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The London Olympics: past and present

The London Olympics and Paralympic Games are due to take place in 2012 and provide a much-needed boost to London’s economy, but it will not be the first time England’s capital has played host to this ancient sporting event.

London 2012 actually marks the third time that the Olympics has arrived in London. In fact, the city will be the only one in the history of the event to have hosted it more than twice. The first Olympics to take place in the city was back in 1908. That year, the event was originally set to be held in Rome but, due to Mount Vesuvius erupting in 1906, the event had to be moved to an alternative location and London stepped up to the challenge.

The second London Olympics was held in 1948. The games would normally have been held in 1944, but due to the outbreak of war were postponed until later that decade. The 1948 Olympic games also made history by being the first of its kind to be broadcast on television.

London 2012 has prompted the city of London to undergo considerable redevelopment, both in and around sites that are due to host events for the games. The majority of building work can be seen at Stratford in the East End, which is home to the Olympic Park stadium where most of the Olympic events will be held. Stratford is also home to the Olympic Village, where Olympic officials and the athletes themselves will reside during the events.

Following the London Olympics, the Olympic Park will be used for other sporting activities and will continue to be used for other major events for an indefinite period of time.

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