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Image: London 2012's spectacular opening ceremony

A spectacular Opening Ceremony capturing "a picture of ourselves as a nation" will launch the London 2012 Olympic Games tonight (27 July), following seven years of preparations.

London was chosen as host of the Games of the XXX Olympiad in 2005 and is the first city to stage three modern summer Games, having previously done so in 1908 and 1948.

The Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) delivered the infrastructure for the Games, with the London 2012 Organising Committee (LOCOG) co-ordinating the event itself.

To read more from the LOCOG CEO Paul Deighton on how team work has been crucial in delivering the Games, see Sports Management 2012 Issue 3, p18

For an insight from the ODA, LOCOG and other public agencies involved with ensuring London 2012's success, see Sports Management 2012 Issue 3, p22

The last seven years of preparation and construction work has resulted in the transformation of a former industrial site in Stratford into a new multi-venue Olympic Park for the Games.

A key focus of the Olympic and Paralympic Games will be the Populous-designed Olympic Stadium, which will accommodate 80,000 spectators and was built by Sir Robert McAlpine.

ISG was responsible for building the 6,000-seat Velodrome, which was designed by a team comprising Hopkins Architects, Expedition Engineering and BDSP.

The Aquatics Centre - designed by Zaha Hadid and S&P Architects - became the last of the six main permanent Olympic Park venues to be completed a year ago today (27 July 2011).

S&P Architects were also involved alongside FaulknerBrowns Architects on creating the Lee Valley Regional Park Authority - one of the new facilities developed outside London.

Meanwhile, a variety of existing venues - Lord's Cricket Ground (Archery) and Wimbledon (Tennis) - will also be utilised during the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

To read a round up of London's new and converted Olympic and Paralympic venues, see Sports Management 2012 Issue 3, p32

For more about how Wimbledon has been transformed into an Olympic venue, see Sports Management 2012 Issue 3, p55

Elsewhere, Greenwich Park - one of the capital's oldest Royal Parks - has been converted for use as an equestrian and modern pentathlon venue for the Games.

STRI's Lee Penrose reveals the work involved with converting Greenwich Park for Olympic use. For more, see Sports Management 2012 Issue 3, p60

A key focus of the London 2012 bid was the emphasis on legacy and sustainability, both in terms of infrastructure through the permanent venues created and participation.

To learn how the UK's national governing bodies for sport are using London 2012 in a bid to drive participation, see Sports Management 2012 Issue 3, p50

The latest issue of Sports Management magazine takes an in-depth look at London 2012 - to read, visit:

Click here for the venues being used during the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games

Image: Nick Webb

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A spectacular Opening Ceremony capturing "a picture of ourselves as a nation" will launch the London 2012 Olympic Games tonight (27 July), following seven years of preparations.


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