The Olympic Games 2012


On May 2012 the Olympic Flame was lit, announcing the beginning of the most long-cherished and awaited sport event in the world – the Olympic Games 2012, which will be held in London. The major international competition will start on July 27th, after 70 days of Torch Relay, gathering enormous quantity of sportsmen and their fans. It is obvious that the host city of the Olympic Games often becomes a popular trippery spot on the world map and London is not an exception. The target preparation has started in 2005, when British capital was chosen to conduct the event, leaving behind Paris and Madrid. Therefore, these years were tough not only for the future sport champions, but for English organizers. Moreover, London is going to host the 30th Anniversary Summer Olympic Games since their revival in 1896. However, lots of things have changed comparing to the ancient times.


First of all, the Olympic Games have transformed from those kinds of sport with the competition involved. There was a place only for individual sports in Olympia: sprints, broad jumps, discus and javelin throwing. Some of them still remain important, but rules have changed. For example, in Ancient Greece sportsmen performed broad jumps holding heavy weights to increase the momentum of the movement; nowadays sportsmen do not take any extra weights, but take a run before jumping. Speaking of sports, London Olympic Games have worked several changes comparing to the previous competition in Beijing. In particular, baseball and softball are excluded, an individual pursuit and a track for points are canceled in cycling, running and shooting are united in pentathlon, and mixed pairs are challenged in tennis. The total number of sports is 26.


In Ancient Greece no women were allowed in the Olympic Games; some of them were even sentenced to death for peeping! Their first participation was recorded in 1900 – 11 females out of 1330 participants. Beijing registered a record female participation in the Olympic Games – 42% (4,746 out of 11,196 athletes). To date, females have equal rights with males not in all countries. The most astonishing event of the Olympic Games preparations is a ban on female participation proclaimed by Saudi Crown Prince Nayef bin Abdul Aziz. Only three countries, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Brunei, disapproved women involvement in this major sport event till 2012. In contrast, Qatar and Brunei have arranged regional and national evaluations with women included this year. In addition, the Olympic Games 2012 feature some sport changes. Surprisingly, women were welcomed to compete in boxing for the first time by International Olympic Committee in 2009: contests will cover the weight categories of 51, 60 and 75 kg. It is also important to underline that women are going to compete in every kind of sport within the Olympic Games 2012! Probably, it will be a rather intricate and “unisex” competition.


Laureate wreath and favoring songs were the greatest recognition the Olympic Games winners could get. They were freed from taxes, and cities often erected statues to honor their heroes; losers, on the contrary, were whipped if their performance was especially unfortunate. Today the awards are more costly and dissatisfaction is less apparent. Moreover, medals, awarded to winners, became an object of design. They were introduced by British artist David Watkins, who included an image of Nike, ancient goddess of victory, the Thames River and fluttering baroque ribbons. There were 2100 medals issued (85 mm in diameter and 7 mm thick) by Royal Mint.


Another point of design contribution is uniforms, which distinguish sportsmen from different countries. In ancient times, certain sports were prohibited to watch because the competitors were required to be naked. Unlike those times, modern Olympic Games cannot be run without famous designers’ contribution. They are engaged in visual preparation of sportsmen. Several countries are lucky to boast of the world fashion stars working on the uniforms. Some examples might be provided. Italian team was in hands of a big-name Giorgio Armani, who excluded national colors, and used elegant deep blue and white instead. Ralph Lauren Brand has designed uniforms in vintage style for Americans, inspired by English sportsmen in the Olympic Games 1948. Stella McCartney dressed the host competitors in partnership with Adidas.

All the transformations, which occurred during the preparations of the Olympic Games 2012, promise a spectacular and a vivid performance. The total number of tickets for sale was 8,8 million, which varied in cost from 20 to 725₤. Let’s hope their owners enjoy the performance in the London Olympic Park and remember it as the most tremendous one in their lives.