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2012 Summer Olympics

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Games of the XXX Olympiad
2012 Summer Olympics logo.svg
This is the clear version of the official logo.
There are four official base colours, and another version for the
2012 Summer Paralympics.
For more details, see section "Logo" below.
Host city London, United Kingdom
Motto Inspire a Generation
Nations participating 204
Athletes participating 10,820
Events 302 in 26 sports
Opening ceremony 27 July
Closing ceremony 12 August
Officially opened by Queen Elizabeth II
Athlete's Oath Sarah Stevenson
Judge's Oath Mik Basi
Coach's Oath Eric Farrell
Olympic Torch
  • Callum Airlie
  • Jordan Duckitt
  • Desiree Henry
  • Katie Kirk
  • Cameron MacRitchie
  • Aidan Reynolds
  • Adelle Tracey
  • Austin Playfoot (relight)
Stadium Olympic Stadium

The 2012 Summer Olympics, officially the Games of the XXX Olympiad and commonly known as London 2012, was a major international multi-sport event celebrated in the tradition of the Olympic Games, as governed by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). It took place in London, United Kingdom, from 27 July to 12 August 2012. The first event, the group stage in women's football, began two days earlier, on 25 July at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. More than 10,000 athletes from 204 National Olympic Committees (NOCs) participated. It started on Friday 27 July 2012 at 0:00.

Following a bid headed by former Olympic champion Sebastian Coe and then- Mayor of London Ken Livingstone, London was selected as the host city on 6 July 2005 during the 117th IOC Session in Singapore, defeating bids from Moscow, New York City, Madrid and Paris. London was the first city to host the modern Olympic Games three times, having previously done so in 1908 and in 1948.

Construction for the Games involved considerable redevelopment, with an emphasis on sustainability. The main focus was a new 200-hectare (490-acre) Olympic Park, constructed on a former industrial site at Stratford, East London. The Games also made use of venues that already existed before the bid. Jessica Ennis was described by the BBC as the poster girl of the Olympics.

The Games received widespread acclaim for their organisation, with the volunteers, the British military and public enthusiasm praised particularly highly. The opening ceremony, directed by Danny Boyle, received widespread acclaim throughout the world with particular praise from the British public despite some criticism levelled internationally on social media sites. During the Games, Michael Phelps became the most decorated Olympic athlete of all time, winning his 22nd medal. Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Brunei 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.

Bidding process

By 15 July 2003, the deadline for interested cities to submit bids to the International Olympic Committee (IOC), nine cities had submitted bids to host the 2012 Summer Olympics: Havana, Istanbul, Leipzig, London, Madrid, Moscow, New York City, Paris and Rio de Janeiro. 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, would face charges over alleged corrupt party political finances.

Lord Coe – the head of the London 2012 bid

Throughout the process, Paris was widely seen as the favourite, particularly as this was its third bid in recent years. London was seen at first as lagging Paris by a considerable margin. Its position began to improve after the appointment of Lord Coe as the new head of London 2012 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 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. 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 Paris's 50. The celebrations in London were short-lived, being overshadowed by bombings on London's transport system less than 24 hours after the announcement.

2012 Summer Olympics bidding results
City NOC Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4
London  Great Britain 22 27 39 54
Paris  France 21 25 33 50
Madrid  Spain 20 32 31
New York City  United States 19 16
Moscow  Russia 15

Development and preparation

The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG) was created to oversee the staging of the Games after the success of the bid, 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 (ODA) was in charge of the construction of the venues and infrastructure. The latter was established in April 2006.

The Government Olympic Executive (GOE), a unit within the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), was the lead government body for coordinating the London 2012 Olympics. It focused on oversight of the Games, cross-programme programme management and the London 2012 Olympic Legacy before and after the Games that would benefit London and the 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 due to the 2011 England riots, with a few countries expressing fear over the safety of the Games, in spite of the International Olympic Committee'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".


The Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy on the Isle of Portland in Dorset hosted the sailing events

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. 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: 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 some 125 miles (200 km) southwest of London, which hosted the sailing 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 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 orders of property. The London Development Agency was in dispute with London and Continental Railways 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.

