The Summer Olympics of 2012 were opened in London on Friday, 27 July. The Games lasted for over three weeks, i.e. three weekends and the weeks in between, and were closed on Sunday, 12 August.

It was not expected that more athletes would participate in the Summer Olympics than in Beijing four years earlier. The Summer Olympics of 2008 had slightly over 11,000 athletes and in 2012 their number was reduced by about 1,000. A total of 204 countries took part in the Games, which means that almost every country on the planet sent representatives.

London has hosted the Summer Olympics also twice earlier, in 1908 and in 1948.  The city has been awarded the Games for four times, but in 1944 they were cancelled due to the Second World War.


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