The medals are polished, the training is done, the performers are ready, and the cauldron is waiting to hold the Olympic Flame. The Opening Ceremony begins at 9pm BST – hope you will be watching it with us! This is it, this is GREAT Britain
1 day to go!
With one more day to go, did you know London 2012 will be the 1st public transport games, the 1st games to calculate its complete carbon footprint and the 1st games to leave an international legacy by bringing sport to more than 12 million children in 20 countries. Find out more UK Olympic firsts.
2 days to go!
With only 2 days to go, the Olympic Torch is getting tantalisingly close to the Olympic Stadium. Today it will pass through the London Borough of Brent, home to Wembley Stadium. Did you know that two gold medals will be awarded in Wembley Stadium - to the winners of the Men’s and Women’s Olympic Football competitions. Find out more about these matches and the others taken place...
3 days to go!
In just three days time, London will become the first city to have hosted the modern Olympic Games three times: 1908, 1948 and 2012. You can see century old photographs from the 1908 games on the BBC 1908 London Olympics Gallery: Find out more information on GREAT British heritage
4 days to go!
More than four thousand smooth newts, 100 toads and 300 common lizards were found happy new homes off the Olympic Park site before construction started, as part of the Ecology Action Plan. You can find out more about why being Green is GREAT Britain.
5 days to go!
Champion rower, Sir Steve Redgrave, is the only British Athlete to have won gold medals at five consecutive Olympic Games. He is one of only six athletes ever to have won gold at five or more different Olympic Games. Find out more about British sporting greats.
6 days to go!
The UK has more than three hundred higher and further education institutions including six Ancient Universities - that means they were founded between the 12th and 16th century. These are the Universities of Oxford, Cambridge, St Andrews, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Edinburgh. Find out more about why the UK is a GREAT place to study.
7 days to go!
The journey time between central London and the Olympic Park will be just 7 minutes by the Javelin train service from London Kings Cross St Pancras station. Find out more about travelling to the Games. by Matt Buck
8 days to go!
As part of its 8000 mile journey, the Olympic Torch sailed through the Falkirk Wheel last month. Did you know that each rotation of the Wheel uses only 1.5kWh of energy - that’s the same amount as it would take to boil 8 household kettles. Find out more about the Falkirk Wheel and the Olympic Torch’s visit.
9 days to go!
The Olympic Truce originated in the 9th Century BC when warring groups were called to put down their weapons to allow athletes to travel safely to the Ancient Greek Olympic Games. Today, the Truce aims to build a more peaceful and better world through sport and the Olympic ideals. Find out more about the Truce around the World.
10 days to go!
£10 million has been invested in upgrading pedestrian and cycling routes to Olympic venues, with more than 60 projects promoting greener travel inspired by London 2012. Find out more on the London 2012 website. Mark Foster cycling with children and followed by London 2012 Mascots Wenlock and Mandeville on an enhanced cycle scheme in Palatine Road, Hackney. by ODA.
11 days to go!
The UK is well known for its stunning countryside but did you know that 11% of the country is made up of forests? One of the most famous is Sherwood Forest, the home of the medieval legend of Robin Hood. Find out more about Sherwood. The Robin Hood Statue Nottingham Castle, Nottingham
12 days to go!
The UK-wide celebration of culture for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, The London 2012 Festival, will last for 12 weeks. The Festival will feature more than 25,000 leading artists from all 204 competing nations. Find out more about the 12,000 events and performances taking place across the UK.
13 days to go!
Did you know that it takes just 13 days to set up a business in the UK? Find out more reasons why the UK is a GREAT place to invest and do business.
14 days to go!
Over 14,000 athletes will take part in the Olympic and Paralympic Games in London this summer. Who will you be cheering on? Find the profile of every competing athlete at Games Time by JJ Vico Bretones
15 days to go!
The United Kingdom has 15 national parks, including the New Forest in southern England. The Olympic Torch will be continuing its journey near the New Forest today. Find out more about all of the UK’s National Parks. The New Forest by Reena Mahtani
16 days to go!
It is 16 years since the Spice Girls created Girl Power with their UK No1 debut single “Wannabe”. You can find out more about British artists’ impact on music and culture around the world at the interactive British Music Experience.
