London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics

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Creative Commons Licence [Some Rights Reserved]   Text © Copyright September 2012, Oast House Archive; licensed for re-use under a Creative Commons Licence.
Images also under a similar Creative Commons Licence.

Torch Relay

The UK torch relay lasted 70 days, with 66 evening celebrations. About 8,000 people carried the torch a total distance of about 8,000 miles (12,800 km), starting from Land's End in Cornwall. The torch relay passed within one hour's travelling time for 95% of the UK population. It was intended to help the London 2012 Olympic Legacy by getting school children, local celebrities and local people involved.

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Olympic Torch Relay by Oast House Archive
The Olympic Flame travelled from Athens by plane to Cornwall, where it was taken to Land's End. On 19th May it started the 8,000 mile journey over 70 days carried by 8,000 runners to reach London on 27th July for the start of the London 2012 Olympic Games.

TQ8209 : Torch bearer, Day 61 Olympic Torch Relay by Oast House Archive

Logos & Mascots

London 2012 Logo

This was designed by Wolff Olins, was published on 4 June 2007 as a representation of the number 2012, with the Olympic Rings embedded within the zero.
SU9749 : 2012 by Colin Smith TQ4277 : Mandeville by Ian Capper TQ3785 : Stratford: Olympic flags by Chris Downer

Olympic Logo

The symbol of the Olympic Games is composed of five interlocking rings, coloured blue, yellow, black, green, and red on a white field, known as the "Olympic rings". The symbol was originally designed in 1912 by Baron Pierre de Coubertin, the founder of the modern Olympic Games. According to de Coubertin, the ring colours with the white background stand for those colours that appeared on all the national flags that competed in the Olympic games at that time
TQ3079 : Olympic rings by Richard Croft TQ3082 : St Pancras station: Olympic rings by Christopher Hilton NT2573 : Edinburgh is ready for the Olympic Games by M J Richardson

Paralympic Logo

The 2012 Summer Paralympics used an emblem sharing a common design with that of the Summer Olympics—the first time this had ever been done.

The symbol of the Paralympic Games is composed of three "agitos", coloured red, blue, and green, encircling a single point, on a white field. The agito ("I move" in Latin) is a symbol of movement in the shape of an asymmetrical crescent. The Paralympic symbol was created by the Scholz & Friends agency and approved in April 2003.

TQ3785 : Agitos, Olympic Park by Oast House Archive TQ3380 : The Agitos Symbol, close-up by David Anstiss ST1876 : Agitos, Cardiff by Gareth James

Wenlock and Mandeville

The Olympic and Paralympic mascots, named after Much Wenlock, the inspiration for the modern Olympic games and Stoke Mandeville Hospital, which organised the first Stoke Mandeville Games in 1948 (the same year as the previous London games), which is considered to be the precursor to the Paralympics.

TQ4378 : Wenlock and Mandeville by Ian Capper TQ3280 : Olympic statue on the South Bank SE1 by Robin Sones

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The London 2012 Olympic mascots Wenlock & Paralympic Mandevilles by PAUL FARMER
These two-metre-tall figures have appeared on London's streets in the run up to the Olympic Games. They are made with the last drops of steel left over from the construction of the final support girder of the Olympic Stadium.

Wenlock's name is derived from the Shropshire village of Much Wenlock which hosted Wenlock Games that inspired Baron Pierre de Coubertin to create the modern Olympics.

Mandeville's name comes from the Stoke Mandeville Games, widely recognised as a forerunner of the Paralympic movement.

TQ2980 : Queen's Guard Wenlock in Piccadilly by PAUL FARMER

Gold Post Boxes

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Olympic & Paralympic Gold Post Boxes by Oast House Archive
During the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games, the Royal Mail celebrated each Great Britain gold medal by painting a post box gold in the home town of each gold medal winning olympian and paralympian.

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SK0500 : Gold postbox on the High Street by John M


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