Aerial view of the Olympic Park in April 2012

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 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 or as a specially created event held under the banner of London Prepares.

Public transport

The Olympic Javelin service ran between St Pancras and Ebbsfleet, via Stratford

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 (TfL) carried out numerous improvements in preparation for 2012, including the expansion of the London Overground's East London Line, upgrades to the Docklands Light Railway and the North London Line, and the introduction of a new " Javelin" 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 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, and Pudding Mill Lane DLR station closed entirely during the Games.

The Emirates Air Line crosses the River Thames between Greenwich Peninsula and the Royal Docks

TfL also built a £25 million cable car across the River Thames, called the Emirates Air Line, to link 2012 Olympics venues. It was inaugurated in June 2012, and crosses the Thames between Greenwich Peninsula and the Royal Docks, carrying up to 2,500 passengers an hour, cutting journey times between the O2 arena and the ExCeL exhibition centre 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 bus. To get spectators to Eton Dorney, four park-and-ride schemes were set up.

Olympic rings marked on a street, indicating that the lane was reserved for the use of Olympic athletes and staff.

TfL defined a network of roads leading between venues as the Olympic Route Network; roads connecting between all of the Olympic venues located within London. Many of these roads also contained special "Olympic lanes" marked with the Olympic rings—reserved 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, 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 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 Lea Valley towpath during the Olympics and Paralympics due to security concerns.


The costs of mounting the Games are separate from those for building the venues and infrastructure, and redeveloping the land for the Olympic Park. While the Games are privately funded, the venues and Park costs are met largely by public money.

The original budget for the Games was £2.4 billion, but this was increased almost fourfold to about £9.3 billion ($14.46 billion) in 2007. The revised figures were announced to the House of Commons on 15 March 2007 by 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
  • VAT — £800 million.


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 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.


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. Free tickets were given to military personnel, as well as to survivors and families of those who died during 7 July 2005 London bombings. 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 available for football and 600,000 for other sports (including archery, hockey, football, judo, boxing and volleyball). Although technical difficulties were encountered, ten sports had sold out by 8 am of the first day.


The Countdown Clock in Trafalgar Square

During the closing ceremony of the 2008 Olympics, the Olympic Flag was formally handed over from the Mayor of Beijing to the Mayor of London. This was followed by a section highlighting London, One month later, the Olympic and Paralympic flags were raised outside the London City Hall.

A countdown clock in Trafalgar Square was unveiled, 500 days before the Games. The clock broke down the following day, but was later fixed. The countdown to the start of the Olympics began with a ceremony for the lighting of the Olympic flame in Olympia, Greece.


The security operation was led by the police, with 10,000 officers available, supported by 13,500 members of the armed forces. Naval and air assets, including ships situated in the Thames, 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 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 missiles and that site evaluations had taken place, but that no final decision had taken place.

It emerged in July 2012 that G4S, the firm responsible for supplying security staff for the Olympics, had been unable to recruit enough, so the shortfall would have to be made up by 3,500 UK military servicepeople. There were also media reports that G4S had failed to respond to people applying for jobs as security staff, that recruits were inadequately trained, that some were teenagers, and some were not fully conversant in English.


Approximately 4,700 Olympic and Paralympic medals were produced by the Royal Mint at Llantrisant. 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 in the U.S. The remaining 1% came from a Mongolian mine. Each medal weighs 375–400 g (13.2–14 oz), has a diameter of 85 mm (3.3 in) and is 7 mm (0.28 in) thick, with the sport and discipline engraved on the rim. The obverse, as is traditional, features Nike, the Greek goddess of victory, stepping from the Panathinaiko Stadium that hosted the first modern Olympic Games in 1896, with Parthenon in the background; the reverse features the Games logo, the River Thames 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 percent silver and 1.34 percent gold, with the remainder copper. The silver medal (which represents second place) is made up of 92.5 percent silver, with the remainder copper. The bronze medal is made up of 97 percent copper, 2.5 percent zinc and 0.5 percent 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 torch relay in Newport, Isle of Wight

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 Olympic flame arrived on flight BA2012 on 18 May 2012 from Greece. The relay lasted 70 days, with 66 evening celebrations and six island visits, and involved some 8,000 people carrying the torch about 8,000 miles (12,800 km), starting from Land's End in Cornwall. The torch had one day outside the United Kingdom when it visited Dublin, Ireland on 6 June. The relay was focusing 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 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. Together the torchbearers each lit a petal which spread the fire to the 204 petals of the cauldron, representing the countries that participated in the games.

