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|MEXICO CITY， Aug. 2 (Xinhua) -- London broke the Olympic hosting record in 2012， when it held the Olympic Games for the third time， more than any other city.
Britain's capital had already hosted the games in 1908 and 1948， after the 1944 games were called off due to World War II.
With the 30th Olympic Games in 2012， London also set another precedent by setting out to host the world's most environmentally sustainable games.
To that end， the Olympic Park was erected on once-contaminated industrial land that was rehabilitated， the velodrome was built with sustainably-sourced timber and the Copper Box Arena constructed with recycled copper， according to the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
Additionally， venues were designed to collect rainwater and recycle waste， and the Olympic Village was within walking distance of the Olympic Park， eliminating the need for fuel-burning vehicles to shuttle athletes and officials back and forth.
"In recognition for its achievements， London 2012 won gold in the Environmental and Sustainability category of the 6th International Sports Event Management awards，" the IOC says.
The opening ceremony， directed by Oscar-winning filmmaker Danny Boyle， was a memorable tour de force， as was the arrival of the Olympic torch， carried aloft by famed footballer David Beckham.
The torch lit an interactive Olympic Cauldron composed of 204 separate flames， one for each of the countries competing， that came together to form a single giant flame. When the games ended， each country was able to take a part of the cauldron home as a souvenir.
In all， 10，523 athletes took part in 302 disciplines and 26 different sports.
Women's boxing joined the roster of Olympic sports for the first time， as did mixed doubles in tennis and various cycling contests.
Athletes who stood out at the 2008 Beijing games， consolidated their legacies at the 2012 London games， including U.S. swimmer Michael Phelps， who snapped up four gold medals and two silver medals to add to the eight gold medals he won in China.
Jamaican runner Usain Bolt repeated the success of his Beijing races， winning gold in the 100- and 200-meter dash， and the 4x100 meter relay.
The games were also full of surprises， such as Uganda's Stephen Kiprotich winning the marathon with a time of 2:8:1， despite the fact that it was only his fourth attempt ever at running a marathon.
Mexico's national soccer team surprised everyone， including themselves， by beating Brazil 2-1 in the final to take home the gold， while Brazilian gymnast Arthur Zanetti took the gold after defeating China's Chen Yibing in gymnastic rings.
Few achievements were more surprising than double-amputee Oscar Pistorius being allowed to compete in the 400-meter dash with his space-age prosthetic limbs， which earned him the nickname "Blade Runner." He advanced to the 400-m semifinals， where he finished last.
The United States and China dominated the medals table， but host country Britain came in third， making the most of its home field advantage to secure a remarkable 29 gold medals.
2012 LONDON OLYMPIC GAMES MEDALS TABLE
COUNTRY GOLD SILVER BRONZE TOTAL
United States 46 29 28 103
China 38 27 23 88
Britain 29 17 19 65
Russia 24 26 32 82
South Korea 13 8 7 28
Germany 11 19 14 44
France 11 11 12 34
Italy 8 9 11 28
Hungary 8 4 5 17
Australia 7 16 12 35
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