2012 Summer Olympics

Here is a slew of info we have gathered for ya. Enjoy! – Justin

MARY POPPINS, MEET LORD VOLDEMORT: Rumors are flying about the secret plans for tonight’s opening ceremony ( July 27, 2012) of the 2012 Olympic Games in London. There’s word that Peter Pan may descend from Neverland, or that James Bond may jump out of a helicopter, or maybe both.

We do know that it will be a $41 million spectacle called “Isles of Wonder,” and Sir Paul McCartney will be just one of 10,000 people who will perform. Lord Voldemort and Mary Poppins are expected to drop in, too. For some reason, 70 sheep and some chickens, cows, goats and geese also will be at center stage at some point. TheU.S. delegation will, of course, be walking in the Parade of Nations.

If you want to catch the opening ceremony for the 2012 Olympics, tune in at 7:30 p.m. tonight (Friday, 7/27/12) on NBC, which has the broadcast rights.

CRAZY OLYMPIAN DIETS: Olympic athletes have it good. They HAVE to stuff themselves with junk food — out of fear that they’ll lose weight! Dr. Michael Joyner, a researcher at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., who conducts studies of endurance athletes, said that, “In your super-high-calorie-burning sports, like distance running, cycling or the triathlon, elite athletes can burn 15 or 20 calories a minute.” These workouts can burn 4,000 to 6,000 calories, which “have to be replenished if you want to train again the next day.” To refuel, dinner consists of things like a pound of pasta with olive oil (about 800 calories), a dozen eggs (840 calories), an entire cheese pizza (about 2,000 calories) and a pint of Ben & Jerry’s cheesecake-brownie ice cream (1,000 calories). These foods were described by dietitians and officials who work with Olympians as common training-table choices for elite endurance athletes, particularly men. Plus beer (about 150 calories a bottle). (NY Times)


THE EVENT: Phelps vs. Lochte in the Men’s 400m Individual Medley
WATCH IT: July 28 at 2:30 p.m. ET*
THE BUZZ: In the first of four (likely) head-to-head swims, Michael Phelps — arguably the greatest swimmer in Olympic history — takes on teammate and rival Ryan Lochte, who is considered the new face of American men’s swimming. So who will prevail inLondon? It’s anyone’s guess. Lochte edged Phelps in this event during Olympic trials last month before losing to Phelps in their next three qualifying contests.

THE EVENT: Women’s Gymnastics Team Final
WATCH IT: July 31 at 11:30 a.m. ET*
THE BUZZ: These petite powerhouses are always fun to watch, and thisU.S. team should be the strongest in two decades. Anything but a gold medal would be disappointing. Keep an eye onAmerica’s two brightest 16-year-old stars, Gabby Douglas and Jordyn Wieber. Either could also take home individual all-around gold.

THE EVENT: Usain Bolt Sprints for Another Gold in the 100m
WATCH IT: August 5 at 4:50 p.m. ET*
THE BUZZ: Jamaican Usain Bolt torched the world and Olympic records and humiliated his competitors en route to his gold medal win at the 2008 games. Three years after beating his own record with a time of just 9.58 seconds at the 2009 World Championships, everyone’s wondering if Bolt can strike again (and break the 9.50 barrier) in London.

THE EVENT: Missy Franklinin the 200m Backstroke
WATCH IT: August 3 at 2:30 p.m. ET*
THE BUZZ: The 17-year-old high school senior will likely be the first American woman to compete in seven different Olympic swimming events. The 200m backstroke is her strongest event and her best shot at gold — during the Olympic trials, she swam the fastest time in the world this year.

THE EVENT: Claressa Shields and the Debut of Women’s Boxing
WATCH IT: First Middleweight Matches, August 5 at 10:30 a.m. ET*
THE BUZZ: Women’s Boxing will make its Olympic debut inLondon, and so will 17-year-old Claressa Shields. TheFlint,Michigan native — who has been pounding women five and 10 years her senior — will compete in the middleweight division. Prepare to be surprised.

THE EVENT: The ‘Blade Runner’ Chases Gold in the 400m
WATCH IT: August 6 at 4:30 p.m. ET*
THE BUZZ: Dubbed the ‘blade runner,’ double-amputee Oscar Pistorius lost his legs from the knees down when he was 11 months old. After a lot of debate about whether his prosthetic legs give him an unfair advantage, Pistorius has been cleared to compete in the 400m for his nativeSouth Africa.