Environmental policy

The 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 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 – where it cannot be re-used 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 (AD), allowing them to be made into renewable energy.

Buildings like the Water Polo Arena will be relocated elsewhere. Building Parts like Roofing Covers and membranes of different temporary venues will be recycled via Vinyloop. This allows to meet the standards of the Olympic Delivery Authority, 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.

"The majority of temporary facilities created for the Olympic Games including the Aquatic centre temporary stands, basketball arena, Water Polo Arena, and the shooting facilities at the Royal Artillery Barracks, 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 are the first Olympic Games whose guidelines include the recycling of PVC.

Cultural Olympiad

The Olympic Charter, 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 Village 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.

Opening ceremony

The opening ceremony of the 2012 Summer Olympics was held on 27 July and called "Isles of Wonder". Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle was its artistic director, with the music directors being the electronic music duo Rick Smith and Karl Hyde of Underworld.

The Games were officially opened by Queen Elizabeth II, accompanied by Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. It was the second Games the Queen had opened personally, the first being the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal. All successive Olympics held in Canada or Australia have been opened by their respective governors-general.

A short comic film starring Daniel Craig as secret agent James Bond and the Queen as herself was screened during the ceremony.

Live musical performers included Frank Turner, Mike Oldfield, London Symphony Orchestra (accompanied by Rowan Atkinson), Dizzee Rascal, Arctic Monkeys and Sir Paul McCartney, who performed the song "Hey Jude" at the end of the ceremony.

The Opening Ceremony of the 2012 Games attracted a peak viewing audience of over 27 million viewers (around half of the population of the United Kingdom watched BBC1 live simultaneously).

Closing ceremony

The closing ceremony of the London 2012 Summer Olympics was held on 12 August 2012. In addition to protocol, the ceremony featured a flashback fiesta to British music with The Who finishing out the performance. The ceremony also included a handover of the Olympic flag by Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, to Eduardo Paes, Mayor of Rio de Janeiro, the host city of the 2016 Summer Olympics.

The Games

Participating National Olympic Committees

Team sizes

Around 10,800 athletes from 204 National Olympic Committees (NOCs) took part, surpassing the 1948 Summer Olympics in London and the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester as the largest multi-sport event ever to be held in the United Kingdom.

Three athletes from the Netherlands Antilles Olympic Committee, which the IOC Executive Committee had ceased to recognise at the IOC session of July 2011, and one athlete from South Sudan, which has no recognized NOC, participated independently under the Olympic flag.

