.


Mascots

The List of Olympic mascots, official mascots for the 2012 Summer Olympics and Paralympic Games were unveiled on 19 May 2010. Wenlock and Mandeville are animations depicting two drops of steel from a steelworks in Bolton. They are named after Much Wenlock, a town in Shropshire that holds Wenlock Olympian Games, a forerunner of the current Olympic Games, and Stoke Mandeville, a village in Buckinghamshire where IWAS World Games, a forerunner of the Paralympic Games was first held. The writer Michael Morpurgo wrote the story concept for the mascots, and an animation was produced. Two stories have been created about the mascots: ''Out Of A Rainbow'' and ''Adventures On A Rainbow''. ''Creative Review'' magazine liked the mascots, but elsewhere their design was greeted with some disdain. One columnist jested that they were the product of a "drunken one-night stand between a Teletubby and a Dalek". Others have compared them to Izzy (mascot), Izzy, the much disparaged mascot of the 1996 Summer Olympics, 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympics. Still others have likened them to Kang and Kodos from ''The Simpsons''. However, the mascots' creators claim that young people find the duo appealing.


''Chariots of Fire''

The 1981 Best Picture Oscar–winning film ''Chariots of Fire'', which tells the story of two British athletes in the 1924 Summer Olympics, 1924 Olympics, was a recurring theme in promotions for the 2012 Olympics. A digitally re-mastered version of ''Chariots of Fire'' was released on 13 July 2012 and screened in over 100 UK cinemas as part of the celebrations, and a Chariots of Fire (play), 2012 stage adaptation ran in London theatres from 9 May 2012 to 5 January 2013. The film's Chariots of Fire (instrumental), theme tune was performed during the 2012 Summer Olympics opening ceremony, Opening Ceremony by the
London Symphony Orchestra The London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) is a British symphony orchestra based in London. Founded in 1904, the LSO is the oldest of London's symphony orchestras. The LSO was set up by a group of players who left Henry Wood's Queen's Hall Orchestra ...
, conducted by Simon Rattle. The performance was accompanied by a comedic skit by
Rowan Atkinson Rowan Sebastian Atkinson (born 6 January 1955) is an English actor, comedian, and writer. He is best known for his work on the sitcoms ''Blackadder'' (1983–1989) and ''Mr. Bean'' (1990–1995). Atkinson first came to prominence in the BBC sk ...
, which included the opening beach-running footage from the film. A new orchestration of the film's theme tune was played during each Olympic Games ceremony#Medal presentation, medal presentation of the Games.


Sponsors

LOCOG and the IOC agreed sponsorship deals with several companies, each assigned to one of four categories; worldwide, tier one, tier two and tier three. The worldwide partners were: Acer Inc., Acer, Atos, Coca-Cola, Dow Chemical Company, Dow, General Electric, McDonald's, Omega SA, Panasonic, Procter & Gamble, Samsung and Visa Inc., Visa. Tier one partners were: Adidas, BMW, BP,
British Airways British Airways (BA) is the flag carrier airline of the United Kingdom. It is headquartered in London, England, near its main hub at Heathrow Airport. The airline is the second largest UK based carrier, based on fleet size and passengers carr ...
, BT Group, EDF Energy and Lloyds TSB. The tier two partners were: Adecco, ArcelorMittal, Cadbury, Deloitte, Thomas Cook Group, Cisco Systems and United Parcel Service. Tier three partners were: Aggreko, Airwave Solutions, Airwave, Atkins, The Boston Consulting Group, Outfront Media, CBS Outdoor, Crystal CG, Eurostar, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, G4S, GlaxoSmithKline, Gymnova, Heathrow Airport, Heineken, Holiday Inn, John Lewis & Partners, McCann Worldgroup, Mondo (Italian company), Mondo, Nature Valley, Next, Nielsen Company, Populous (company), Rapiscan Systems, Rio Tinto (corporation), Technogym, Thames Water, Ticketmaster, Trebor and Westfield Group. The companies provided £1.4 billion of funding altogether, allocated evenly between the IOC and LOCOG.