THE EVENT: Allyson Felix in the 200m
WATCH IT: August 8 at 4 p.m. ET*
THE BUZZ: In one of the most controversial finishes in Olympic-trial history, Allyson Felix was granted the third and final American slot in the 100m sprint after her friend Jeneba Tarmoh conceded the race. (Felix and Tarmoh finished in a dead heat for third place, which prompted Olympic officials to schedule an ill-conceived runoff until Tarmoh conceded.) Though Felix probably won’t win the 100m, she is one of the favorites in the 200m. She’s won nine gold medals in the 200m in world competition, but has finished in second place at the last two Olympics — both times to Jamaican Veronica Campbell-Brown.

THE EVENT: U.S. Women’s Soccer Team Heads for Gold
WATCH IT: Next game is July 28 at 12 p.m. ET*
THE BUZZ: After winning gold in Beijing, the U.S. Women’s soccer team will look to repeat in London — this time with header-extraordinaire Abby Wambach on the field. Wambach missed the 2008 games with a broken leg, and her team fell just short of winning last year’s World Cup when it lost in the final toJapan.

THE EVENT: U.S. Men’s Basketball Shoots for the Repeat
WATCH IT: First game starts July 29 between 4 a.m. and 7 p.m. ET*
THE BUZZ: With arguably the best center and point guard in the world out with injuries, can the U.S. Men’s Basketball Team repeat as world champions? The loss of both Dwight Howard and Derrick Rose will hurt. But Coach Mike Krzyzewski will try to ride an impressive crop of stars including LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, and Chris Paul to another gold-medal finish.

THE EVENT: U.S.Men’s Water Polo On a Mission
WATCH IT: Gold Medal Game, August 12 at 10:50 a.m. ET*
THE BUZZ: The U.S. hasn’t won a gold medal in men’s water polo since 1904. The team was favored to win gold inBeijing, but came up just short and took home silver. Can the Americans come through inLondon?


Olympic cities (not countries) are chosen by secret ballot, so we’re not sure howLondonbeatParisfor the 2012 Summer Olympics. Some blame French President Jacques Chirac, who insultedBritainbefore the vote by saying, “AfterFinland, it’s the country with the worst food.”France’s bid wasn’t getting British support anyway, butFinlandhad two IOC members, and some speculate that they were swing votes in the 54-50 outcome.

At the 1948 games inLondon, the English national anthem, (God save the King) was played only three times: at the opening and closing ceremonies and when Princess Elizabeth arrived at the stadium for the first time. This was 477 times fewer than the German anthem had been played in the 1936 games held inBerlin.

The first Paralympic Games was held atLondonin 1948. The name “Paralympics” comes from the words “Parallel” and “Olympics”.

The reason the extra yards were added to the running distance of the marathon to make the total length a rather strange figure of 26 miles and 385 yards was because of the rather whimsical demand of Queen Alexandra of Great Britain, who demanded, in 1908, that the marathon should end below the royal box at London’s White City Stadium, which added the extra 385 yards.

The only Olympian ever to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize was Philip Noel-Baker ofGreat Britain, who won the silver in the 1500 metres in 1920.

The only female competitor not to have to submit to a sex test at the 1976 Summer Olympics was Princess Anne of theUK, who was competing as a member of theUKequestrian team. As the daughter Queen Elizabeth II, such a test was seen as inappropriate.

The Olympics of 1904 were appointed toChicago. However,St. Louisblackmailed the IOC with the threat to organise a competing series of sport events if the Games would not instead be held inSt. Louistogether with their World’s Fair. The IOC gave in, andChicagostill wait for their chance to host the Olympics.

The gold medals won by British runners Harold Abrahams in the 100 meters and Eric Liddell in the 400 in the Paris 1924 Olympics were chronicled in the 1981 Academy Award-winning film ‘Chariots of Fire.’


How far back can you go naming the citites that have hosted the summer Olympics?

A: Rio de Janeiro 2016
London 2012
Beijing 2008
Athens 2004
Sydney 2000
Atlanta 1996
Barcelona 1992
Seoul 1988
Los Angeles 1984
Moscow 1980
Montreal 1976
Munich 1972
Mexico City 1968
Tokyo 1964
Rome 1960
Melbourne 1956
Helsinki 1952
London 1948
Berlin 1936
Los Angeles 1932
Amsterdam 1928
Paris 1924
Antwerp 1920
Stockholm 1912
London 1908
St Louis 1904
Paris 1900
Athens 1896

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