Are You Ready For The Olympıcs?

London is abuzz with excitement as it gears up to host the olympics for the third time in its history. Starting july 27, millions of sports fans will descend on the city. If you haven’t made your plans yet, now’s the time.

Olympic Park
Aquatics Centre / Swimming (July 28 - August 4)
All eyes are going to be on Michael Phelps in the men’s swimming, one of the most popular Olympic sports. If Phelps can repeat his performance of Beijing, where he won eight gold medals, he could set a record that will be impossible to break.

Bmx Track / Bmx Bicycle Races (August 8-10)
BMX racing is the newest discipline in the history of the games, introduced at the 2008 Beijing Olympics where the Latvian Maris Strombergs in the men’s and the French Anne-Caroline Chausson in the women’s went down in history by walking off with the first gold medals.

Velodrome / Track Cycling Races (August 2-7)
One of the most thrilling competitions for cycling buffs, the Track Cycling Races will be held at the Velodrome. The British cycling team, which won 8 of the 10 gold medals at Beijing, is keen to repeat its success again this year.

Copper Box / Handball (July 28 - August 12)
The handball games will be held at the Copper Box south of Olympic Park. France,  the last Olympic and World Champion in men’s handball, is again the favorite in this year’s competitions. In the women’s, Scandinavian countries Denmark and Norway, birthplace of the sport, are among the favorites.

Wenlock And Mandeville
Wenlock and Mandeville are the mascots of the London Olympics. Made of cast metal, the mascots were fashioned from droplets of molten steel that fell from the last girders used in the construction of the Olympic Stadium.

Olympic Stadium / Track And Field (August 3-12)
It would not be wrong to say that track and field, which go back to the Olympics of Ancient Greece where most of the competitions have their roots, are the focus of the modern Olympics as well. In the marathon, the all-time track-and-field favorite event, Paula Radcliffe is Britain’s hope in the women’s, while the men’s favorite is Haile Gabrselassie of Ethiopia.

Water Polo Arena / Water Polo (July 29 - August 12)
Hungary, who took the gold in men’s water polo in the last three Olympics, are the Olympic tops in the sport. Water polo has been an Olympic sport for men since 1920 and women’s cathegory has been introduced at the Sydney Olympics in 2000.

Outside Olympic Park
Excel / Miscellaneous (July 28 - August 12)
If you like combat sports, then it’s worth following the ExCel program. In addition to boxing, taekwondo, judo and wrestling, ExCel’s extensive program also includes fencing, table tennis and weight lifting competitions.

Earl’s Court / Volleyball (July 28 - August 12)
Medal competition between Russia, the U.S., Brazil and Cuba in both the men’s and the women’s looks like a scene of fierce competition again this year. The last Olympic champion in the men’s was the U.S.A. And Brazil, repeat winner of the FIVB World Championship, is another major contender for the gold this year.

Wimbledon / Tennis (July 28 - August 12)
The London Olympics tennis competitions take no backseat to Wimbledon. In addition to Nadal, who took the gold at Beijing, Federer, Djokovic and Murray will go up against each other at this Olympics. Meanwhile in the women’s, Kvitova and Sharapova will both be competing for their second gold.

Outside London Soccer
Olympic excitement in Britain goes beyond the bounds of London. Starting on July 25 the soccer eliminations will be played at a total a five stadiums, including Turkish Airlines-sponsored Manchester United’s Old Trafford. The final is at London’s Wembly Stadium on August 11.

Wimbledon / Tennis (July 28 - August 12)
The sailing races will take place July 29 to August 11 at Portland and Weymouth in Dorset, southwest of London.

Canoe Slalom
The canoe slalom competitions will take place at the Lee Valley White Water Centre July 29 to August 2. The Centre is 30 kilometers north of Olympic Park..

Canoe Sprint And Rowing
 The rowing and canoe sprint competitions will take place July 28 to August 4 at Eton Dorney, where the 2006 World Rowing Championships were held. Eton Dorney, which boasts a 2,200-meter course inside a close to 160-hectare park, is in Buckinghamshire, a small residential area on the southeast edge of London.

Cultural Olympic Exhibitions
While you’re in London, be sure to see the Damien Hirst retrospective at Tate Modern with upwards of 70 works by this world-renowned English artist.

Don’t miss the concert, workshop and seminars of Senegalese singer and human rights activist Baaba Maal at the Southbank Centre through July 29. The theme of the series, to which entrance is free of is “How Africa Shaped Western World.”

Acclaimed English director Mike Leigh’s film, A Running Jump, about the place of sports in everyday life will be shown throughout the Olympics.

Living Walls is an interactive installation put together by the artist group Squidsoup for the World Shakespeare Festival 2012. Patterns in the form of animated characters and passages from Shakespeare on the walls of the Royal Shakespeare Theater change when you touch them. This event is also free of charge.