Participating National Olympic Committees
  • Afghanistan (6)
  • Albania (12)
  • Algeria (42)
  • American Samoa (5)
  • Andorra (6)
  • Angola (34)
  • Antigua and Barbuda (5)
  • Argentina (137)
  • Armenia (25)
  • Aruba (4)
  • Australia (410)
  • Austria (70)
  • Azerbaijan (53)
  • Bahamas (24)
  • Bahrain (12)
  • Bangladesh (5)
  • Barbados (6)
  • Belarus (165)
  • Belgium (115)
  • Belize (3)
  • Benin (5)
  • Bermuda (8)
  • Bhutan (2)
  • Bolivia (6)
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina (6)
  • Botswana (4)
  • Brazil (258)
  • British Virgin Islands (2)
  • Brunei (3)
  • Bulgaria (63)
  • Burkina Faso (5)
  • Burundi (6)
  • Cambodia (6)
  • Cameroon (33)
  • Canada (277)
  • Cape Verde (3)
  • Cayman Islands (5)
  • Central African Republic (6)
  • Chad (3)
  • Chile (35)
  • China (396)
  • Colombia (104)
  • Comoros (3)
  • Congo (7)
  • DR Congo (4)
  • Cook Islands (8)
  • Costa Rica (11)
  • Côte d'Ivoire (10)
  • Croatia (108)
  • Cuba (110)
  • Cyprus (13)
  • Czech Republic (133)
  • Denmark (113)
  • Djibouti (6)
  • Dominica (2)
  • Dominican Republic (35)
  • Ecuador (36)
  • Egypt (113)
  • El Salvador (10)
  • Equatorial Guinea (2)
  • Eritrea (12)
  • Estonia (33)
  • Ethiopia (35)
  • Fiji (9)
  • Finland (55)
  • France (330)
  • Gabon (24)
  • Gambia (2)
  • Georgia (35)
  • Germany (392)
  • Ghana (9)
  • Great Britain (541) (host)
  • Greece (104)
  • Grenada (10)
  • Guam (8)
  • Guatemala (19)
  • Guinea (4)
  • Guinea-Bissau (4)
  • Guyana (6)
  • Haiti (5)
  • Honduras (27)
  • Hong Kong (42)
  • Hungary (157)
  • Iceland (27)
  • Independent Olympic Athletes (4)
  • India (83)
  • Indonesia (22)
  • Iran (53)
  • Iraq (8)
  • Ireland (66)
  • Israel (37)
  • Italy (285)
  • Jamaica (50)
  • Japan (293)
  • Jordan (9)
  • Kazakhstan (114)
  • Kenya (47)
  • Kiribati (3)
  • North Korea (51)
  • South Korea (248)
  • Kuwait (11)
  • Kyrgyzstan (14)
  • Laos (3)
  • Latvia (46)
  • Lebanon (10)
  • Lesotho (4)
  • Liberia (4)
  • Libya (5)
  • Liechtenstein (3)
  • Lithuania (62)
  • Luxembourg (9)
  • Macedonia (4)
  • Madagascar (7)
  • Malawi (3)
  • Malaysia (30)
  • Maldives (5)
  • Mali (6)
  • Malta (5)
  • Marshall Islands (4)
  • Mauritania (2)
  • Mauritius (11)
  • Mexico (102)
  • Federated States of Micronesia (6)
  • Moldova (22)
  • Monaco (6)
  • Mongolia (29)
  • Montenegro (33)
  • Morocco (67)
  • Mozambique (6)
  • Myanmar (6)
  • Namibia (9)
  • Nauru (2)
  • Nepal (5)
  • Netherlands (188)
  • New Zealand (184)
  • Nicaragua (6)
  • Niger (6)
  • Nigeria (55)
  • Norway (64)
  • Oman (4)
  • Pakistan (21)
  • Palau (5)
  • Palestine (5)
  • Panama (7)
  • Papua New Guinea (8)
  • Paraguay (8)
  • Peru (16)
  • Philippines (11)
  • Poland (218)
  • Portugal (77)
  • Puerto Rico (25)
  • Qatar (12)
  • Romania (103)
  • Russia (436)
  • Rwanda (7)
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis (7)
  • Saint Lucia (4)
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (3)
  • Samoa (8)
  • San Marino (4)
  • São Tomé and Príncipe (2)
  • Saudi Arabia (19)
  • Senegal (31)
  • Serbia (115)
  • Seychelles (6)
  • Sierra Leone (2)
  • Singapore (23)
  • Slovakia (47)
  • Slovenia (65)
  • Solomon Islands (4)
  • Somalia (2)
  • South Africa (125)
  • Spain (282)
  • Sri Lanka (7)
  • Sudan (6)
  • Suriname (5)
  • Swaziland (3)
  • Sweden (134)
  • Switzerland (102)
  • Syria (10)
  • Chinese Taipei (44)
  • Tajikistan (16)
  • Tanzania (7)
  • Thailand (37)
  • Timor-Leste (2)
  • Togo (6)
  • Tonga (3)
  • Trinidad and Tobago (30)
  • Tunisia (83)
  • Turkey (114)
  • Turkmenistan (10)
  • Tuvalu (3)
  • Uganda (16)
  • Ukraine (237)
  • United Arab Emirates (26)
  • United States (530)
  • Uruguay (29)
  • Uzbekistan (54)
  • Vanuatu (5)
  • Venezuela (70)
  • Vietnam (18)
  • Virgin Islands (7)
  • Yemen (4)
  • Zambia (7)
  • Zimbabwe (7)

Number of Athletes by National Olympic Committees


The 2012 Summer Olympic programme featured 26 sports encompassing 39 disciplines. The number of events in each discipline is noted in parentheses.