Controversies

During the lead-up to the Games, there were controversies over sponsorship, the athletes' use of social media, and several political issues. After a complicated lottery process, thousands of people failed to secure seats for the events they wanted, but a large number of empty seats were observed throughout the Games, even at some of the most popular events. There was speculation that this was due to a failure of corporate sponsors to make use of tickets they had received. During the Games, eight competitors in the Badminton at the 2012 Summer Olympics – Women's doubles, badminton women's doubles were disqualified for "not using best efforts", when they tried to lose matches in the group stage to obtain more favourable fixtures in the knockout rounds. A number of results in boxing, gymnastics and judo were overturned by officials after initial decisions were appealed against. Ye Shiwen faced doping allegations after her gold medal in the women's 400m Individual Medley as she came from being behind the world record in the final 50m to beating it by 1.02 seconds. Furthermore, her last 50m was swum 0.17 seconds quicker than the men's winner of the corresponding race. All charges were later dropped. Just before the start of the Athletics at the 2012 Summer Olympics – Men's 100 metres, Men's 100m Final, a spectator threw a plastic bottle into Tyson Gay's lane, intended to hit Usain Bolt who was three lanes outside in Lane 7. The race was unaffected, and Bolt would go on to become the second man in history to defend a 100m Olympic title. The spectator, later identified as Ashley Gill-Webb, was soon arrested after he was struck on the head by Dutch judoka and bronze medalist Edith Bosch, whom he happened to be sitting next to. LOCOG Chairman
Sebastian Coe Sebastian Newbold Coe, Baron Coe, (born 29 September 1956), often referred to as Seb Coe or Lord Coe, is a British politician and former track and field athlete. As a middle-distance runner, Coe won four Olympic medals, including the 1500 metr ...
later stated: "I'm not suggesting vigilante, vigilantism but it was actually poetic justice that they happened to be sitting next to a judo player". Gill-Webb later pleaded not guilty to a charge of using threatening words or behaviour with intent to cause harassment, alarm or distress at Stratford Magistrates' Court. He was later found guilty.


Drug testing

It was announced before the Summer Games that half of all the competitors would be tested for drugs, with 150 scientists set to take 6,000 samples between the start of the Games and the end of the Paralympic Games. Every competitor who won a medal was also tested. The Olympic laboratory tested up to 400 samples every day for more than 240 prohibited substances. As of late 2017, 31 medals have been List of stripped Olympic medals, stripped due to doping violations, 15 of which were originally awarded to Russian athletes. Testing for drugs was completed by GSK (GlaxoSmithKline)


See also

* 2012 Olympic hunger summit * Twenty Twelve, a comedy mockumentary featuring a fictional London Olympics committee


References


Further reading

* * * * Pamment, James. "'Putting the GREAT Back into Britain': National Identity, Public-Private Collaboration & Transfers of Brand Equity in 2012's Global Promotional Campaign," ''British Journal of Politics & International Relations'' (2015) 17#2 pp 260–283. * Surowiec, Pawel. and Philip Long. “Hybridity and Soft Power Statecraft: The 'GREAT' Campaign.” ''Diplomacy & Statecraft'' 31:1 (2020): 1-28
online review
https://doi.org/10.1080/09592296.2020.1721092


Book references


External links

;Official *
Archived official website
part of the UK Government's The National Archives (United Kingdom), National Archives ;News media * *
2012 London Olympics
at ''NBC''
London Olympics Business
at ''The Daily Telegraph, The Telegraph'' {{DEFAULTSORT:Summer Olympics, 2012 2012 Summer Olympics, 2012 in British sport 2012 sports events in London 2012 in multi-sport events Olympic Games in the United Kingdom, 2012 Summer Olympics in London, 2012 Summer Olympics by year, 2012 July 2012 sports events in the United Kingdom August 2012 sports events in the United Kingdom