London 2012 Official Programme

I don't buy many physical books or magazines these days; thanks to our Kindle and iPad, we can read pretty much any book or magazine we want, without adding bulk or weight to our luggage.  But this Official Programme to the London 2012 Olympic games is a keeper.  We like buying souvenir programmes to all the events we attend, and since this is the world's biggest sporting event, it's worth the space it will take up on our library shelf.    And since it's probably not going to be available on Amazon or Barnes and Noble, I thought I'd share what's inside:

Photos of British athletes showcasing their sport, dressed in evening wear.

Photo spread on the athletic equipment, from 99-gram running shoes to balls of all shapes and sizes (clockwise, from top:  Table Tennis, Basketball, Handball, Water Polo, Badminton, Beach Volleyball, Hockey, Volleyball, Tennis, Football).

A rundown of Olympic sports, from A-Z, with facts, figures and photos. 

The 2012 Games by the numbers: fun trivia on Olympics past and present, as well as what it took to prepare for these games (including 8.8 million ticket holders, 70,000 volunteers, 560 km of cables, 10,000 porta potties, 1000 picnic benches, 100 tons of meat per day for the athletes, and 150,000 condoms for the athletes).

Photos and facts on select Olympic venues (including the basketball arena, pictured above, which is one of the largest temporary venues ever constructed for an Olympic games -- it's made of a recyclable membrane wrapped over a steel structure, and after the games, they're tearing it down!).

Other features in the programme:
  • Welcome messages from David Cameron (UK Prime Minister), Boris Johnson (Mayor of London), Sebastian Coe (Chairman of the London 2012 planning team), Jacques Rogge (President of the International Olympic Committee) and Queen Elizabeth II (needs no explanation).
  • The History of the Olympic games in London (it's the only city to host the summer games three times)
  • Highlights from previous summer games (like Nadia Comaneci's first-ever 10.0 score in Montreal 1976)
  • British athletes share the ins and outs of their training routines
  • A feature on international Olympic stars
  • About the London 2012 Festival
  • A behind-the-scenes look at the organizers and volunteers

 The ads are few and far between, and they're all Olympics-themed, so they're worth looking at.  The Cadbury ad is a great example. For Cadbury fans, the Choc Trivia Quiz reads (with answers in italics):

How many...
1) Cadbury Caramel chuhks wide is a gymnast's beam? (2.8)
2) Dairy Milk bars long is a lap of the London 2012 running track? (3.333)
3) Wispas (length ways) would someone need to clear to break the high jump record? (19.6)
4) Cadbury Buttons does a gold medal weigh?  (231)

We will be reading this programme from cover to cover before the games, so we can enjoy our Olympic experience with a deeper understanding and perspective, and years from now, it will be nice to look at to remember a once-in-a-lifetime experience.  It's totally worth the measly £10 price!

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