17 days to go!
At the age of just 17, British Paralympian swimmer, Eleanor Simmonds, will be taking part in her second Paralympic Games in London this year. Ellie was the youngest British athlete in China in 2008 where she became the youngest ever Briton to win an individual gold medal at the Paralympic Games with two gold medals. Find out more about Ellie and her Team GB Paralympics teammates.
18 days to go!
The Olympic Torch will travel from Luton to Oxford today. On its journey, it will visit Bletchley Park, the birthplace of the modern computer and historic home of British code breakers. During World War II, Bletchley’s priority was breaking the Enigma machine, the German communications machine which was invented in 1918. Find out more about how the code breakers cracked the Enigma by...
19 days to go!
Did you know that 19 per cent of the world’s top-selling medicines were developed in the UK – in this Britain is second only to the US – and we attract almost 10 per cent of the world’s pharmaceutical R&D funding. Find out more about why innovation is GREAT Britain.
20 days to go!
20 million people learning English worldwide are expected to take advantage of the British Council’s online English language materials linked to the Olympic and Paralympic Games. You can find resources to help you learn and teach English. by Olivia Wong Shen Han (age 8) Penang, Malaysia
21 days to go!
There will be 21,000 accredited members of the media will be reporting on the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games to a potential worldwide audience of 4 billion people. You can also find out the latest news about the Games. by Jon Gos
22 days to go!
The ArcelorMittal Orbit at the Olympic Park is 22 metres taller than New York’s Statue of Liberty. The Orbit is the UK’s largest piece of public art and will be a lasting memento of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Find out more about the Orbit’s design and construction.
23 days to go!
One of Northern Ireland’s best loved attractions, the Carrick-a-rede rope bridge sits 23 metres high and links the main land of Northern Ireland with the tiny island of Carrick. Originally built by salmon fisherman, the area has stunning views of Rathin Island and across the Irish Sea to Scotland. Are you brave enough to take the Carrick-a-rede rope bridge challenge? by Eerko...
24 days to go!
24,000 schools have joined the GET SET network, which is teaching millions of children about the Olympic and Paralympic values. Find resources and information on how you can join in.
25 days to go!
There are 25 UNESCO World Heritage Sites to visit in the UK including Durham Castle and Cathedral, New Lanark’s restored 18th century Mill Village, Stonehenge and Blaenavon Industrial Landscape. Closer to the venues of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, you can visit Maritime Greenwich, the Tower of London and Westminster Abbey. Find out more.
26 days to go!
There will be 26 sports taking place at the London 2012 Olympic Games covering thirty-six different disciplines. Find out more about all of the sports taking place in London this summer. Women’s Beach Volleyball at Horse Guards Parade
27 days to go!
The BBC World Service is the world’s largest international broadcaster, broadcasting in English and 27 other world languages to average weekly audiences of 188 million. Find out more about the BBC World Service.
28 days to go!
London Zoo is the world’s oldest scientific zoo, which opened in 1828. Its newest exhibit - Penguin Beach - recently saw the inhabitants getting into the Olympic spirit.
29 days to go!
The Olympic Torch will end the day in Nottingham. The founder of the Salvation Army, William Booth, was born in Nottingham back in 1829. Did you know that the Salvation Army owns Hadleigh Farm, the venue for the London 2012 Olympic Mountain Biking? Find out more about Olympic Mountain Biking. GB rider Liam Killeen test out the course at Hadleigh Farm
30 days to go!
As part of the legacy of the London 2012 Games, £30m will be invested in the UK’s first ever National Sports and Exercise Medicine Centre of Excellence to promote sport and physical activity within healthcare. Find out more about the Centre.
31 days to go!
Nearly 31 million visitors are expected to come the UK in 2012 - will you be one of them? Find out more about what there is to see and do in the UK.
32 days to go!
Did you know that Scotsman Alexander Graham Bell invented the first telephone and today there are more than 32 million telephone lines in the UK alone. Find out more about British inventions and innovation.
33 days to go!
