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The 2012 Summer Olympics, officially the Games of the XXX Olympiad and commonly known as London 2012, was a major international multi-sport event celebrated in the tradition of the Olympic Games, as governed by the International Olympic Committee. It took place in London, United Kingdom, from 27 July to 12 August 2012. The first event, the group stage in women's football, began two days earlier, on 25 July at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. More than 10,000 athletes from 204 National Olympic Committees participated. It started on Friday 27 July 2012 at 0:00. Following a bid headed by former Olympic champion Sebastian Coe and then-Mayor of London Ken Livingstone, London was selected as the host city on 6 July 2005 during the 117th IOC Session in Singapore, defeating bids from Moscow, New York City, Madrid and Paris. London was the first city to host the modern Olympic Games three times, having previously done so in 1908 and in 1948. Construction for the Games involved considerable redevelopment, with an emphasis on sustainability. The main focus was a new 200-hectare Olympic Park, constructed on a former industrial site at Stratford, East London. The Games also made use of venues that already existed before the bid. Jessica Ennis was described by the BBC as the poster girl of the Olympics. (via Freebase)