Looking Forward to London: 21 Days Until the Olympics

There’s less than a month remaining before the Summer Olympics – 21 days to be exact – and runtastic is getting into the Olympic spirit! The games will run from July 27 – August 12 in London, and for the first time ever, all 32 sports will be streamed live on both NBCOlympics.com and the BBC Sport website.

Here are the highlights we’re looking forward to most:

  • runtastic founder and CEO Florian Gschwandtner has been selected to run in the Olympic torch relay! The relay began in May when David Beckham lit the flame in Cornwall and ran the first leg, and has been going since. The torch will travel 7,500 miles over the course of 70 days before the flame is lit at the opening ceremony. The 8,000 torchbearers were nominated by people they know, and chosen by the Olympic sponsors and organizers, for their contributions to their community. Florian will run July 22 through the London Borough of  Redbridge. Check back in a few weeks for a blog post from Florian describing his once-in-a-lifetime experience carrying the torch.
  • Avid runtastic user Günther Weidlinger will represent Austria in the men’s marathon. He’ll face some very tough competition, including world-record holder Patrick Makau of Kenya; Geoffrey Mutai, also from Kenya, who won both the Boston and New York marathons in 2011; and American Meb Keflezighi who won the silver medal in 2004. Read about Günther’s training regimen here and be sure to cheer him on Sunday, August 12!
  • Given our love of running and biking, the triathlon is of course one of our favorite events. In the women’s race, 55 fierce competitors will strive for gold by swimming 1500 meters, biking 40 kilometers and running 10,000 meters. Emma Snowsill of Australia is the woman to beat – she finished more than a minute ahead of the field at the 2008 Beijing Olympics – but we think the US ladies are up to the challenge. 2011 ITU Athlete of the Year Sarah Groff is a serious contender, having finished third in the 2011 ITU World Championship Series, but we’re most excited to watch Laura Bennett, who’s back for more after her fourth-place finish in Beijing. At 37 years old, Bennett is more than holding her own against the younger competition. We admire her and can’t wait to watch her August 4.
  • Can anyone beat Jamaican world-record holder and three-time Olympic gold medalist Usain Bolt in the 100 meter dash? Two seemingly unlikely Olympians will try –- both are among the fastest men in US track and field history, but neither was expected to make the team. Justin Gatlin won Olympic gold in 2004, but in 2006 he was banned from competition for four years for steroid use. Tyson Gay won the 100 meters at the worlds in 2007, setting an American record of 9.69 seconds, but is still recovering from a hip surgery last summer. Now both have beaten the odds. Gatlin claimed first in the US Olympic trials with 9.80 seconds, and Gay took second, just 0.06 seconds behind. Will their comebacks continue in London? And how will they stack up against their international competition? Take less than 10 seconds of your day to watch the Men’s 100 meter dash on August 4 (preliminaries) and August 5 (finals).

What events are you most excited to watch? Let us know in the comments or send a tweet to our new US Twitter handle @runtasticUS or our international handle @runtastic.

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