  • Aquatics
    • Diving (8)
    • Swimming (34)
    • Synchronized swimming (2)
    • Water polo (2)
  • Archery (4)
  • Athletics (47)
  • Badminton (5)
  • Basketball (2)
  • Boxing (13)
  • Canoeing
    • Sprint (12)
    • Slalom (4)
  • Cycling
    • BMX (2)
    • Mountain biking (2)
    • Road (4)
    • Track (10)
  • Equestrian
    • Dressage (2)
    • Eventing (2)
    • Jumping (2)
  • Fencing (10)
  • Field hockey (2)
  • Football (2)
  • Gymnastics
    • Artistic (14)
    • Rhythmic (2)
    • Trampoline (2)
  • Handball (2)
  • Judo (14)
  • Modern pentathlon (2)
  • Rowing (14)
  • Sailing (10)
  • Shooting (15)
  • Table tennis (4)
  • Taekwondo (8)
  • Tennis (5)
  • Triathlon (2)
  • Volleyball
    • Volleyball (2)
    • Beach volleyball (2)
  • Weightlifting (15)
  • Wrestling
    • Freestyle (11)
    • Greco-Roman (7)

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 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 two days after it had selected London as the host city. There was an appeal, but the IOC voted during the 2006 Winter Olympics to uphold the decision, and the two sports were last scheduled for the 2008 Olympics. The IOC then voted on whether or not to replace them. They considered karate, squash, golf, roller sports and rugby sevens. 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 at the 2008 Summer Olympics. There were attempts to run Twenty20 cricket and netball tournaments alongside the 2012 Games, but neither campaign was successful.


The final official schedule was released on 15 February 2011.

OC Opening ceremony Event competitions 1 Event finals CC Closing ceremony
July / August 25
Ceremonies OC CC
Archery 1 1 1 1 4
Athletics 2 6 6 5 4 4 5 6 8 1 47
Badminton 1 2 2 5
Basketball 1 1 2
Boxing 3 5 5 13
Canoeing 1 1 2 4 4 4 16
Cycling 1 1 2 2 2 1 1 1 3 2 1 1 18
Diving 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 8
Equestrian 2 1 1 1 1 6
Fencing 1 1 1 1 2 1 1 1 1 10
Field hockey 1 1 2
Football 1 1 2
Gymnastics 1 1 1 1 1 1 3 3 4 1 1 18
Handball 1 1 2
Judo 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 14
Modern pentathlon 1 1 2
Rowing 3 3 4 4 14
Sailing 2 2 2 1 2 1 10
Shooting 2 2 1 1 1 1 2 2 1 2 15
Swimming 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 1 1 34
Synchronized swimming 1 1 2
Table tennis 1 1 1 1 4
Taekwondo 2 2 2 2 8
Tennis 2 3 5
Triathlon 1 1 2
Volleyball 1 1 1 1 4
Water polo 1 1 2
Weightlifting 1 2 2 2 2 2 1 1 1 1 15
Wrestling 2 3 2 2 2 2 3 2 18
Total event finals 12 14 12 15 20 18 22 25 23 18 21 16 22 17 32 15 302
Cumulative total 12 26 38 53 73 91 113 138 161 179 200 216 238 255 287 302
July / August 25

World records

The Olympic Games featured 32 world records in eight sports, listed below. The largest number of records was set in swimming, with eight. China, Great Britain and the United States set the most records, with five each.

