Friday, January 6, 2012

12 interesting facts about 2012!

With all eyes now well and truly on London for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, how much do you actually know about the Games? Check out these facts to get you started:
  1. The Olympic motto is ‘Citius, Altius, Fortius’ or ‘Faster, Higher, Stronger’ – so now you know where those Daft Punk and Kanye West lyrics were inspired from!
  2. The Olympic Torch is made up of an inner and an outer aluminium alloy skin and is perforated by 8,000 circles that represent the inspirational stories of the 8,000 Torchbearers who will carry the Olympic Flame.
    Among those chosen in Wales is Elin Haf Davies, 35, from Gwynedd after becoming the first Welsh woman to row the Atlantic and later being part of the first all-female crew to row the Indian Ocean, raising more than £250,000 for charity.
  3. The Youth Sport Trust Young Ambassadors programme, delivered in partnership with adidas and LOCOG, as well as Sport Wales and local authorities in Wales, is a movement of inspirational young people who are using the power of the Olympic and Paralympic Games to encourage other young people to take up sport and physical activity. There are Young Ambassadors based in all 22 local authorities in Wales. Find out more about the inspirational projects they’ve been working on here.
  4. The Get Set network is a special community of schools and colleges, across Wales and the UK, which are demonstrating a commitment to the Olympic Values (friendship, excellence and respect) and the Paralympic Values (inspiration, determination, courage and equality) as well as using the London 2012 Games to inspire learners of all ages to get involved in projects and activities. Find out more here.
  5. In total to date, it is anticipated that Pre-Games training camps will involve over 850 athletes and support staff who will train in Wales and the Welsh Government has secured exciting memorandums of understanding from:
    • Multi-sport Paralympic teams from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and seven Oceanic countries have decided to carry out their immediate pre Games training in Wales. Australia and South Africa will base its team in Cardiff and Newport whilst New Zealand will be based in Swansea.
    • Up to 15 riders and support staff from the US Paralympic Track Cycling team will also be based at the Newport velodrome leading into the Paralympic Games.
    • The highly successful British Olympic and Paralympic Cycling teams will also be based at the velodrome.
    • The Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee has committed to basing its team in Cardiff, along with the Amateur International Boxing Association ‘Road to London’ training camp.
    • The Irish Triathlon team will be based at the world-class facilities at Swansea University and the surrounding Gower Peninsular.
    • We’ll also be welcoming Athletics New Zealand.
  6. It might surprise you to hear that Welsh athletes have won 18 gold medals at the Olympic Games, since the 1908 London Games. Multiple medal winners bringing home the lion’s share of those medals include: Paulo Radmilovic, who picked up four Golds (mainly in Water Polo but also in the 4 x 200 swimming relay), Richard Meade with three equestrian golds and Hugh Edwards with two rowing golds. Wales’s last athletics gold medal came from Lynn ‘The Leap’ Davies at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics and our most recent Golden Olympians were Nicole Cooke (Road Race, cycling), Tom James (Coxless Four, rowing) and Geraint Thomas (Team Pursuit, cycling) at the 2008 Beijing Games.
  7. There are 503 gold medals available, for the 4,200 athletes from 170 National Paralympic Committees, expected to compete at the London 2012 Paralympic Games.
  8. Welsh athletes were responsible for a quarter of the gold medals won by Team GB at the Beijing Paralympics in 2008.
  9. The Olympic Park is the size of 357 football pitches. Within it the Olympic Stadium will have an 80,000 seat capacity, reducing to 25,000 after the Games, and is 53m in height - three metres taller than Nelson’s Column.
  10. The dining room in the Olympic Village will be the size of three football fields and seat 5,000. It will serve an estimated 100 tonnes of meat alone.
  11. If all London 2012 sports events were held on consecutive days, instead of simultaneously, there would be 318 competition days for Olympic Games events and another 133 days for the Paralympic Games.
  12. Around 900,000 items of sports equipment will be needed for the Olympic Games including:
  • 2,700 footballs
  • 2,200 dozen Tennis balls
  • 8 trampolines
  • 3 metal detectors (Beach Volleyball)
  • 92 ball pumps (Water Polo, Basketball, Handball, Football)
A grand total of 108,207 additional items will be purchased for the Paralympic Games. This includes:
  • 65,000 towels
  • 40 Powerlifting benches
  • 65 tape measures for Boccia
  • 310 basketballs for Wheelchair Basketball
  • 52 Goalball balls
  • 6 custom-built goals for Goalball
  • 60 Wheelchair Rugby balls