1. The music
Paul McCartney, Madonna, Elbow, Tinie Tempah, and Duran Duran among others, will all be playing in association with the event. So have your lighters at the ready and be prepared for some of the finest music Britain has to offer.
YouTube credit: num1Beatlesfan
2. Ireland’s boxing hopes
Katie Taylor has been widely tipped to win a medal and Ireland aren’t too shabby in men’s boxing department either, where Paddy Barnes will be hoping to repeat or even improve upon the bronze medal that he won four years ago. Taylor, in particular, is in fine form, having won the World Championship recently (see below).
YouTube credit: tony713elo
3. The 100m final
Will Usain Bolt meet expectations? Will the world record be broken again? Can Jamaica’s dominance be quelled? As a result of the many questions surrounding it and the high drama that’s likely to ensue, the 100m final is arguably the most hotly anticipated event of the entire Olympic calendar. Check out how 2008 unfolded below, with a then-21-year-old Usain Bolt memorably blowing the competition away.
YouTube credit: olympic
4. The niche sports
While the likes of soccer, tennis and basketball may receive much attention owing to the high-profile athletes competing, some of the less venerated sports are just as much fun to watch, if not more so. So do yourself a favour and check out modern pentathlon, table tennis, triathlon or shooting if you get the chance. You won’t regret it.
YouTube credit: nervA86
5. The pub arguments
Should Cian O’Connor be allowed to travel? Were the Olympic Council of Ireland right to reinstate Catriona Cuddihy to the 4x400m relay squad? Are we putting too much pressure on Katie Taylor’s shoulders by hyping her up? If nothing else, the Olympics provides us with great scope for pub debates.
(Joanna Mills – INPHO/Presseye/Matt Mackey)
6. The analysts
The BBC have the supremely knowledgeable Michael Johnson on their team (and er, Gary Lineker), while RTE’s pundits, and Jerry Kiernan in particular, are great for providing Eamon Dunphy-esque controversial/entertaining analysis with their blunt views. We’ll also get to have the legend that is Bill O’Herlihy back on our TV screens after his brief post-Euro 2012 break.
YouTube credit: ESPN
7. The enormity of the occasion
There is a particular thrill that can be derived from watching sport when you get the sense that history is being created before your very eyes, and the Olympics is an occasion where this occurs more frequently than at any other big sporting event. Records are constantly broken as feats of athletic excellence consistently astonish, and the sense of camaraderie which this instills in fans is ultimately what sport is all about and consequently, one of the main reasons why we watch it in the first place.
YouTube credit: jotazenda
8. The opening ceremony
Whenever a World Cup or any similarly big event comes along, there is a prevailing sense that the open ceremony is little more than a necessary indulgence. However, the Olympics is the exception to this rule, with its opening ceremonies invariably proving to be spectacular occasions. Assuming London manages to match the grand spectacles that the likes of Sydney and Beijing provided, we’re in for quite a treat.
YouTube credit: m007allred
Did we forget anything? Let us know in the comments section below.