Saturday, 14 July 2012

London 1948 to London 2012 Olympics

London last hosted the Olympics in 1948... how far have we come? 

1948 – £732,000
2012 - £9.3bn

1948 – 4,104
2012 – 10,500

Competing Nations:
1948 – 59 nations sent athletes to London, with fourteen making their first official appearance. These included British Guiana, Burma, Ceylon, Iran, Iraq, Jamaica, Korea, Lebanon, Pakistan, Puerto Rico, Singapore, Syria, Trinidad and Tobago, and Venezuela. 1948 was the first year in which the Philippines, India and Pakistan competed as independent nations. Germany and Japan, as defeated powers were not permitted to send athletes to participate in the games, but after the signing of an armistice in 1943, Italy was allowed to compete. The Soviet Union decided not to send athletes over, at risk of losing to the United States.
2012 – This year, 216 nations are competing in the Olympic games.

London Olympics 1948 (Photo credit: Getty Images)

1948 – 17
2012 - 26

1948 - 136
2012 - 302

Cost of Standing Ticket (athletics):
1948 – 3s 6d (17.5p)
2012 - £202

Television Viewers:
1948 – 500,000 across 50 miles of London; altogether there were 64 hours of programming.
2012 - 5,000 hours of love coverage will be shown in more than 200 countries to an estimated audience of up to 4 billion.

Olympic Torch Relay:
1948 – The torch relay lasted less than one day, making its way from Dover to Wembley Stadium.
2012 – This year’s relay began on ­­­18th May, and will culminate after 70 days at the official opening ceremony. It has made 1,019 stops and has been carried by 8,000 runners.

London Olympic Games 1948 (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

1948 – Due to financial and time constrictions, it was understood that there was no need to build any new venues – tracks were simply adapted. Wembley Stadium was the center point of the games, with the 8,000 capacity Empire pool in Wembley hosting all aqua and boxing events – they simply covered the swimming pool and put a boxing arena on top of it. – how adaptable! There was no such thing as an Olympic Village – competitors were housed in canvas tents in Richmond and travelled to the venues by bus.
2012 – 2012 has seen the building of the Olympic Park and the Olympic Village in Stratford. Despite the higher budget, organizers are still thinking green: waste water that used to clean the swimming pools at the Aquatic Center within the Olympic Park is also used to flush the toilets at the 17,500 seater arena.

Wembley Stadium, London Olympic Games 1948 (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

1948 – Limited training. Olympic athletes had a slightly increased rations – the Royal Naval College in Greenwich gave their athletes eggs for breakfast but that was about it! London was going through tough times in 1948 and as such, there was no special diet – one ate what one had.
2012 – Athletes are provided with state of the art equipment, professional nutritionists and purpose built training facilities. Multiple training sessions a day and a very strict diet.

Planning time:
1948 – 18 months, on a budget of £743,000.
2012 – London won the Olympic bid on 6th July 2005 and held their first board meeting on 3rd October 2005.

London Olympics 2012, Olympic Village (Photo Credit: EU Infrastructure)

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