London City guide
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London City guide

Aerial view of London


United Kingdom - sovereign state/country comprised of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (i.e. England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales)

Great Britain - largest of the British Isles (or islands), comprised of England, Scotland and Wales

GBR - In certain competitions, teams and athletes compete as individual home nations (i.e. England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales), while in others they compete as the United Kingdom. This is the case for the Olympics, where British athletes compete as Great Britain and Northern Ireland. For historical reasons the IOC code is GBR, although competing athletes may hail from Northern Ireland.

Located in south-east England on the shores of the river Thames, London is the capital city of the United Kingdom, with a population that ranges between 7.5 (city) million and 14 million (metropolitan area), making it the largest city in Western Europe.

A major economic, cultural, political and administrative centre, London is a truly global city. Almost one third of its population was born outside the United Kingdom, resulting in an extremely large ethnic and cultural diversity.

Sport has always played a vital role in British society, while in turn Britain has certainly been deeply influential in shaping the way sport is played and perceived today.

Pierre de Coubertin, founder of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and widely considered the father of the Modern Olympic Games, greatly admired how the British private schools of the 19th century taught ‘games’ and integrated sporting values into the civic education of young men.

London in many ways shares this heritage, boasting sporting venues such as Wembley Stadium (football/soccer), Wimbledon (tennis), Lords Cricket Ground (cricket), Twickenham (rugby), Wentworth (golf) and Ascot (horse racing).

Sporting and otherwise, the 2012 Olympic Games are certain to add yet another rich chapter to the unique history of the city of London.


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