The Greatest show on earth has arrived. The year 2012 sees the Olympic Games coming to the UK for the third time in their history. They have been seven years in the making and it will be many years before their sporting and cultural inheritance fades.This book celebrates Britain's achievement in winning the XXX Olympiad by presenting a concise but thorough chronicle of the Games from Ancient Greece to London 2012. It is often forgotten that London previously hosted the Games in 1908 and 1948, and the progress of the Olympic dream very much matches the turbulent annals of that entire century.The book chronicles those years of international sporting achievement, particularly from London 1948 to the present day. But this account is not justabout athletic prowess. Each Olympics has had its own particular story of rivalry, infighting, political chicanery or financial disaster - and, on occasions, violent tragedy. The thrills, joys and dramas of the past are all in this concise handbook, to be used as a companion to the spectacular sporting saga being enacted in London 2012.