This Summer the 2012 Olympic Games will be held from July 27-August 12 in London, England. In fact, London will become the first city to host the Games on three separate occasions. The Royal City first hosted the Games in 1908 and in 1948 after a 12 year hiatus for the Games caused by World War II.
The first Olympic games were were held in Ancient Greece in 776 B.C. The modern Olympic Games began in 1896. At those games 240 men (no women were allowed to compete) from just 14 countries competed. In Beijing in 2008 almost 11,000 men and women competed from over 204 Nations.
Here are some quick facts about the 2012 Olympics:
- There wil be 204 countries represented.
- There will be over 10,500 athletes competing.
- The USA will be represented by approximately 530 athletes.
- There will be 2,100 medals awarded in 29 sports and 36 disciplines.
- At the 2008 Olympics the USA led all Nations with 110 medals.
- The Olympic torch will travel for 70 days through over 1,000 cities.
- Sporting events will be held at 31 venues across the United Kingdom: 22 in London, 9 in other English cities, 1 in Wales and 1 in Scotland.
What you may not know is that among the approximately 530 athletes on Team USA who qualified for the 2012 Olympics three of them are from the University of Miami. Among the participants are two former Miami Hurricane track athletes and Brittany Viola who will compete in the diving competition.
Two other Hurricanes will compete for Great Britian in women's volleyball. In addition, Amy Deem, the current track coach at UM, will also serve as the USA women's track head coach for the 2012 Olympics.
UM track sensation Lauryn Williams will be making here third trip to the Olympics. Williams was the top American finisher in the women's 100m in both the 2004 and 2008 Olympics, winning a silver medal in Athens. The sprinter brings relay experience as a member of the 4x100m relay in Athens and Beijing. She is also a three-time world champion and was a nine-time All-American during her time at UM. Williams won the 2004 NCAA title and was considered the World's Fastest Women in 2005.
Joining Williams will be track athlete T'erea Brown who won a spot on Team USA in the 400 meter hurdles event. The former University of Miami track standout punched her ticket to the Olympic Games in London by finishing third in the finals of the 400m hurdles on Sunday at Heyward Field on the campus of the University of Oregon.
Brown was the first Hurricane to ever win a USA Title at the 2010 U.S. Outdoor Track and Field Championships and also won first place in the 400m hurdles at the 2011 NCAA Championships. Brown was also named the ACC Women's Outdoor Track Performer of the Year following her senior season last year. She wrapped her illustrious collegiate career at UM with seven All-America honors.
The three Hurricanes will be in Jolly Old England to do a little more than just going sight-seeing, eating some really good fish and chips and meeting lots of people with really bad teeth. They will be in London to "bring home the gold" while also representing the USA and "The U" in grand style.
GO CANES AND GO USA!