Follow the flame, enjoy the game
As we follow the Olympic Torch and count the days remaining until the 2012 London Summer Olympics we realize that we have just a bit over a month until one of the most expected events of the year starts. The Torch has been lit for more than a month now, announcing the coming of this spectacular competition. Following its route, today we find the Olympic Flame in Warrington in the hands of Alice Kelly, who will be the first Torchbearer of the day. The Flame will then pass through Warton, Preston, Blackburn, Accrington, Burnley, Crawshawbooth, Reedsholme, Rawtenstall, Rochdale, Heywood, Bury, Whitefield, Prestwich, Higher Broughton and Cheetham Hill and will be carried by 164 people, each having his own exceptional story.
Overall, 8000 inspirational people will hold the torch on its way to the Olympic Park situated in E20 district. The Olympic Flame stands for peace, unity and friendship. The Olympic Torch will move to in just an hour of 95 per cent of people in the UK, the Isle of Man, Guernsey and Jersey during the 70-day Torch Relay. It will make it possible for local neighborhoods to shine a light on the best their region has to give.
Each of the 8000 people has an inspirational story for which they’ve been chosen to carry the Olympic Torch. One of this people is Alf Love who runs a Kick-Boxing and mixed martial arts school in Stacksteads, Lancashire. It’s quite a deprived area with a lot of unemployment and not a lot for kids to do after school. He trains children from the age of 4 to adults and instils confidence, discipline and respect in every one of them. He has trained world champions and last year was awarded he regional Pride of Britain Award for his dedication to the community. As an ex-England coach he could have easily decided to move to areas where the job of training future champions was far more lucrative than Rossendale but he chose to stay where his heart is. He picks up the kids from school every day in a mini bus and delivers them home safely, helps kids with behavioral disabilities. One of the parents stated that he was great with their very shy son. They said that since going to Alf’s he’s blossomed. People have grown up here with Alf’s training and now send their kids to him. He’s very loved and trusted within the village, has a great sense of humor and takes no nonsense.
The flame was lit on 18 May 2012, in Greece, as a result of a specific ritual. The first flame was lit at the Temple of Hera, in Olympia, from the sun’s rays, following a traditional ceremony inside the ruins of the initial venue for the Ancient Olympics. Following a quick relay all over Greece, the Torch is passed over to the new Host City at another ceremony in the Panathenaiko stadium in Athens. Greece is the starting point for each Olympics because Ancient Greece was the birth place for the Games.
The significance of the Olympic Games in Ancient Greece was enormous as they were of fundamental religious importance. The Ancient Olympic Games featured sporting events together with sacrifices honoring divine gods and heroes, mythical kings and first of all, they were a tribute to Zeus. The winners were seen as immortals and talked about in poems.
Nobody knows for sure what gave birth to the Ancient Olympic Games, but many some legends could hold the truth shrouded into mystery. One of the myths suggests that Heracles is the man to build the first Olympic stadium to honor his father Zeus, after finishing the twelve labors and that he is also the one to call the Games “Olympic”. Based on an inscription found in Olympia it is thought that the first Olympics were held in the year of 776 B.C. They featured both athletic and combat events but also chariot races. On a more detailed view, the ancient participants to the Olympic Games competed in games like: boxing, wrestling, pankration, running events, a pentathlon and equestrian events. They were held every four years featuring representatives of several city-states and kingdoms from Ancient Greece. During this period all battles were postponed until the games were finished. Another legend says that a cook going by the name of Coroebus was the first Olympic Champion.
