Tag Archives: Olympics

The 5 Must Use Websites To Enjoy, Tolerate Or Survive The Games

The route to the Olympics

The entrance to the Olympic Park is not going to look like this in a few hours time, credit Andy Worthington

As of me writing this there are a little over 12 hours to go before the opening ceremonies of the London 2012 Olympic Games. At this point I'm sure you emotions range somewhere between sheer bliss to seething violent anger. I suspect for most of us, we'll do our best to enjoy the games despite the disruptions to our lives.

To help I thought it might be good to look at 5 websites that can help you to enjoy the games, even if you don't have a single ticket to any event. As a friend of mine recently said, The Olympics only come once a lifetime so let's try to enjoy them.

London2012.com - Official site of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. If you want the official goings on, this is your first stop.

BBC Sport - Olympics - London 2012 - The BBC's coverage of all the Olympic events. Allows you to customise news stories to your interests and has links to online video of all the Games highlights.

Life inside the London 2012 Olympic Park - Run by Andy Wilke (whom I was lucky enough to meet in person this past Wednesday) - Life inside the London 2012 Olympic Park is a look at the whole building of the park from start to opening ceremonies to the legacy of the site. Andy is truly an amazing person and hasn't earned one penny from Life Inside. Even more remarkable in an era where stories about Olympic sponsors dominate the media.

London Prepares - From their about page "London Prepares was established immediately following the 2012 ticketing lottery results, after hearing the BBC estimate that 11 out of 12 Londoners weren’t fortunate enough to get tickets to the games." Basically the site aims to bring you the all the alternative events you can go to, if you don't have tickets for the Games themselves (or even if you do).

Get Ahead of the Games - Your source of information about travel disruptions, delays or downright chaos. Includes information not only for London, but the UK as a whole. Alternatively, you can just use the Service Update From TFL.

Have any Olympics related sites you'd like to share? Please tell me below:

London Marathon – 1908 Summer Olympics Part 2

Johnny Hayes Winning the Marathon Race. Olympic Games, London 1908

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What: Johnny Hayes Winning the Marathon Race. Olympic Games, London 1908

When: July 24, 1908

Where: White City Stadium, London, W12

Why: Following up on the last 1908 Olympic post this is a picture of American runner Johnny Hayes actually winning the Gold Medal at the 1908 Summer Olympics in London. Dorando Pietri finished ahead of Hayes but was disqualified because he was helped over the finish line due to exhaustion. This was the first time the race was run at it's current distance of 42.195km (26.22 miles).

The London Marathon – A Look Back At The 1908 Olympics

A depiction of Dorando Pietri finishing the 1908 Olympic Marathon in London

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What: A depiction of Dorando Pietri finishing the 1908 Olympic Marathon in London

By:

When: July 24, 1908

Where: White City Stadium, London, W12

Why: Since the London marathon is being held today, I thought it might be interesting to have a look back at the first marathon to be run at the current distance of 42.195km (26.22 miles). This distance was chosen for the 1908 Summer Olympics, which were appropriately enough held in London. The reason why the distance is an odd number in both kilometers and miles has to do with the Royal Family wanting to get a better view of the start of the race. The race distance would fluctuate slightly over the next dozen years, finally being standardized at the 1908 Olympic distance in 1921.

The image above depicts Dorando Pietri, an Italian runner who entered White City Stadium first, but ran the wrong way and then collapsed several times. Officials eventually helped him to cross the finish line first, but he was disqualified because of the outside help. American runner Johnny Hayes who finished just after Pietri, ended up winning the gold medal. However, Queen Alexandra was so moved by Pietri's performance that she awarded him a special (gold or silver) cup.

100 Days Until The Olympics – A Look At London 2012 By The Numbers

With 100 days to go, it's no secret that opinions about the Olympics are heavily divided in the UK. According to a BBC poll, 64% of people think we've spent too much on the games. However, 51% of people in London think the games will be good for the city according to a separate YouGov poll for the London Evening Standard. Yet, no matter what your opinion is on the games, there is no argument that they are going to have a big impact on London. Here's a look at some of the numbers:

Browse more data visualizations.

Some key highlights for me are:

  • The fact that London will host the world's largest McDonalds.
  • There are more than twice as many reporters as athletes.
  • 29.4 million tourists will supposedly visit the UK for the Games and surrounding events. (This number seems absurdly unrealistic considering the UK recorded 29.8 million visitors in the whole of 2010, according to Visit Britain.)

So what do you think of the London 2012 Olympic Games? Love them? Hate them? Meh? Leave your comment below: