5 things you didn’t know about the Olympic Games, London 2012

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From the McDonalds menu to the age difference between the youngest and oldest performers, we’ve rounded up the things you didn’t know about this great sporting event:

With the Olympic Games just a fortnight away, we’ve rounded up five things you didn’t know about this great sporting event:

McDonalds in the Olympic Park, East London
McDonalds in the Olympic Park, East London. Image: McDonalds

1. The Olympic Park is home to the world’s largest – and busiest – McDonalds. Seating 1,500 people and serving the broadest menu ever provided at an Olympic Games (Happy Meals will be available for the first time, for example), the principle of sustainability is at the heart of this enterprise.

About 75 per cent (more than 5,500) of the items (furniture, kitchens, even the cooking oil!) are designed to be recyclable or reused after the Games, and will be moved to other McDonald’s outlets (vehicles in the case of the oil) in the UK. Once the Games are over, Moscow’s Pushkin Square branch will regain its crown as the biggest McDonald’s in the world.

Olympic tickets
Olympic tickets – there are still some floating about… Image: p_a_h

2. Tickets are still available. According to latest reports, 200,000 football tickets and 200,000 tickets for other sports will go on sale, returns from international Olympic committees. But you’ll need to move very, very quickly and be flexible! Tickets are being released day by day from now until July 27. You can still get lucky and end up with access to the Closing Ceremony, Athletics – Marathon, Football, Handball, Hockey, Sailing, Table Tennis, Weightlifting and Water Polo, as well as for medal sessions in the men’s Beach Volleyball competition.

There are also a limited number of suite tickets available at North Greenwich Arena (also known as O2 Arena), where you can watch women’s basketball medal sessions, Gymnastics – Artistic and Gymnastics – Trampoline.

The Orbit in the Olympic Park
The Orbit in the Olympic Park. Image: london2012.com

3. You can soak up all the atmosphere and excitement of the Olympic Park and visit the Orbit. Olympic Park tickets are still available (don’t hang around!) from the london2012 website for £10. Pay by Visa (debit, credit and prepaid cards) only. Tickets for the Orbit cost £15, but are only available with a ticket for the Olympic Park or for a sport session in the Olympic Park. Don’t forget to search the Paralympic events for these tickets too, if you’re planning a later trip to London.

The Anish Kapoor-designed Orbit is the tallest art structure in the UK and from the viewing platform (at 85 metres high), London’s skyline is laid out in all its splendour. It will close after the Games, but re-open in late 2013, when it will no doubt vie with the Shard for view-hungry visitors.

Costume extravaganza - Save the surprise Olympic Games London 2012
Sssshhh! Games organisers are using the screens in the stadium to encourage volunteers not to divulge the secrets of the opening ceremony. Image: erobby

4. For London 2012 the costume department is producing so many outfits you could wear something new every day for 63 years. Sixty-three also happens to be the age difference between the youngest performers (just seven) and the oldest (a sprightly 70). Some volunteers are delighting in the opportunity to don dungarees!

Wenlock and Mandeville in chocolate - Olympic chocolates
Wenlock and Mandeville in chocolate. Image cadburygiftsdirect.co.uk

5. The Olympic mascots, Wenlock and Mandeville, were formed, it is said, from two blobs of steel in a Bolton steelworks.

Wenlock is named after Much Wenlock, a town in Shropshire where the the Olympian Society Annual Games, a forerunner of the modern Olympics, were held.

Mandeville is named for Stoke Mandeville Hospital, which organised the Stoke Mandeville Games, the precursor of the Paralympics.

You’ll find the pair taking lots of forms in London’s shops! Chocolate, jelly, plush…

Read all our Olympic Games coverage:

You don’t have to break a sweat to win gold! Pan for it!

Get up close and personal with Olympians at Madame Tussauds

Oddest places to stay during the Olympic Games

Olympic county Dorset’s cultural Olympiad

Torch coral at The Deep – a natural Olympic Torch for London2012

Olympic mascots through the years [pictures]

Arrive at the Games, Olympian style

Getting around the Games

Where to watch the Olympics if you don’t have a ticket

Scale an Olympic venue – the O2 Arena

London’s new cable car – the Emirates Air Line

#FollowFriday: Olympic Tweeps to follow on Twitter

Ways to avoid the Olympics in London this summer

(Featured image: Karen Roe)

5 things you didn’t know about the Olympic Games, London 2012 was last modified: June 26th, 2019 by Oonagh Shiel
Author: Oonagh Shiel (3252 posts)

Content Manager at Cheapflights whose travel life can be best summed up as BC (before children) and PC (post children). We only travel during the school holidays so short-haul trips and staycations are our specialities!