2012 London Olympic Games feature a wider range of sports, the number going easily over 30 competitions. Although you’ll never see chariot racing anymore, they still include some of the same games that were played in ancient times and many others have been added to the list. Sorted in alphabetic order, bellow you will find listed the competitions you can enjoy in this year’s London Olympic Games:
– Archery: 1st and 2nd July
– Athletics: 7th-15th August
– Athletics – Marathon: 9th and 16th August
– Athletics – Race Walk: 8th and 15th August
– Badminton: 7th – 9th August
– Basketball: 15th and 16th August
– Beach Volleyball: 12th,13th August
– Boxing: 13th,15th and 16th August
– Canoe Slalom: 31st July, 1st and 2nd August
– Canoe Sprint: 8th, 9th and 11th August
– Cycling – BMX: 10th August
– Cycling – Mountain Bike: 11th and 12th August
– Cycling – Road: 28th, 29th and 1st August
– Cycling – Track: 2nd – 7th August
– Diving: 29th July – 1st August and 5th,7th,9th,11th August
– Equestrian – Dressage: 7th and 9th August
– Equestrian – Eventing: 31st July
– Equestrian – Jumping: 6th and 8th August
– Fencing: 28th – 31st July and 1st – 5th August
– Football: 9th – 11th August
– Gymnastics – Artistic: 30th – 31st July and 1st,2nd, 5th,6th,7th August
– Gymnastics – Rhythmic: 11th and 12th August
– Gymnastics – Trampoline: 3rd and 4th August
– Handball: 11th and 12th August
– Hockey: 10th and 11th August
– Judo: 28th – 31st July and 1st – 3rd August
– Modern Pentathlon: 11th and 12th August
– Rowing: 1st – 4th August
– Sailing: 5th – 11th August
– Shooting: 28th – 31st July and 1st – 6th August
– Swimming: 28th – 31st July and 1st – 4th August
– Swimming – Marathon: 9th and 10th August
– Synchronized Swimming: 7th and 10th of August
– Table Tennis: 1st,2nd August and 7th,8th August
– Taekwondo: 8th – 11th August
– Tennis: 4th and 5th August
– Triathlon: 4th and 7th August
– Volleyball: 11th and 12th August
– Water Polo: 9th and 12th August
– Weightlifting: 28th – 31st July and 1st,3rd-7th August
– Wrestling – Freestyle: 8th – 12th August
– Wrestling – Greco-Roman: 5th – 7th August
Comprising a total number of 36 different competitions the 2012 Summer London Olympic Games will run starting with 27th July and finish on 12th August when the torch will be lit off, signaling the end of the 2012 Olympic Games.
The Opening ceremony of the 2012 Summer Olympics will be presented on 27 July 2012 and be identified as ‘The Isles of Wonder. Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle will be the director of art for the first event of the London Olympics.
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh will give the formal start. A short film starring Daniel Craig as secret agent James Bond will be screened during the television coverage of the ceremony. Sir Paul McCartney has announced he will perform at the close of the ceremony.
It’s not the first time when Great Britain is home to an event as great as the Olympic Games as the region has already hosted them on two past occasions, in 1908 and 1948.
After already hosting the Olympic games for the first time in 1908, the 1948 Summer Olympics, formally identified as the Games of the XIV Olympiad, were an international multi-sport event which was held in London, England, United Kingdom. After a 12-year break due to World War II, these were the first Summer Olympics since the 1936 Games in Berlin. The 1940 Games had been scheduled for Tokyo, and then Helsinki; the 1944 Games had been provisionally prepared for London.
The celebration was also identified as the Austerity Games because of the poor economic climate and post-war rationing. No new venues were constructed for the 1948 Olympics and athletes were hosted in existing houses rather than in an Olympic Village. A record of 59 states were represented by 4,104 athletes, 3,714 men and 390 women, in 19 sport disciplines. Due to the fact that their position in World War II Germany and Japan were not invited to take part. On the other hand the USSR were invited but chose not to participate to the event. The award went to the United States team which won 84 medals in total from which 38 were gold. England won only 23 medals, three of them gold.
One of the best competitors at for the 1948 Olympic Games was a sprinter from Holland named Fanny Blankers-Koen. She was also known as “The Flying Housewife”, a 30-year old mother of three children and won four gold medals in athletics. Another record in the 1948 Olympic games set up by American Bob Mathias who became the youngest male ever to win an Olympic gold medal. He was only 17th at that time. The most individual medals were won by Veikko Huhtanen of Finland who took three gold, a silver and a bronze in men’s gymnastics.
London was lucky to host the Olympics in 1908 as they were scheduled to take place in Rome at first. The eruption of Mount Vesuvius made it impossible for Italy to be home to this event so the 1908 Olympic Games were moved to London.
The White City Stadium, developed in short time, especially for the games, had a capacity 68,000 and was considered by people to be a technological marvel. The stadium track was three laps to the mile, not the present regular standard of 400 meters. It featured a pool for swimming and diving and platforms for wrestling and gymnastics in the center.
The range from the start of the Marathon to the end at the stadium was set up at these games. The initial length of 25 miles was modified to 26 miles so the marathon could begin at Windsor Castle and then modified again at the demand of Princess Mary so the leaving point would be underneath the windows of the Royal Nursery. To guarantee that the race would complete in the front of the King, the finish line was changed by British officials who, in reply to shot putter and American flag carrier Ralph Rose’s denial to dip the American flag prior to the Royal Box while in the opening ceremony, “felt compelled to restore the importance of the monarchy.” As a consequence to these adjustments, the marathon covered a length of 26 miles 385 yards (42.195 km), which became the conventional distance starting with the 1924 Summer Olympics.
