No Newts Harmed In These Olympic Games: London 2012 by the Numbers

The summer Olympics kick off Friday--here's what you can expect from the 2-week long sports spectacular.

2012 London Olympics
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Seven years in the making, not even the ever-present specter of miserable weather can dampen spirits now close to fever pitch in anticipation of Friday's opening ceremonies for the Games of the XXX Olympiad in London.

Set to kick off at 9 p.m. local time, opening ceremonies promise to be a celebration of all things British, while featuring a parade of competitors from hundreds of countries, as well as decidedly odd-looking games mascots and staff garb.

Lucky for the millions of spectators who will be tuning into the see the world's greatest athletes, this isn't the British capital's first time around the block when it comes to hosting a major international sporting event. The city has played host twice before for the summer in games in 1908 and again in 1948.

[See photos of London preparing for the Olympic Games.]

Still, with the money and manpower—the final tab could run as high as $38 billion, according to some estimates—poured into this year's festivities, the 2012 Summer Olympics should be nothing short of extraordinary as well as a temporary distraction from economic, political, and social woes of participating countries.

Here's a look at a few other key numbers for Olympic Games junkies:

8.8 million. If you're reading this, chances are you're not one of the almost 9 million people lucky enough to nab tickets to the London Summer Olympics. Another 2 million or so tickets were doled out for the Paralympics Games, also being held in London.

10,500. The number of athletes set to duke it out at the Summer Olympics this year. Athletes hail from more than 200 different countries, with debut appearances from Saudi Arabian female athletes and boxers.

302. The number of medal events. According to researcher Emily Williams, the U.K. will enjoy a distinct home-team advantage helping them to pick up significantly more gold medals and medals overall. Nevertheless, the U. S. of A. will still lead the charge, with athletes expected to take home 103 medals total.

[Read: Predicting Who Will Win the Most Medals in the 2012 Olympics.]

2,000. The number of Great Crested Newts relocated to make way for the construction of the Olympic Park in east London. An endangered species, the newts were captured and transferred to another pond and "wooden logs and foliage [were] brought in to create an ideal habitat for the newts," according to

4. The number of skeletons removed from a prehistoric settlement discovered while excavating the site for the Olympic Aquatics Center. The center will host events for a variety of swimming and diving events.

10,000. The number of porta-potties on hand, enough to service the entire country of Malta.

8,000. The number of torchbearers who will travel 8,000 miles total to more than 1,000 communities across the U.K over 70 days. Each day 110 torchbearers travel 110 miles, which equates to about a 300 meter trip for each torchbearer.

67,000. One Olympic record the organizing committee probably won't be proud of. It's the number of mobile phones expected to be stolen or lost, estimated at some 67,000 according to the British newspaper Daily Mail. Around 50,000 cell phones are lost or stolen in an average two-week period in the London area.

[Read: London 2012: An Olympic-Sized Target For Terrorists.]

21,000. The number of international media expected to descend upon London for the Olympic Games.

1 million. The pieces of sports equipment provided by the London Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, including 600 basketballs, 22 tape measures for Boccia, 356 pairs of boxing gloves, and 99 training dolls for wrestling and judo. Also under the banner of "equipment for Games time?" 150,000 condoms.

27,000. The security force deployed to monitor the Olympics. That figure includes 17,000 members of the military, the largest deployment of British troops on British soil since World War II.

Meg Handley is a business reporter for U.S. News & World Report. You can reach her at and follow her on Twitter.