The 2012 Summer Olympics are just over a week away, so to prepare for the worldwide event that will soon take over your TV (or at least, one network anyway), here's a look at some essential points about the upcoming Olympic Games. 1. The Basics
In case you've been living under a rock, here are the basics: The 2012 Summer Olympics are being held in London, UK from July 27 to August 12. The motto of the games is "Inspire a Generation," there will be 204 nations participating and 302 events in 26 sports.
2. NBC Has Got You Covered
Each weekday of the Games, NBC (the official broadcaster of the Olympics) will air a seven-hour daytime Olympics show, a four-hour prime time show, a late night show, and overnight replay. On weekends, the peacock network will have even greater coverage. Basically, other than the Today show and local/national news, NBC will be all thing Olympics, 24/7.
3. ... But You Won't Get to See It All
According to NBC, there will be approximately 5,500 total hours of Olympics coverage, including their digital platforms (live streaming online and their "Live Extra" mobile app for phones and tablets). Thanks to this technology, every minute of the Olympics will be available for viewing--the only problem is there aren't enough hours in a day. Throw in responsibilities like a job and necessities like sleep, chances are you'll only be watching a portion of the Games, so choose wisely.
4. The Opening Ceremony
The Opening Ceremony (called "The Isle of Wonder") will be on July 27. Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle (of Slumdog Millionaire and 127 Hours) will be the artistic director of the extravagant three-hour ceremony, which involves turning the Olympic Stadium into a rural English meadow with dozens of farm animals, a cricket team, two mosh pits and a "real cloud" that rains, according to Boyle. The ceremony will be closed by Sir Paul McCartney.
5. The Logo Controversy
The official 2012 London Olympics logo
was designed by Wolff Olins, released on June 4, 2007. It's targeted towards reaching young people, but the overall response to the logo has been largely negative. In case it isn't immediately obvious, the design spells out 2012, but it has been described as resembling everything from a Swastika to the word "Zion" (causing Iran to threaten to boycott the Olympics).
6. Women Stepping it Up
The 2012 Games marks a big moment for women in Olympic history. With the addition of women's boxing, women are now competing in every event that men are. Then there's the fact that every nation will be sending female athletes to the competition (a first for countries like Qatar, Brunei and Saudi Arabia). Lastly, more specific to our home country, Team USA is sending more female athletes than males for the first time ever (269 women, 261 men).
7. Keeping the Social Talk Civil
The International Olympic Committee has released a set of social media rules for participating athletes. So as much fun as it would be to follow our favorite athletes on Twitter for their personal take during the Games, that particular avenue of social media will be restricted (participants cannot comment on other athletes, post any video or audio and postings must be "in a first-person, diary-style format.")
8. Go Team USA!
The U.S. has 530 athletes competing in this year's Games, exceeded only by Great Britain (542). The other top nations include Germany (391), Australia (410), China (386), and Russia (436). The U.S. will have representatives in all of the Olympic events except for one (handball). As a significant presence at the Games, Team USA has won more gold and overall medals than any other country in the Summer Olympics; in the last Olympic Games in Beijing, the U.S. won 110 medals and we're hoping for similar outstanding results this time around.
(Image courtesy of NBC)