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International Travel — U.K.
London, England
London Attractions

London 2012 Summer Olympics
- Opening Ceremony: July 27, 2012
- Live Entertainment
- Olympic Venues & Orbit Tower
- Live Broadcasts on Giant Screens
- Olympic Schedules & Results
- Closing Ceremony: August 12, 2012

London, host of the 2012 Summer Olympic Games, was the first city to host the Olympic Games three times (1908, 1948 and 2012). And third time lucky it was — Team GB won a record-breaking 29 Golds and a total of 65 medals overall, making it the country's best Olympic performance in a century!

The Olympic Games is the biggest sporting event in the world. London's 2012 Summer Olympics was represented by over 200 countries, 15,000 participating athletes (including 500+ from the U.S and 500+ from the U.K.), 26 sporting events, and millions of spectators — 80,000 people (including the Queen) inside the Olympic Stadium alone! And an estimated worldwide audience of four billion people watched London's Opening and Closing Ceremonies.



London Olympics
Opening Ceremony: July 27, 2012
— "Isles of Wonder"

London Olympics Opening Ceremony kicked off with an "Isles of Wonder" theme (named after a line in Shakespeare's play The Tempest) — and the ringing of the largest harmonically-tuned bell in the world. The Stadium was transformed into a traditional British countryside — "a green and pleasant land."

Queen Elizabeth II officially opened the Games. Opening Ceremonies included an array of London's rich literary history, music and performing arts; the Parade of Athletes, Olympic Anthem and Flag — and the magnificent Cauldron Lighting in the center of the stadium by seven teenage British athletes, signifying the beginning of the Games.

Our favorite Opening Ceremony highlights included the five Olympic rings converging and bursting into flames in a stunning pyrotechnic display; David Beckham (carrying the Olympic Torch), arriving at the Olympic Stadium via speedboat along the River Thames, and the spectacular fireworks finale, following the Torch Lighting of the Olympic cauldron.

Royals could be seen in the audience throughout the Olympic Games — Prince Wiliam, Kate (Duchess of Cambridge) and Prince Harry were official ambassadors for the British Olympic team.

Entertainment
at Opening & Closing Ceremonies

During the Opening Ceremony, The Arctic Monkeys (an English indie rock band) performed The Beatles classic Come Together — and British rock icon Sir Paul McCartney closed the Opening Ceremony at midnight, singing Hey Jude.

The Closing Ceremony included performances by British bands and entertainers — George Michael, Take That (British pop band), Emeli Sandé (Scottish soul and R&B singer-songwriter), One Direction, The Who, even a reunion of the Spice Girls! Our favorite part of the show was seeing a clip of John Lennon appear on the big screen singing "Imagine"  — it gave us chills.

Scroll down to see a  list of Olympic venues. Cycle out to the site where the main events of the London Summer Olympics took place — 2012 London Olympics: Bike Tour of Olympic Park and East London 

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Olympic Venues
During the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games, events will be taking place at Olympic Park and various venues in and around London, including:

  • Aquatics Centre
  • Basketball Arena
  • BMX Track
  • Brands Hatch
  • City of Coventry Stadium
  • Copper Box
  • Earls Court
  • Eton Domey
  • Eton Manor
  • ExCel
  • Greenwich Park
  • Hadleigh Farm
  • Hampten Park
  • Hampton Court Palace
  • Horse Guards Parade
  • Hyde Park
  • Lee Valley White Water Centre
  • Lord's Cricket Ground
  • The Mall
  • Milennium Stadium
  • North Greenwich Arena
  • Old Traffod
  • Olympic Stadium*
  • Riverbank Arena
  • The Royal Artillery Barracks
  • St. James' Park
  • Velodrome
  • Water Polo Arena
  • Wembley Arena
  • Wembley Stadium
  • Weymouth and Portland
  • Wimbledon

*Olympic Stadium is located in Olympic Park — home to the athletes' Olympic and Paralympic Village. See Google Map

Wenlock and Mandeville were the official London 2012 mascots.

Orbit Tower
Standing at 377 feet, Orbit Tower is the tallest art structure in the U.K. The towering twisted red sculpture stands at 377 feet in Orbit Circus, in the south of the Olympic Park. Visitors can take an elevator with viewing portholes up to the tower's 278-ft high Observation Deck — and depending on the weather, will be able to enjoy panoramic views over London and beyond. For those wanting to get a first-hand experience of the tower's form, visitors will be encouraged to stroll down the spiral staircase that twists through the Orbit — sounds fun!

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Live Broadcasts on Giant Screens
London's Hyde Park, Victoria Park, Potters Fields, Waltham Forest, and Woolwich... and sites throughout the U.K. beamed live broadcasts of games on giant outdoor screens for people who didn't have tickets.


Olympic Schedule & Results
Check out the full Olympic Schedule to find out more about your favorite Olympic events that took place, competing athletes, and final medal results.


Closing Ceremonies
Closing Ceremonies: August 12, 2012


 

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Union Jack Flags in London, England

Olympic Cyclists - London 2012 Summer Olympics

Olympic Cyclists - London 2012 Summer Olympics

Olympic Cyclists - London 2012 Summer Olympics

Union Jack Flags along the Mall in London, England

Olympic Cyclists - London 2012 Summer Olympics

Tower Bridge, London - copyright S. Stein

Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament illuminated at night, London, England

Buckingham Palace, London, U.K.

Royal Guard at Buckingham Palace, London, England, UK

Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace, London, U.K.

Royal Gates at Buckingham Palace - London, England

Harrods in Knightsbridge, London

Olympic Stadium
Google Map


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UK Flag, United Kingdom Flag

Olympic Games
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