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Wales Kicks Off 2012 Olympiad


Let the Games Begin!

New York, New York – February 29, 2012 – Wales is used to scoring goals, punching above its weight and generally running well ahead of the pack.  True to its winning form, the tiny country is counting down to its kick off of the London 2012 Olympic Games. The earliest official Olympic football matches will take place in Wales two full days before the Opening Ceremony occurs in London on July 27, 2012.


It’s no wonder that Team USA Olympic swimmer and gold-medalist Rebecca Soni has become a fan after visiting Wales as a part of Team USA: Britain Bound.  “I was really excited to get the opportunity to visit Wales for the first time, especially since it’s so close to London and Cardiff will be hosting events for the 2012 Olympics,” Soni said. “I was amazed by the energy and history of Cardiff, and the castle right in the center of town was so charming. I also loved the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park and the incredible coastal landscapes. The people were so welcoming, and I definitely hope to make it back after the Olympics.” Follow Soni’s adventures in Wales and watch the full Team USA: Britain Bound series at


Football (that’s soccer to Yanks) Opens 2012 Olympiad

Cardiff, Wales’s capital, will host the first official 2012 Olympic event two days before the London Opening Ceremony, when four of the qualifying women’s football teams will play a double header of group games at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium.  The stadium will host 11 matches on eight dates in both the men’s and women’s football competitions, starting on Wednesday July 25 and finishing with the men’s bronze medal match on August 10.


Passing the Torch – a Uniquely Welsh Approach

Only in Wales could the Olympic flame be taken in a lantern by cog railway to the summit of Mount Snowdon, the highest point of the 2012 route, travel by hand-drawn boat across the 200-year old landmark, the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct near Wrexham, and be carried on the back of a Ceredigion Cob horse in Aberaeron.  About 500 Welsh torch bearers will take part in the 5-day relay in Wales.

After starting in Land's End in southwest England on May 19 2012, the Olympic Torch Relay will cross into Wales on May 25 when it arrives in Monmouth from Ross-on-Wye, traveling through south and west Wales, up Cardigan Bay and across north Wales, leaving Welshpool on May 30.  More than 80 towns, villages and cities across Wales will get a glimpse of the torch.  And the world will catch a glimpse of Wales’s stunning and varied landscapes.



Wales: Olympic Medal Winner

The Royal Mint in Wales located in Llantrisant has been awarded the honor of making the official medals for the 2012 Games.  Designed by British designer, David Watkins (who also created the special effects for the iconic film 2001: A Space Odyssey) they are some of the heaviest medals ever struck.  Fashionistas, take note: uniform designers for Team GB (Great Britain) have had to make some last minute alterations. The pockets of the athletes' formal suits have been adjusted to accommodate the medals' 85mm diameter, 375 -400 gram weight and 7mm thickness.


Extreme Training – the Hillary tradition continues

Mountaineer Edmund Hillary trained for his historic ascent of Mount Everest on magnificent Mount Snowdon in Wales.  To date, about 700 athletes and support staff are expected to train in Wales in the lead up to the 2012 Games. Multi-sport Paralympic teams from Australia, New Zealand and South Africa have decided to carry out their immediate pre Games training in Wales as has the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Team, along with the Amateur International Boxing Association ‘Road to London’ training camp.


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