2012 Olympics

The Most Beautiful Olympic Stadiums Ever Built

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The 2012 London Summer Olympics kicks off today, and all eyes are on the capital of tea and toast for Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle’s three-hour opening ceremony extravaganza that includes, according to our friends at HuffPost, Paul McCartney, cricket, and sheep. After reading a fascinating article about the Architecture Olympics, explaining International Olympic Committee founder Baron de Coubertin’s vision for “a global event that incorporated not only athletics but also art competitions, giving equal importance to works of architecture, painting, music, sculpture and literature,” we felt compelled to take an in-depth look at the stunning design afforded by the biannual competition.

Starting with a look at the most stunning stadiums constructed for this year’s events, and then going back in time to the striking simplicity of the first stadium in Greece, click through to check out the most beautiful Olympic architecture ever built. Then, nominate your favorite stadium in the comments below!
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The Morning’s Top 5 Pop Culture Stories

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1. Hollywood actress and legendary pinup girl Jane Russell — who managed to make sprawling on a bale of hay look sexy in her 1943 film debut, The Outlaws — died yesterday at the age of 89. She was a favorite of Howard Hughes, who infamously designed a special “cantilever” bra that would expose… Read More

The 10 Best and Worst Olympic Mascots of All-Time

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Yesterday the 2012 London Olympics unveiled their official mascots, Wenlock and Mandeville, two one-eyed futuristic drops of steel. Based on a story by children’s author Michael Morpurgo, the metallic characters were “created” from the final support girder for the Olympic Stadium in East London. Sound strange? It gets much weirder. After the jump, we evaluate mascots from past Olympic games, separating out the best from the worst.
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