The London Games from A to Z


From archery to Zara Phillips, here are the London Olympics from A to Z:
ARCHERY – London’s iconic cricket ground, Lord’s, will host the archery.
BOLT – Can Usain Bolt reproduce his history-making performance of Beijing when the Jamaican sprinter produced two of the most memorable performances of the Games to complete a sprint double? His form is in doubt after he lost both the 100 metres and 200m to compatriot Yohan Blake in the Jamaican trials.
COPPER BOX – Handball will take place in the Copper Box — one of eight sporting venues in the Olympic Park, with 88 natural light pipes illuminating the interior.
DOPING – A new anti-doping centre in north London will carry out more tests than at any other Games. The centre will operate around the clock, employing a team of 150 scientists and more than 1,000 Olympic officials.
ENNIS, Jessica – The face of many an Olympic billboard, Britain’s athletics hopes are pinned firmly on heptathlete Jessica Ennis.
FESTIVAL – Not a fan of sport? The London 2012 festival aims to ensure there’s something for everyone, with 12,000 cultural events and performances across Britain in celebration of the Games.
GREENWICH – Located on the Greenwich peninsula on the banks of the River Thames in east London, the North Greenwich Arena will host artistic and trampoline gymnastics, as well as the basketball finals. Nearby Greenwich Park will host equestrian events, including the modern pentathlon.
HYDE PARK – Olympic tickets may be hard to come by, but visitors to Hyde Park can get a glimpse of the action. The triathlon and 10km marathon swimming will be held in the park and are free to watch.
INNOVATION – London hopes to showcase the best of British innovation and design through venues like the iconic Aquatic Centre. The sweeping, wave-like roof forms the gateway to the Olympic Park.
JAMES BOND – There’s a special mission for agent 007, alias Daniel Craig. Bond has been summoned to Buckingham Palace where he was tasked with launching the Games by parachuting into the stadium. But’s just a film — the BBC will show it ahead of the opening ceremony.
KITEBOARDING – It’s not in the line-up for London, but this high-adrenaline sport will make its Olympic debut at the 2016 Games. It means London could be waving goodbye to windsurfing, which has been dropped from the next Games in Rio.
LONDON – The British capital is making Olympic history by being the first in modern times to host the Games three times – previously it was in 1908 and 1948.
MCDONALD’S – The Olympic Park will house the world’s largest McDonald’s, seating 1,500 people and serving up around 50,000 Big Macs during the 17-day event.
NOBLE ART – Women’s boxing features for the first time on the Olympic schedule, more than 100 years after it first appeared in a demonstration bout in the 1902 Athens Games.
OPENING – The Olympic Stadium will be transformed into a rural British idyll for the £27 million ($42 million, 33 million euro) opening ceremony on July 27, created by “Slumdog Millionaire” director Danny Boyle.
PHELPS, Michael – The US swimmer, who scooped an incredible eight gold medals in Beijing, could become the most prolific medal winner in Games history. With 16 medals, the “Baltimore Bullet” is not far off the 18-medal record haul held by Russian gymnast Larisa Latynina.
QUEEN – Britain’s 86-year old monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, will have the honour of declaring the Games open in her 60th year on the throne.
ROWING – Rowing events will take place 25 miles (40 kilometres) outside London at Eton Dorney, near Windsor Castle, one of the queen’s official residences.
SECURITY – Britain’s biggest ever peacetime security operation has been beset by last-minute headaches. An extra 3,500 soldiers have been drafted in to join the 13,500 military personnel already on duty after a private contractor failed to provide the required number of guards.
TRANSPORT – The big unknown of London 2012. Around £6.5 billion ($10 billion, 8 billion euros) has been spent improving London’s tranport network. But it remains to be seen whether the already saturated system will buckle under the pressure.
UNIFORM – With some 70,000 volunteers helping out at the Games, it shouldn’t be hard to track one down one of the purple or blue uniforms bearing the Olympic logo.
VELODROME – Hosting track cycling and BMX events, the 6,000-seat velodrome in the Olympic Park could become the focus of British medal hopes.
WENLOCK – The official Olympic mascot is named after the English village which in 1850 established the Wenlock Olympian Games, the precursor to the modern Olympics. But the one-eyed character is not everybody’s cup of tea.
XIANG, Liu – Chinese hero Liu Xiang, 2004 Olympic champion in the 110 metre hurdles, hopes for gold after dramatically limping out of Beijing with a hamstring injury.
YOGA – An Olympic discipline? Seems like a bit of a stretch. But that’s what the International Federation of Yoga Sports is aiming for. Watch this space.
ZARA PHILLIPS – The queen’s granddaughter will make the royal family proud when she competes in Britain’s equestrian squad after missing the last two Olympics because her former horse Toytown was injured.