London calling: 2012 Olympic Summer Games

Only one month to go until opening day of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Here, the best sites and apps to tour London and keep up to date on the Games.

2012 London Olympic Park By Heather Camlot

With only one month to go until opening day of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, we’re kind of getting excited. Steve Nash’s been named general manager of the men’s national Canadian basketball program, women’s boxing will make its knock out debut, American swimmer Michael Phelps could possibly become the most decorated Olympian ever. Yep, I’d say there’s a lot to cheer about this year.

Getting to know London

London’s been the happening place in the last couple of years, what with Will and Kate’s royal wedding in 2011 and now the Olympics. Last year, we selected the top apps to help you manoeuvre around the city and this year we have two more to add to the list.

  • Digi-Guide London (Apple) offers the best routes, restaurants, and destinations as recommended by a local passionate about her city. Everything can be accessed offline – which is nice when you think about roaming charges – including GPS position, maps, photos, tips, and tours.
  • Best of London (Apple), by award-winning travel writer Paul Murphy, pinpoints the tried-and-true and lesser-known gems throughout the city – from restaurants and shopping arcades to quiet oases. Also available are photo slideshows, one-click website to buy tickets and view menus, Google maps and area overviews.

For more about how the city is preparing for the  games, check out the offerings on, the official site of the Olympic movement, or check in on Twitter and Facebook.

Following the Games

Olympic apps are furiously being built to help smartphone users learn about, track and keep up to date on the Games.  Here are just a few:

  • iLondon 2012 (Apple) allows you to schedule events to your calendar so you don’t miss the action you’re desperate to catch.  You also get easy-to-read medal standings, Olympic records, and news from the official site.
  • London Games 2012 (Apple) is a sleek-looking app that provides a countdown to the games, a gorgeous photo book, social networking links, interesting facts, and the latest news from London.
  • London Olympics 2012 Ultimate (Android) lets you set up the countries you want to follow so you can keep abreast of the wins and losses. You can also receive events results, rankings, Olympic news, medal counts, and event schedules and try your hand at predicting the winners.
  • Summer 2012 Olympic News (Android) is a live link to the games with the mission of providing a steady stream of news to your Android device. If it’s happening, it will be on your phone.

Don’t forget to check out the official London 2012 Olympics site for schedules, news, photos, bios and results, follow its Twitter feed for up-to-the-minute information and catch the latest videos of its YouTube channel.  In early summer the site will also release two apps – Official Results App and Official Join In App.

Pursuing the American dream

In a triumphant move, the official American broadcast network of the Olympics, NBC, will stream the events live online and on the go. The web site is already in full news mode with videos, photos, headlines and athlete bios. A nice feature is the Hometown coverage, allowing you to follow athletes from your neck of the woods. Follow along on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

For further information about Team USA and to grab some team swag, head over the U.S. Olympic Committee site. You’ll find feature stories, the latest news, athlete profiles and more. Follow on Twitter and Facebook.

Digging Canadian content

To get in on all the Canadian action, head over to the official Canadian broadcaster, CTV. Here you’ll find  a slew of videos, feature stories and photos to get you in the know as well as live streaming when the games begin. Follow along on Facebook and on Twitter.

For gorgeous photos of Team Canada and even more information, visit the Canadian Olympic Committee site. And to don your red and white, head to The Bay’s Olympic collection (yes, the red mittens are still around).

The 2012 London Olympics begin July 27 and run until August 12. Good luck to all!

Images: courtesy London 2012

First published May 28, 2012, on


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