Olympic Countdown – Part 1

Over the next 105 days I will be counting down to London 2012 with the essential A-Z guide to the Olympic Games. As a Londoner and a sports fan I have enjoyed finding out more about this summer’s Games. I hope you enjoy reading this post over the coming weeks and that it provides you with at least a couple of interesting facts in the buildup to the opening ceremony on the 27th July.

“105 Days To Go…….”

Athletes – London 2012 will see around 10,500 athletes competing for arguably the biggest and oldest prize in sport – an Olympic gold medal. 302 Olympic gold medals will be up for grabs over the 19 days of competition.

Did you Know? Out of the 26 occasions that the Olympic Games have been held only two nations have topped the gold medal table more than once. The USA have finished top 15 times and the Soviet Union have finished top 6 times.

B Boris Johnson1 450x291 Olympic Countdown   Part 1


BorisAmid concerns over transport strikes and unfair ticket allocations, London’s charismatic mayor Boris Johnson has been doing all in his power to ease these fears. Soon to be bidding for his second term in office, the mayor has told Olympic inspectors, “Our venues are ready, our park is ready, our transport system is being transformed.”



Citius, Altius, Fortius – The Olympic motto, which translates as “Faster, Higher, Stronger.” This motto was proposed upon the creation of the International Olympic Committee in 1894 and confirmed as the official Olympic motto at the Paris Olympics in 1924.

Did you Know? At the Beijing Olympics in 2008, 132 Olympic Records were broken and 43 World Records were broken.

Dorney – Eton College’s famous 2.2km artificial lake will be home to this summer’s rowing events as well the canoeing and kayaking. Both France and Great Britain will be expecting to do well in the rowing events, with Great Britain topping the medals table in Beijing 2008.


Ethnic Diversity – Nelson Mandela said of London’s bid to host the 2012 Olympics, “I can’t think of a better place than London to hold an event that unites the world.” Home to 200 different ethnic communities and with over 300 languages spoken by school children across the country, it is unlikely that there has ever been a more multi-cultural setting for the Olympic Games.


F France Christophe Lemaitre Olympic Countdown   Part 1France – Traditionally the French have always looked towards Fencing for their main medals hopes. However 2012 will see Julien Absalon, in the men’s mountain biking, and Tony Estanguet, in the canoe slalom, bid for gold as they look to live up to French expectations.

Christophe Lemaitre will be bidding to become the first ever Frenchman to win an Olympic 100m medal and the first white sprinter for 32 years.




Games Makers – The official name for all of the London 2012 volunteers. Around 250 teams of 16-18 year olds will be led by school teachers, sports coaches and community leaders playing a crucial role in making the London Olympics a success.

The Games Makes scheme has received over 240,000 applications from all over the United Kingdom and will begin work as early as spring 2012. Volunteers will have a range of responsibilities from writing and editing the Olympic Village newspaper to helping with the organization and implementation of anti-doping tests for athletes.


Vocabulary :

-       Finding out – découvrir

-          The buildup – battage médiatique

-          Arguably – Probablement

-          To be up for grabs – à prendre

-          Amid – parmis

-          To ease the fears – alléger les craintes

-          To be bidding – etre en competition

-          Fencing – l’escrime

-          To live up – etre à la hauteur de


For more information on the London 2012 Olympic Games, visit the website at www.london2012.com




In charge of pedagogy at Language Connexion