Date Event Athlete Nation Record description Ref
27 July 2012 Archery – Men's individual Im Dong-Hyun South Korea Scored a world record of 699 in the ranking round
27 July 2012 Archery – Men's team Im Dong-Hyun
Kim Bub-Min
Oh Jin-Hyek
South Korea Scored a world record of 2087 in the ranking round
28 July 2012 Rowing – Men's coxless pair Eric Murray
Hamish Bond
New Zealand Set a world record time of 6:08.50 in the heats
28 July 2012 Swimming – Women's 400 metre individual medley Ye Shiwen China Set a world record time of 4:28.43 in the final
29 July 2012 Weightlifting – Women's 53 kg Zulfiya Chinshanlo Kazakhstan Set a world record at clean and jerk of 131 kg
29 July 2012 Swimming – Women's 100 metre butterfly Dana Vollmer United States Set a world record time of 55.98
29 July 2012 Swimming – Men's 100 metre breaststroke Cameron van der Burgh South Africa Set a world record time of 58.46
30 July 2012 Weightlifting – Men's 62 kg Kim Un-Guk North Korea Set a world record at total of 327 kg
1 August 2012 Swimming – Men's 200 metre breaststroke Dániel Gyurta Hungary Set a world record time of 2:07.28
1 August 2012 Weightlifting – Men's 77 kg Lü Xiaojun China Set world record at snatch of 175 kg
Set world record at total of 379 kg
1 August 2012
2 August 2012
Swimming – Women's 200 metre breaststroke Rebecca Soni United States Set a world record time of 2:20.00 in the semi-final.
Set a world record time of 2:19.59 in the final.

2 August 2012 Cycling – Women's team sprint Victoria Pendleton
Jessica Varnish
Great Britain Set a world record time of 32.526 in the qualification.
2 August 2012 Cycling – Women's team sprint Gong Jinjie
Guo Shuang
China Set a world record time of 32.447 in the qualification.
Set a world record time of 32.422 in the first round.
2 August 2012 Cycling – Men's team pursuit Ed Clancy
Geraint Thomas
Steven Burke
Peter Kennaugh
Great Britain Set a world record time of 3:52.499 in the qualification.
Set a world record time of 3:51.659 in the final.
2 August 2012 Cycling – Men's team sprint Philip Hindes
Chris Hoy
Jason Kenny
Great Britain Set a world record time of 42.747 in the first round.
Set a world record time of 42.600 in the final.
2 August 2012 Shooting – Men's 25 metre rapid fire pistol Alexei Klimov Russia Set a world record of 592 in the qualification
3 August 2012 Cycling – Women's team pursuit Danielle King
Laura Trott
Joanna Rowsell
Great Britain Set a world record time of 3:15.669 in the qualification.
3 August 2012 Shooting – Men's 50 metre rifle prone Sergei Martynov Belarus Set a world record result of 705.5 in the final.
3 August 2012 Swimming – Women's 200 metre backstroke Missy Franklin United States Set a world record time of 2:04.06 in the final.
4 August 2012 Shooting – Women's trap Jessica Rossi Italy Scored a world record of 75 in the qualification.
Scored a world record of 99 in the final.
4 August 2012 Cycling – Women's team pursuit Danielle King
Laura Trott
Joanna Rowsell
Great Britain Set a world record time of 3:14.682 in the first round.
Set a world record time of 3:14.051 in the final.
4 August 2012 Swimming – Men's 1500 metre freestyle Sun Yang China Set a world record time of 14:31.02 in the final.
4 August 2012 Swimming – Women's 4 × 100 metre medley relay Missy Franklin
Rebecca Soni
Dana Vollmer
Allison Schmitt
United States Set a world record time of 3:52.05 in the final.
4 August 2012 Weightlifting – Men's 94 kg Ilya Ilin Kazakhstan Set a world record at clean and jerk of 233 kg.
Set a world record total of 418 kg.
5 August 2012 Weightlifting – Women's +75 kg Tatiana Kashirina Russia Set a world record at snatch of 151 kg.
5 August 2012 Weightlifting – Women's +75 kg Zhou Lulu China Set a world record total of 333 kg.
9 August 2012 Athletics – Men's 800 metres David Rudisha Kenya Set a world record time of 1:40.91 in the final.
10 August 2012 Athletics – Women's 4 × 100 metres relay Tianna Madison
Allyson Felix
Bianca Knight
Carmelita Jeter
United States Set a world record time of 40.82 in the final.
11 August 2012 Athletics – Women's 20 kilometres walk Elena Lashmanova Russia Set a world record time of 1:25.02.
11 August 2012 Athletics – Men's 4 × 100 metres relay Nesta Carter
Michael Frater
Yohan Blake
Usain Bolt
Jamaica Set a world record time of 36.84 in the final.
11 August 2012 Modern Pentathlon – Men's Nicola Benedetti Italy Set a world record time of 9:23.63 in the running element.
12 August 2012 Modern Pentathlon – Women's Anastasiya Prokopenko Belarus Set a world record time of 10:20.90 in the running element.

