Summer Olympics Through the Years

Did you know that tug-of-war was an Olympic sport back at the 1900 Games in Paris? See this and more in a look back at the last 116 years of summer Olympics around the world!

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Land's End
Land's End

Land's End

Located in Cornwall, Land's End will be the first overnight stop for the Olympic torch. The small settlement sits atop rocky cliffs in the most southwestern corner of England. 960 1280

VisitBritain  

Millennium Centre

Millennium Centre

On May 25, the torch will spend the night in Cardiff, the capital of Wales. The Wales Millennium Centre greets visitors with an inscription that reads, "In These Stones Horizons Sing," and in Welsh words that translate as, "Creating truth like glass from the furnace of inspiration." 960 1280

VisitBritain  

Aberystwyth

Aberystwyth

The coastal town of Aberystwyth will have an evening celebration for the torch on May 27. Considered the cultural capital of Wales, it is also home to the ruins of the 12th-century Aberystwyth castle ruins. 960 1280

VisitBritain  

Penrhyn Castle

Penrhyn Castle

On May 28, the torch will stop in Bangor, one of the smallest cities in the UK and home to Penrhyn Castle, which overlooks the Snowdonia Mountains. 960 1280

VisitBritain  

Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle

On June 13, the torch will hop over to Scotland for a stop in the vibrant and cosmopolitan city of Edinburgh. Overlooking the city, Edinburgh Castle reminds visitors of Scotland's historical roots. 960 1280

VisitBritain  

Alnwick Castle

Alnwick Castle

Alnwick Castle will welcome the torch on June 14. Guarded by stone-carved lions, the castle in the Northumberland region dates back to the 11th century, although it's more commonly known for its role as the Hogwarts Castle in the Harry Potter films. 960 1280

VisitBritain  

Lake Windermere

Lake Windermere

The torch will arrive at Bowness-on-Windermere, home to England's largest natural lake, on June 21. The secluded town in the heart of the Lake District has been a tourist attraction since the Victorian era, drawing visitors with its watersports and scenic views. 960 1280

VisitBritain  

Coventry Cathedral

Coventry Cathedral

These stained glass windows can be found inside Coventry Cathedral in the ancient city of Coventry, which will welcome the torch on July 1. The cathedral that stands today was built 50 years ago next to the ruins of the old cathedral, symbolizing the revival of the city after the Blitz bombing raids of World War II. 960 1280

VisitBritain  

Radcliffe Camera

Radcliffe Camera

On July 9, the torch will come to Oxford where the Radcliffe Camera, or "Rad Cam" as it is commonly called, has been standing since 1749. The circular science library is an iconic landmark in this culturally diverse region. 960 1280

VisitBritain  

Weymouth

Weymouth

The torch will pass through the seaside town of Weymouth in Dorset on July 12. Together with the town of Portland, Weymouth will host the 2012 Olympic sailing events. 960 1280

VisitBritain  

Jersey

Jersey

The torch will pass through the region of Jersey on July 15. Part of the Channel Islands, the area is a popular destination for athletes, with picturesque beaches and 100 miles of bike trails. 960 1280

VisitBritain  

Old Town

Old Town

Hastings Old Town will celebrate the arrival of the torch on July 17. Full of history with its half-timbered houses and narrow streets (called "twittens" by the locals), Old Town is home to the largest beach-launched fishing fleet in Europe. 960 1280

photolibrary.com  

Sochi, Russia
2014 Winter Olympics

2014 Winter Olympics

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. 960 1280

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Snowboarding in Sochi

Snowboarding in Sochi

Sochi is located near the Caucasus Mountains, making it a perfect destination for snowboarding, skiing and other Winter Olympic sports. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

2016 Summer Olympics

2016 Summer Olympics

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. 960 1280

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Sugarloaf Mountain

Sugarloaf Mountain

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. 960 1280

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2018 Winter Olympics

2018 Winter Olympics

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. 960 1280

Korea.net, Flickr  

Gyeongbok Palace

Gyeongbok Palace

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. 960 1280

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Remembering the 2012 Summer Olympics

Remembering the 2012 Summer Olympics

Millions of athletes and spectators from around the world converged 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 were held here, as well as some of the most iconic sports events. 960 1280

Getty Images  

Tower Bridge Summer Festival

Tower Bridge Summer Festival

In addition to the Summer Games in London, locals and visitors enjoyed the Tower Bridge Summer Festival 2012, a season of events held at D&D London’s 4 Butlers Wharf restaurants. Spectators sat back and enjoyed a variety of special events while eating and drinking alfresco. 960 1280

VisitBritain/Craig Easton  

Changing of the Guard

Changing of the Guard

The show must go on! The Mall and half of St. James’s Park, near Buckingham Palace, shut down for the Olympic beach volleyball tournament, marathon and road cycling events. The Changing of the Guard on Horse Guards Parade took a new route and was held on different days at different times to preserve the royal ceremony and avoid a clash with the sports schedule. 960 1280

photolibrary.com  

Torch Relay

Torch Relay

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 and concluded on Friday, July 27, 2012, at the Olympics opening ceremony. 960 1280

Getty Images  


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