2012 Olympic Games - Opening Ceremony
Performers pay tribute to British music during the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on July 27, 2012 in London, England.
( July 26, 2012 - Source: Alex Livesey/Getty Images Europe)
Fireworks explode over the Olympic Stadium during the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games July 27, 2012.
The opening ceremony marks the official opening of the 2012 Olympic Games and will spark a sports fest. that will continue for the next two weeks, with more than 10,000 top athletes competing from 205 different countries.
Team USA will be hoping to top the medals table over the coming two weeks, and there are ...view middle of the document...
Athletics is the perfect expression of the Olympic motto ‘Citius, Altius, Fortius’ (‘Faster, Higher, Stronger’) – the competition requires athletes to run faster, throw further, jump higher and leap longer than their rivals.
For London 2012, all non-road Athletics events will be held at the Olympic Stadium in the new Olympic Park. This state-of-the-art venue, which will have a capacity of 80,000 during the Games, will also host the Opening and Closing Ceremonies.
The Olympic Games begun at Olympia in Greece in 776 BC. The Greek calendar was based on the Olympiad, the four-year period between games. The games were staged in the wooded valley of Olympia in Elis. Here the Greeks erected statues and built temples in a grove dedicated to Zeus, supreme among the gods. The greatest shrine was an ivory and gold statue of Zeus. Created by the sculptor Phidias, it was considered one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Scholars have speculated that the games in 776 BC were not the first games, but rather the first games held after they were organized into festivals held every four years as a result of a peace agreement between the city-states of Elis and Pisa. The Eleans traced the founding of the Olympic games to their King Iphitos, who was told by the Delphi Oracle to plant the olive tree from which the victors' wreaths were made.
However athletic contests in running, walking, jumping, and throwing are among the oldest of all sports and their roots are prehistoric. Athletics events were depicted in the Ancient Egyptian tombs in Saqqara, with illustrations of running at the Heb Sed festival and high jumping appearing in tombs from as early as of 2250 BC. The Tailteann Games were an ancient Celtic festival in Ireland, founded around 1800 BC, and the thirty-day meeting included running and stone-throwing among its sporting events. The original and only event at the first Olympics in 776 BC was a stadium-length running event known as the stadion. This later expanded to include throwing and jumping events within the ancient pentathlon. Athletics competitions also took place at other Panhellenic Games, which were founded later around 500 BC.
The Cotswold Olimpick Games, a sports festival which emerged in 17th century England, also featured athletics in the form of sledgehammer throwing contests. Annually, from 1796 to 1798, L'Olympiade de la République was held in revolutionary France, and is an early forerunner to the modern summer Olympic Games. The premier event of this competition was a running event, but various ancient Greek disciplines were also on display. The 1796 Olympiade marks the introduction of the metric system into sport.
The ancient Olympic Games featured the ‘stadium’ race, a sprint of roughly 192 metres. Winners in this event have been recorded as far back as 776 BC. The first modern Olympic Games in 1896 included a Marathon, which was designed specifically to pay homage to Ancient Greece.