London 2012: The road to the Olympics



By the time the London 2012 Olympic Games start, preparations will have been under way for the best part of a decade. Click through this timeline to see the key developments on the road to the 30th Olympiad.

6 July 2005

London beats Paris to 2012 Games

London finds out that it has won the bid to host the 2012 Olympic Games.

The city wins a two-way fight with Paris by 54 votes to 50 at the International Olympic Committee meeting in Singapore, after bids from Moscow, New York and Madrid are eliminated.

Prime Minister Tony Blair calls the win "a momentous day" for Britain.

Paris had been favourites throughout the campaign but London's hopes were raised after an impressive presentation by Lord Coe, the bid chairman.

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London beats Paris to 2012 Games

14 December 2006

Work begins on Olympic Park

Demolition work begins on the Olympic Park, the venue which will form the heart of the 2012 Games in London.

A disused sports hall at Eton Manor, in the north of the 500-acre site, is the first building to be knocked down.

The Eton Manor site will host Paralympic tennis and archery and it will be a training area during the Olympics.

The first UK athletics meeting after World War II was held at Eton Manor and part of the running track used in the 1948 Olympics is buried under the site.

Olympic Site in 2006

4 June 2007

London unveils 2012 logo

The logo for the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics is unveiled in a star-studded ceremony in London.

The jagged emblem, based on the date 2012, comes in a series of shades of pink, blue, green and orange and will evolve in the run-up to the Games.

The word London and the Olympic rings are included in the first two digits of the new logo.

A segment of animated footage promoting the 2012 Olympics is removed from the organisers' website after fears it could trigger epileptic seizures. The logo launch prompts widespread criticism from the public.

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2012 London Olympic logo

24 August 2008

London takes over as Olympic host

London receives the Olympic flag to signal the start of its reign as Olympic host city.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson is given the flag by International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge at the closing ceremony in Beijing.

An eight-minute handover presentation, features a red double-decker bus, footballer David Beckham and musicians Jimmy Page and Leona Lewis.

"I'm profoundly humbled by the immense privilege I've been given today," says Boris Johnson.

An estimated 40,000 people celebrate the handover at a party in London.

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London beats Paris to 2012 Games
Boris Johnson in Beijing

28 November 2008

First 2012 Olympic venue unveiled

The first purpose-built sporting venue for the London 2012 Olympics, Weymouth & Portland Sailing Academy, is completed.

The £15m complex, will also host the Paralympics events and is brought in under budget and ahead of schedule.

The world-class facility will play host to 400 athletes competing in 10 Olympic sailing categories.

31 March 2009

Aquatic Centre's wave roof lifted

Workers begin the process of lifting the 2,800 tonne wave-shaped roof of the 2012 Olympics Aquatics Centre in east London.

The lift is one of the most complex construction challenges, the Olympic Development Authority (ODA) says.

The steel structure will form the basis of the 11,000 sqm (118,400 sq ft) column-free roof.

The 17,500-seat venue with two 50m swimming pools will form the gateway to the Olympic Park in Stratford.

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Olympic Aquatic Centre

27 July 2010

Two years to 2012

The eyes of the world are on London as it marks the two year point until it hosts the Olympic Games.

London 2012 organisers holds a range of special events in the Olympic Park to mark the important milestone.

Olympic champion Sir Chris Hoy becomes the first man to cycle around the newly completed 2012 velodrome.

He says: ""I think it's going to be the best velodrome in the world."

A volunteer scheme launches to find thousands of people - Games Makers - willing to give their time to help the Olympics go well.

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9 December 2010

White water venue opens

The Princess Royal unveils the Lee Valley White Water Centre, the first brand new venue for the London 2012 Olympic Games to be completed.

The £31m project in Hertfordshire incorporates the 2012 Olympic slalom canoe course.

The centre will host canoe slalom events but from April 2011 anyone will be able to test the water, including schoolchildren from every London borough.

Up to 15 cubic metres (3,300 gallons) of water per second flow through the course - enough to fill a 25m swimming pool in 30 seconds.

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20 December 2010

Olympic stadium lights switch-on

The floodlights at London's 2012 Olympic stadium are switched on at a ceremony.

Prime Minister David Cameron switches on the lights and commends the team for the "great job".

Sports personalities and politicians attend the event. The site workforce, members of the local community and schoolchildren are among the audience.

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The floodlights at London's 2012 Olympic stadium

22 February 2011

Olympic velodrome: A first look

The London 2012 velodrome officially opens, making it the first Olympic Park venue to be completed.

Sir Chris Hoy, who won three cycling gold medals at the 2008 Beijing Games, helped design the 6,000-seat venue which costs about £93m.

"The new velodrome is going to be the best in the world. I can't wait until I can compete on it," he says.

It took a team of 26 carpenters eight weeks to install the Siberian pine track and more than 350,000 nails were used on its 56km of timber surface.

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15 March 2011

2012 tickets go on sale

Tickets for the London 2012 Olympics go on sale, 500 days ahead of the event.

Some 6.6 million tickets are available from the London 2012 website over a six-week period and organisers say all applications will be treated equally.

Prices range from £20 to £2,012 and oversubscribed events will be decided by a ballot.

Efforts are stepped up to curb ticket touting, with the government planning to raise the maximum penalty from £5,000 to £20,000.

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Olympic Site in 2006

18 May 2011

Olympic Torch Relay

The first 74 locations on the 2012 Olympics torch relay route, starting at Land's End, are revealed.

The route, which covers every nation and region in the UK and includes island visits, will see the Olympic torch travel 8,000 miles (12,800 km).

Organisers stress the route details are not comprehensive and more places to be visited will be named in coming months.

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2012 olympic torch

8 June 2011

Olympic Torch Design Unveiled

The London 2012 Olympic torch will be a three-sided golden cone with the flame burning through its perforated shell.

Made from an aluminium alloy, it is light enough to be carried by young people who are expected to make up half of the 8,000 torchbearers.

London 2012 organisers say the torch will come within an hour's travelling time of 95% of the UK population and thousands of people are expected to celebrate along the route, with shows and concerts planned on 66 of the 70 days.

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