Wednesday, July 27th marks the one year countdown to the 2012 London Summer Olympic Games. The city has been busy since 2005, when it was named host. So far, things have gone smoothly in the planning and preparations of what London officials are hoping to be the best games ever.
There have already been over 23 million ticket applications for the 3.5 million available, which means London can anticipate a full house next year. A quarter of a million people have also applied to the 70,000 volunteer positions for the games.
Here's what we can look forward to from London within the next 12 months.
East London has devoted 560-acres to the Olympic park, which includes nine venues both temporary and permanent. There are many more planned sites all over London and the rest of the UK.
Wednesday morning, officials unveiled the brand new aquatics center- the last major venue to be completed for the games. The $442 million project was opened on an abandoned industrial space in hopes of rejuvenating the area after the games.
The center will be christened Wednesday night when 17-year-old Tom Daley (who recently qualified for his second Olympics) takes the first dive. The 17,500-seat venue will be used for diving, swimming, synchronized swimming and water polo events.
The Lee Valley White Water Centre in Hertfordshire was the first brand new 2012 venue to be completed, in December 2010.
Also completed are the 80,000-seat Olympic Stadium (track and field), the Velodrome (cycling), handball arena, basketball arena, BMX Center and the International Broadcast Centre. The football and field hockey venues will be installed between July and September 2011. London hopes to have all the major venues completed well before the athletes arrive and the test trials begin next year.
Existing venues, fields and waterways will be used for other sports like archery, volleyball, soccer, boxing, gymnastics, fencing, weight lifting, triathlons and open water sports. These venues will also be used for the Paralympic Games, starting August 29th, after the Olympic closing ceremonies on August 12th.
Tonight, the President of the International Olympic Committee, Jacques Rogge will formally invite the athletes of the world to the Games next summer. He will also unveil the Olympic medals at an event in London's Trafalgar Square. The ceremony will feature a visit from London's Mayor, Boris Johnson, as well as performances by bands, BMX riding displays and dance acts.
A total of 15,000 athletes from over 200 countries will be invited to compete in the Olympic and Parlaympic Games.
Along with inviting the athletes, an invitation has been issued for 10,000 Londoners to join the performers of the 2012 opening and closing ceremonies at the Olympic Stadium.
Essex County Council has also launched its "London Ambassadors" initiative to ask 8,000 people to act as stewards of London at a number of locations next summer. Volunteers will help visitors navigate the country's transportation and guide them safely from one venue to another. They will also join in the Olympic Torch Relay as it travels through London 19 May - 27 July 2012.
Police and security officials have been tirelessly working to insure the safest games possible. Past events have made it clear that there may be an attempted attack at the games; on July 7, 2005, a day after the city's bid was chosen, suicide bombers set off devices on the Underground and a bus, killing 52 people.
Officials say that they expect the security threat level to be severer during the games, but police are continually checking and monitoring the venues to keep the odds of an attack to a minimum. When the games open, the hundreds of thousands of spectators will go through multiple layers of security and an airport-like check to enter the 32 venues. However, Olympic officials say that they do not want these extra security measures to interfere with the spirit and excitement of the games.
The Olympic committee is also encouraging fans to start "tweeting for your team," to show support on the road to the games. You can also keep up with all the Olympic action on Facebook and on their official website at www.london2012.com