Discovery News -
With 116 years separating the first moden Olympics from this year’s games, there are bound to be some noticeable changes between the two. Aside from archived photos of the Olympics, one of clearest windows into the first modern Olympics held in 1896 is from G. S. Robertson in an essay titled, “An Englishman at the first modern Olympics” (via Longform.org).
Robertson’s account of the 1896 paints a picture of an Olympics in its infancy that, while grappling with the challenges of hosting an international competition without the benefits of modern telecommunications or transporation, still manages to capture what would be described in later generations as the Olympic spirit.
Discovery News -
Olympic mascots might not be as dramatic as the opening ceremonies, as memorable as the athletes, as prominent as the sponsors or as recognizable as the medals. But Olympic mascots are an essential part of every tournament, where the tradition of international competition and good old-fashioned marketing meet.
Mascots can become a symbol of goodwill and provide a window into the character of the host nation. They can also give younger audiences a way to connect with the games before they’re old enough to appreciate the competition itself.
Wenlock and Mandeville are the official mascots of the 2012 Summer Olympic Games and Paralympic Games, respectively, in London. These mascots are also the first to have an active social media presence on Facebook and Twitter.
The most prominent feature on both mascots, the eye, is designed to resemble a camera lens to allow them to “record everything,” an unusual message given that security-minded London is known for having a camera on every corner.
Olympics Delivery Authority (ODA)
The workaday residents of London are again being asked to participate in the defense of the city. Bow Quarter in East London is a white collar, somewhat pedestrian neighborhood populated by young families and professional types, but this summer residents very well might see their sleepy enclave militarized. Over the weekend the Ministry of Defense notified residents of a few different neighborhoods around London’s Olympic Park that they could become home to batteries of high-velocity surface-to-air missiles. In other words, Londoners are getting rockets on their rooftops.
London’s security operation for the Games (running from July 27 to August 12) is pretty spectacular, and the military will be playing a central role alongside police and more conventional security officers. Britain’s MoD has already confirmed that up to 13,500 troops, two warships, Typhoon fighter jets, military explosives ordnance disposal teams, and combat helicopters will all be deployed around the country for the duration of the Olympics. But the militarization of their rooftops came as a surprise to residents, who were informed via the post that roughly 10 troops and a variety of hardware could be installed atop their buildings for up to two months this summer. More