“A glorious keepsake of the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games, full of unforgettable images, powerful quotes and fascinating statistics. It traces the whole incredible story, from early preparation through the creation of the Olympic Park, the Torch Relay and the innovative Cultural Olympiad. It explores both Games in detail, revealing how record-breaking athletes, spectators, volunteers and locals have all made London 2012 their own. Beautifully designed and featuring the Games’ most evocative photography and a foreword by Sebastian Coe KBE, London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games: The Commemorative Book captures the magical atmosphere of a once in a lifetime event.”
Who would have thought that, as I write, it’s been nearly a year since Sir Bradley Wiggins range the bell to signify the official start of the London 2012 Olympic Games?
After enjoying the occasions that were the Olympic and Paralympic Games, I put this book on my Christmas List last year. Split into six distinct sections, this book has indepth sections on the London bid for the Games and the work done to get the event ready, the welcoming of the athletes from the various competing nations and The London 2012 festival which included theatre, music, arts and literature, alongside the two main sections regarding the Olympics and Paralympics themselves and the obligatory stats section.
The two main sections regarding the Games don’t go into exhaustive detail on the various sports. Instead, they provide pen-picture highlights of approximately two to three paragraphs to roughly half a page on each of the disciplines that took place over the course of the Games. The good thing of writing in this manner is that the book provides the reader with a flavour and remembrance of the Games, without boring them rigid with technical information, facts and figures.
Alongside the text, which is laid out in an easy to read manner, are the real selling point of this book which are the beautiful photos. It’s often said that a picture can speak a thousand words, and this book definitely proves that point as they are colourful, beautifully shot, contain action and movement, and show the best of the human condition – both in triumph and defeat.
As with all “coffee table” books, it isn’t designed to be read cover to cover as, no doubt, the reader will gravitate towards their favourite events and due to the book’s format, they will also gravitate towards the photographs.
If you’re expecting a blow-by-blow commentary on the Olympics and Paralympics of 2012, you will be disappointed by this book. However, if you are looking for a book which provides a remembrance and can bring a smile of that heady summer of sport where people showed the best of who they can be, this is one for you – despite the high price tag.