2012 Summer Olympics • The Delphos Herald • July 2012 • 3
London takes stage for 2012 Summer Olympics
gold medalist in 2008 and is a rising starback home in England. Her 800-metreswim in Beijing broke the event’s longest-standing record, one that had been in thebooks or 19 years. Adlington has recentlydeveloped a riendly rivalry with Italy’sFederica Pellegrini, who is a dominant orcein these events, so you can expect someheated showdowns between these twopowerhouses.Team U.S.A.’s domination on the basketballcourt will likely continue as Kobe Bryantand LeBron James will lead one o the bestAmerican squads into an Olympics sincethe original Dream Team in 1992. As goodas they’ll be, the U.S. will ace sti competi-tion rom Spain, Argentina and Italy. Mean-while, the women’s team, led by Sue Birdand Diana Taurasi, will be looking to recordits th consecutive Olympic gold medal.Another team sport that garners plentyo attention is soccer. The Americanwomen — the No. 1-ranked team in theworld — will be playing with a chip ontheir shoulders ater losing in the 2011FIFA World Cup nal to Japan. Meanwhile,the men will be looking to regain someinternational respect ater being eliminatedin the rst round at Beijing.It’s been a long road or London 2012organizers since being selected Olympichost in July 2005. These Games mark therst time that a city will stage the Olympicsor a third time — Athens and Paris are theonly other cities to host twice.London rst hosted in 1908, just 12 yearsater the rst modern Olympics. It hostedagain in 1948, as London representedthe Olympics’ restoration ater a 12-yearhiatus due to World War II. Now the city istasked with ollowing the grandiose BeijingGames, which operated on a gargantuanbudget. London’s advantage is in its blendo historic venues with modern settingsand locales.Soccer will be played at storied WembleyStadium, tennis at Wimbledon’s All EnglandClub and beach volleyball at the historicHorse Guards Parade — the political centreo the UK.The Games’ closing ceremony will take placeAug. 12, at Olympic Park. A momentouscomponent o the ceremony is the marcho the athletes, when the athletes walk outtogether, absent o national grouping. Thistradition began during the Melbourne 1956Olympic Games and is a symbolic way tobring the athletes o the world together. Theceremony will conclude with the OlympicTorch handover to the next host city: Rio deJaneiro, Brazil.
xcitement around theworld has reached a everpitch as the London 2012Olympic Games will ociallyopen with a grand ceremony onJuly 27 rom London’s OlympicStadium.The Games o the 30th Olym-piad will run rom Friday, July27, to Sunday, Aug. 12, andNBC will carry every event liveonline or tape-delayed in primetime.That’s great news or audiencesin the U.S., who will now beable to ollow their country’ssuccesses with unprecedentedexposure.Past Olympic coverage hasocused on highlightingtop events to air in eveningtime-slots, and while NBC willcontinue that tradition, it willalso oer abundant coveragevia online streaming video.Fans will be given ample oppor-tunity to ollow what promisesto be one o the best Americancontingents to compete at aSummer Games. Team U.S.A.has won the medal count inevery Summer Olympics since1992 and this year you canexpect that streak to continue.Ater collectingeight gold
medals in eight events at the2008 Beijing Games, MichaelPhelps will again be hitting thepool to represent the Stars andStripes. While it’s unlikely thatPhelps will duplicate his 2008success, there is one record thathe’ll surely be thinking about inhis preparation or these Games.Phelps heads to London needing just three medals to surpass So-viet gymnast Larisa Latynina (18medals) as the most decoratedOlympic athlete ever. Shouldhe accomplish the eat, Phelps,at the tender age o 27, wouldcement his legacy as history’sgreatest Olympian.While Phelps is at the top o the list o American athletes towatch, there are many morenotable Americans to keep aneye on at the Aquatics Centre.Ryan Lochte is a three-time goldmedalist and could be Phelps’top competitor in the pool. WithLochte and Phelps leading theway, it could be a battle orbronze or the rest o the eld.
Other notable Americanathletes expected to makesome noise are Missy Franklin(swimming), Allyson Felix (trackand eld), Jordyn Wieber (gym-nastics) and Rau’shee Warren(boxing).Another exuberant athletewho caught the world’sattention in Beijing comesto London to deend histitle o astest man in theworld. Jamaican sprinter UsainBolt took the world by storm in2008, shattering the 100-metreworld record while also pickingup gold medals in the 200-me-tre and 4x100-metre relay.Bolt’s fair and enthusiasmendeared him to ans aroundthe world and many expect himto continue where he let o inBeijing.For Great Britain, there willbe a considerable amount o pressure to please the homecrowds. In Beijing, the U.K. tal-lied 19 gold medals and 47 intotal, enough or ourth place inboth categories. It’s sae to saythat the host nation expects toimprove on those numbers andwill strive to nish in the topthree, most likely behind TeamU.S.A. and China.The ace o the games or thehost nation will be composedo a number o British ath-letes who will be gunning orhometown glory. Scottish trackcyclist Chris Hoy will be a Britonto watch during the Games.The man they call “The RealMcHoy” took home three goldmedals rom Beijing — the rstBriton to accomplish the eat ina century — and is poised tohit the podium again in London.English swimmerRebeccaAdlingtonwas adouble
London 2012 mascots Wenlock andMandeville
(courtesy London Olympics)