The venues that hosted the 1908 London Olympic Games were:
– Franco-British Exhibition Fencing Grounds: Fencing
– Hurlingham Club: Polo
– Northampton Institute: Boxing, Diving, Swimming, Water Polo
– All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club: Rackets, Tennis
– White City Stadium: Archery, Athletics, Cycling, Diving, Field Hockey, Football, Gymnastics, Lacrosse, Rugby Union, Swimming, Tug of war, Water polo, Wrestling
– Bisley Ranges: Shooting
– Henley Royal Regatta: Rowing
– Queen’s Club: jeu de paume
– Solent: Sailing
– Price’s Skating Club: Figure Skating
– Uxendon Shooting School Club: Shooting
– Southmapton Water: Sailing
In 2012 the Olympic Park will be located in the E20 district which bares the same name and was especially created for this event. It comprises parts from three other different districts including Stratford, Bow, Leyton and Homerton. Together they form the Olympic Village. After the Games will be over the park will take the name of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee of Elizabeth II and will feature a number of different uses:
– The sports establishments will be available for use by communal sports clubs and societies.
– The park will be converted into one of the greatest urban parks designed in Europe in the last 150 years, created to enhance the local ecosystem by reestablishing wetland environments and planting native species.
– The Olympic Village will be transformed into 3,600 apartments in the Stratford City growth plan.
– A new university will be established in order to use the sporting facilities and high-tech communications facilities still left following the Olympics and will focus on digital media, sport science and green technology.
– It will be a key addition to the new East London Tech City technology hub.
– The Manor Garden Allotments will be reinstated.
– The Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park will be house to the ArcelorMittal Orbit, an amazing steel tower which at the date of its completion will be the most significant public work of art in Great Britain. Following the Olympics, it is supposed that the tower will be one of the greatest tourist attractions in the UK.
– Additional housing along with facilities will be built.
At the moment the London Olympic Park includes: the Olympic Stadium, the Water
Polo Arena, the Copper Box, the Basketball Arena, the Aquatics Center, the Riverbank Arena and the London Velopark.
Combined with a great deal of excitement and an incredible atmosphere, the 2012 Summer Olympic Games will attract thousands of tourists to London and the UK. This indicates the transport system will be highly busy. So, if you’re heading to a any of the venues, it’s essential to prepare and book your trip well upfront.
There is no spectator parking at the Olympic venues, apart from a constrained number of Blue badge spaces that must be reserved upfront. So, it is recommended that you choose to get transport to the Olympic Park by public transport or by transfer service.
Throughout the Games, Olympic locations will be supported by a number of various public transport services: London’s comprehensive public transport network consists of London Underground (Tube), London Overground rail, Docklands Light Railway (DLR), national rail, bus, tram and river services. There is also a considerable network of walking and cycling tracks.
Co-Host Cities also have a lot of public transport services to the Olympic Park. Based upon the city, these involve rail, underground, metro, tram and bus services.
During the Games, 2012 Games park-and-ride, shuttle buses and the 2012 Games coach services will connect to venues.
Our fast and reliable airport transfer and transfer service is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to take you to your destination. We guarantee to make all your bookings as quick and easy as possible with instant confirmations, regardless if booked online, on the phone or by email. Your safety and comfort is our main concern so all our cars are PCO licensed.
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Our courteous and knowledgeable drivers, all PCO and CRB checked, will await your arrival at the Arrivals with a sign bearing your name. If your flight is delayed, the driver will be aware of this before he sets off to collect you.
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Transport from London Heathrow Airport to the Olympic Park will take around 45 minutes with our service and will cost you 52 GBP for a saloon car.
Transport from London Gatwick Airport to the Olympic Park will take around 70 minutes with our service and will cost you 66 GBP for a saloon car.
Transport from London Stansted Airport to the Olympic Park will take around 50 minutes with our service and will cost you 66 GBP for a saloon car.
Transfer from London Luton Airport to the Olympic Park:
Transport from London Luton Airport to the Olympic Park will take around 60 minutes with our service and will cost you 66 GBP for a saloon car.
Transport from London City Airport to the Olympic Park will take around 20 minutes with our service and will cost you 27 GBP for a saloon car.
Transfer from London Southend Airport to the Olympic Park:
Transport from London Southend Airport to the Olympic Park will take around 60 minutes with our service and will cost you 65 GBP for a saloon car.
Much has changed since the Ancient Olympics. The venues are now gigantic amazing constructions, players train differently, rules are different and we even have shoes that sometimes feel that they could run alone. But even if under the influence of thousands of years of changes, one thing stays the same: the spirit of the Olympic Games remains unchanged. So come to London and witness some of the greatest events of the year, take the journey with 247 Airport Transfer and we promise to transport you to the Olympic Park safe, in time and cheap!
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