|Google doodles Celebrates opening ceremony London 2012|
The stage is set and the athletes are primed as the seven-year countdown to the London 2012 Olympics reaches its finale with Friday’s much-anticipated opening ceremony.
The three-hour spectacle, expected to be watched by a global television audience of up to one billion, will mark the beginning of 17 days of athletic endeavour which will create heroes, shatter dreams and fire national pride.
Over 10,500 athletes from 204 countries are expected to participate in 302 events in 26 sports. With the 2012 games London becomes the first city to host the modern Olympic Games thrice. The British capital had previously hosted the event in 1908 and 1948.
The Indian contingent to London 2012 is a 142-member strong, comprising 81 athletes and 36 coaches. India is taking part in 13 disciplines.