Giant Olympic Rings are decorating cities across the UK. Recently Rings have been unveiled in Heathrow airport, Newcastle and Edinburgh. Whilst in Glasgow’s George Square the London 2012 Olympic Games are being celebrated alongside a massive 33ft long set of Olympic Rings. Find out more about how other cities are celebrating the London 2012 Olympic Games. Olympic Rings in Glasgow...
34 days to go!
The London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games will be held at 34 venues around the United Kingdom. Find out more about the Games venues.
35 days to go!
It’s 35 years since the first BRIT awards were won, with The Beatles winning Outstanding Contribution, Best British Group and Best British Album in 1977. In 2012, Adele and Ed Sheeran were the stars of the show winning two awards each. Find out more about GREAT British Music.
36 days to go!
As part of the 2012 Shakespeare Festival, 36 Shakespeare plays were performed in 36 different languages by performers from around the world. Find out more about the World Shakespeare festival.
37 days to go!
The UK’s thriving fashion industry brings £37 billion to the economy every year. Last week we saw the exciting future of British fashion at the London Graduate Fashion Week, which celebrated the work of more than 1000 fashion students. Find out more about GREAT British fashion.
38 days to go!
The Olympic torch will travel through Yorkshire today from Hull to York. York is a city renown for its history and architecture, including the iconic York Minster. The history of York Minster begins in the 7th century AD and the building we recognise today is thought to have areas over 800 years old. There are many examples of medieval stained glass in the Minister, including the magnificent...
39 days to go!
There are 39 theatres in London’s West End Theatreland putting on plays and musicals to annual audiences of over 13 million. Find out more about current performances.
40 days to go!
40% of applicants for the volunteer role of Games Maker said that London 2012 has inspired them to volunteer for the first time. Find out more about some of the Games Makers and the training they are doing.
41 days to go!
Riders from 41 different nations will compete in equestrian events at the London 2012 Olympic Games. The riders include HM Queen Elizabeth II’s granddaughter, Zara Phillips. Zara will join the Equestrian Eventing Team and is following in the footsteps of her mother, Princess Anne, who competed in the 1976 Montreal Olympics. Learn more about Zara’s qualification and Equestrian...
42 days to go!
42 test events have been held in preparation for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. These events not only demonstrated London’s readiness to stage the Games but also allowed hundreds of thousands of spectators to enjoy world class sport in Olympic and Paralympic venues. Find out more about the test events. Visa International Invitational Hockey Tournament Great Britain...
43 days to go!
Today is the Olympic Torch’s last day in Scotland. It set off from Edinburgh’s Old Town and we can expect some stunning photos of the torch passing through the iconic Edinburgh landscape. You can compare the picture of Edinburgh today with how it looked back in 1943 by viewing this British Council video:
44 days to go!
Artistic Director, Danny Boyle, has recently released details of the London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony. Alongside the thousands of human volunteers who have worked tirelessly for months to perfect the performances, will be 44 horses, chickens, ducks, geese and cows. They will also be helped out by a couple of goats and a flock of sheep and their hard working sheep dogs. Find out more...
45 days to go!
The Olympic Park will be a haven for wildlife with 45 hectares of habitat being created including reedbeds, grasslands, ponds, woodlands, bird and bat boxes. Find out more about Britain’s wildlife.
46 days to go!
46,000 people have worked on the construction of the Olympic Park including 350 apprentices who have learned new skills and will be able to work in the construction industry after the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Find out more about the London 2012 Apprenticeships programme [PDF document]
47 days to go!
At the Beijing 2009 Summer Olympic Games, Team GB won 47 Olympic medals - the most they had won at any summer games since 1908. Find out more about the Team GB athletes who are hoping to win medals in London.
48 days to go!
London last hosted the Olympic Games in 1948. The 1948 Games were the first to take place after a 12 year break because of World War II. In 2012, London will become the first city ever to host the Games three times - in 1908, 1948 and 2012. Find out more about London’s Olympic history.
49 days to go!
The Olympic Torch continues its journey around the UK and today arrives in Scotland. 2012 marks the year of Creative Scotland, a celebration of Scottish art and culture. One project, The Great Tapestry of Scotland, will see the entire story of Scotland stitched onto 49,000 metres of yarn. Learn more about Creative Scotland 2012. Copyright- VisitScotland/ScottishViewpoint