Medal count

A total of 85 National Olympic Committees (NOCs) won medals, 54 of those countries winning at least one gold medal. Bahrain, Botswana, Cyprus, Gabon, Grenada (a gold medal), Guatemala, and Montenegro won their first ever Olympic medals. The United States once again finished at the top of the table winning 46 gold medals and winning 104 medals overall. China finished second with 38 gold medals and 88 medals overall after failing to top the medal table as they did as hosts in Beijing four years previously. Hosts Great Britain came in a remarkable third place winning 29 gold medals and 65 medals overall in their best performance since London hosted its first Summer Olympic Games back in 1908 pushing Russia into fourth place who won 24 gold medals although they won 82 medals (17 more than Great Britain) overall.

2012 Summer Olympics medal table
 Rank  NOC Gold Silver Bronze Total
1   United States (USA) 46 29 29 104
2   China (CHN) 38 27 23 88
3   Great Britain (GBR)* 29 17 19 65
4   Russia (RUS) 24 26 32 82
5   South Korea (KOR) 13 8 7 28
6   Germany (GER) 11 19 14 44
7   France (FRA) 11 11 12 34
8   Italy (ITA) 8 9 11 28
9   Hungary (HUN) 8 4 6 18
10   Australia (AUS) 7 16 12 35
Total (85 NOCs) 302 304 356 962

   *   Host nation (Great Britain)


The International Broadcast Centre in June 2011

The host broadcaster was Olympic Broadcasting Services (OBS), an agency of the IOC. It 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 commentary and presentation.

The official recording format of the 2012 Olympic Games used Panasonic's digital technologies. The official video was produced and distributed from the 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 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 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. 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.


" Survival" by 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 2012 Olympics. As with other Olympics since 1952, the Royal Mint will strike a set of commemorative one-kilogram gold and silver coins.

Logo and graphics

There have been two London 2012 logos: one created by Kino Design for the bidding process and a second as the brand for the Games themselves. The former 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 latter, designed by Wolff Olins, was published on 4 June 2007. It is a representation of the number 2012, with the Olympic Rings embedded within the zero.

The Paralympics logo (far left) and the different official colour combinations for the Wolff Olins main logo design

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. 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 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.


The Olympic Mascots, Mandeville (left) and Wenlock (right)

The official mascots for the 2012 Summer Olympic 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 a forerunner of the current Olympic Games, and Stoke Mandeville, a village in Buckinghamshire where 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, the much disparaged mascot of the 1996 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 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 2012 stage adaptation ran in London theatres from 9 May 2012 to 5 January 2013. The film's theme tune was performed during the Opening Ceremony by the London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Simon Rattle. The performance was accompanied by a comedic skit by Rowan Atkinson, which included the opening beach-running footage from the film. A new orchestration of the film's theme tune was played during each medal presentation of the Games.


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 are: Acer, Atos, Coca-Cola, Dow, General Electric, McDonald's, Omega SA, Panasonic, Procter & Gamble, Samsung, Visa. The companies provided £1.4bn of funding altogether, allocated evenly between the IOC and LOCOG.


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 during the first days, even at some of the most popular events. There was speculation that this was to a failure of corporate sponsors to make use of tickets they had received.

During the Games eight competitors in the 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.

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. Albanian weightlifter Hysen Pulaku was the first athlete to be tested positive.

Gymnast Luiza Galiulina and runner Tameka Williams were also suspended. Nadzeya Ostapchuk was the first athlete to be stripped of a medal, when she tested positive for metenolone. Valerie Adams was therefore awarded the gold medal in shot put.

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