It's a long jump into the future, but Travel Channel takes a look at the host cities for the Summer and Winter Olympic Games, including London, Rio de Janeiro, Sochi and Pyeongchang.
Millions of athletes and spectators from around the world will converge on London’s Olympic Park and Olympic Stadium (pictured) for the 2012 Summer Games. The stadium, surrounded by waterways on 3 sides, is the heart of the Olympic Park. Two spectacular opening and closing ceremonies for the Olympic and Paralympic Games will be held here, as well as some of the most iconic sports events.
In addition to the Summer Games in London, locals and visitors will have an opportunity to enjoy the Tower Bridge Summer Festival 2012, a season of events held at D&D London’s 4 Butlers Wharf restaurants from March until the end of August. Sit back and enjoy a variety of special events while eating and drinking alfresco.
The show must go on! The Mall and half of St. James’s Park, near Buckingham Palace, will be shut down for the Olympic beach volleyball tournament, marathon and road cycling events. The Changing of the Guard on Horse Guards Parade will take a new route and be held on different days at different times to preserve the royal ceremony and avoid a clash with the sports schedule.
The Olympic torch relay is one of the first signs that the Summer Olympic Games are only a few months away. Here, the ceremonial torch is passed on to another lucky Olympic torchbearer. The torch relay for the 2012 Summer Games in London started in Land’s End on May 19 and is expected to conclude on Friday, July 27, at the Olympics opening ceremony.
The 2014 Winter Olympics and Paralympics, the 22nd Olympic Winter Games, will be held in Sochi, Russia, in February 2014. Sochi, located just north on the Black Sea coast, is Russia’s largest resort city.
Sochi is located near the Caucasus Mountains, making it a perfect destination for snowboarding, skiing and other Winter Olympic sports.
In 2016, Rio de Janeiro will host the Summer Olympic Games of the XXXI Olympiad. The borough of Barra de Tijuca will host most of the venues of the Games. The rest will be located in 3 other zones: Copacabana Beach, Maracanã and Deodoro. Maracanã Stadium (pictured) is currently closed for renovations and upgrades in preparation for the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics and Paralympics.
While you’re in Rio for the 2016 Summer Olympics, make sure you check out some of the top tourist attractions, including a cable car ride to Sugarloaf Mountain. Take your best shot, and get great panoramic views of the bustling city below.
For the 2018 Winter Olympics, head to Pyeongchang, located in South Korea’s Taebaek Mountains region. Alpensia ski resort (pictured) -- a tourist attraction with 6 slopes for skiing and snowboarding -- will be the focus of the 2018 Cultural Olympiad. A new, multipurpose concert hall will be built within the resort.
South Korea has already set the wheels in motion to build an express rail line that will get tourists and locals from Seoul to Pyeongchang in about 50 minutes. The new rail line is scheduled to be completed in 2017. Travelers will have an opportunity to visit historic landmarks like Seoul’s Gyeongbok Palace, and enjoy the Winter Games at the InterContinental Alpensia Pyeongchang Resort.