Olympic Countdown – Part 4

“20 Days to Go…….”

Torch – According to the myth, a flame would be lit and placed on the altar of the Goddess Hera for the duration of the Ancient Olympic Games at Olympia. In accordance to this myth each year the Olympic Torch is lit on the site of the ruins of the Temple of Hera before beginning its journey via Athens to the host nation.

On the 19th May the torch will make a 70 day journey across the United Kingdom, carried by 8000 people, ending on the 27th July when it will arrive at the Opening Ceremony for London 2012.


U Usain Bolt 300x450 Olympic Countdown – Part 4


Usain Bolt – All eyes will be on the great Jamaican as he bids to retain his triple Olympic sprint crown in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay. Bolt won exactly half his country’s gold medals in Beijing, breaking three world records in the process. As he has already demonstrated, this man was born to make headlines and will undoubtedly draw the biggest audience throughout the 19 days of competition.






V 02 arenaa 450x312 Olympic Countdown – Part 4Venues – The brand new Olympic Village will be home to many of the events. The 80,000 capacity Olympic Stadium will host the athletics while there are purpose-built venues for the swimming events, the cycling and the basketball.

London 2012 events will not be confined just to the Olympic Village however. Lord’s Cricket Ground will be used for the Archery, the O2 Arena for Gymnastics and Basketball and Hyde Park’s famous lake will host the marathon swimming and triathlon events. The London 2012 football tournament will be played as far north as Newcastle and Glasgow as St James’ Park and Hampden Park will both host matches.



W Wenlock and Mandeville 450x306 Olympic Countdown – Part 4Wenlock and Mandeville – On the 19th May 2010 Wenlock and Mandeville were unveiled as the official mascots of London 2012. You can expect to see these two characters just about everywhere as we approach the Olympics. The former is named after a town in Shropshire, Much Wenlock, which held a forerunner to the modern Olympic Games. The latter is named after the Stoke Mandeville Hospital in Buckinghamshire, which provided the inspiration for the current Paralympic Games. Their story goes that they were cast from the final girder to go into the construction of the London 2012 Olympic Stadium.


XXX – London 2012 will be known as the Games of the XXX Olympiad. In other words they are the 30th Olympic Games of the modern era (XXX is 30 in roman numerals.) The X games (10th Olympiad) were held in Los Angeles in 1932 and the XX games (20th Olympiad) were held in Munich in 1972. The first Olympic Games of the modern era were held in Athens in 1896.


Yellow pages – Dropped your iPhone whilst queuing for the Olympic Stadium and need somewhere to get it fixed? Inspired by a day of athletics and need somewhere to buy a new pair of running shoes?

The Yellow Pages is the best way of finding local businesses during your stay in London. Whether it be via telephone (118 24 7), internet or iPhone/Android application you will find what you are looking for with the yellow pages.


Zones – London’s transport system is split into 9 Zones. Central London makes up of Zones 1 and 2 and includes some of London’s most famous areas such as Westminster Camden and Hammersmith. Many of the Olympic events including all of those held inside the stadium will take place in Zones 3 and 4 which is where you will find Stratford and Greenwich. Visit this link for information on travel card and ticket prices for each zone.


Vocabulary :

Altar – autel

Crown - couronne

Retain – garder

Draw the biggest audience – faire la meilleure audience

Purpose-built – construit spécialement pour

Forerunner – précurseur

Girder – poutre



Jack Carter,
In charge of pedagogy