The Countdown is Over - The Olympic Games Start This Weekend

After 7 years of planning, a 100 day countdown and a 70 day torch relay in the UK, the Olympic Games begins this weekend. There will be 10,500 athletes and 8.8 million ticket holders at The Games during the 17 days with 26 different team sports being played over this time.

Opening Ceremony
The ceremony curated by Danny Boyle, begins at 21:00 on Friday, the 27th of July. Two time gold medalist, Sir Chris Hoy will be the flag bearer for Team GB, for the second time, after carrying the Union Jack at the closing ceremony of the Beijing Olympics. David Beckham will also be taking part on Friday who was asked as gesture of thanks for his help in London winning the Olympic bid. If you do not have tickets, there will be many places to watch the ceremony. Trafalgar Square, which has been host to the Olympic count down clock is one of the venues dotted around London to watch the Games. Hyde Park is another central venue to watch all the action.

Olympics Games Venue
There will be 26 sports played during the Games, most taking place in the Olympic Park. London transport has been distributing leaflets to encourage those who do not need to take the tube or train, to walk. Unfortunately as the Olympic Park is out in Stratford, there are limited other means of getting there. The aquatics centre, the basketball arena and bmx track to name a few are at the Olympic park. Taekwando, weighlifting, wrestling, judo and fencing are just some of the sports taking place in Excel in the Docklands. The famous Wembley Stadium will be the home for the football matches and the Arena for badminton.

This Weekend of Sport
Due to scheduling conflicts, many of the athletes will not be able to attend the opening ceremony. Saturday is a full day of sport and they will need plenty of rest, staying in their rented London apartments in the Olympic Village. There are 19 sports events on Saturday, including archery, badminton, basketball, beach volleyball, boxing, cycling (outside of London), equestrian, fencing, football, gymnastics, handball, judo, rowing, shooting, swimming, table tennis, volleyball and women’s weightlifting. Swimming will take place in Hyde Park and the nearby Horse Guards Parade for beach volleyball. Sunday is the first day of the diving but all eyes will be on the young Tom Daley the following day when he makes his Olympic 2012 debut. There is also fencing, judo, hockey, sailing, water polo and men’s weightlifting taking place on Sunday.

Cycling
If you are in Surrey this weekend, you may catch a glimpse of some of the Olympic cyclists. The men’s cycle race begins at 10:00am on Saturday 28th of July at The Mall. The cyclists will be making their way south, through Fulham, over Putney bridge and then into Richmond park. They will be cycling through Esher and West Mosely, then round to Dorking. The full course in available on the Olympic’s 2012 website. The women’s cycle race takes place the following day at 12:00 on Sunday the 29th of July, they will follow the same route.

Weather
This summer has been the wettest on record, but now the sun has made a comeback, will there by sunshine for the Olympics? The Met office says this week will be warm with temperatures up to 29 degrees but the cooler weather will return on Friday. However, the British are used to the fluctuations in the weather and even if the rain does return it will not dampen their or the tourists’ spirits or who have come to London to watch The Games.

London and Surrey is going to be very busy this weekend. If you are thinking of heading into the city, avoid the rush hour of 7 am– 10 am in the morning and then 4pm – 7pm in the evening. If you are in town on Friday, watch the opening ceremony in Hyde Park which has the biggest outdoor screen in the UK.

Related areas
United Kingdom, London