This year Britain has already made popular contributions to world conversation: Queen Elizabeth II's celebration of 60 years on the throne; the latest boy band to send young girls into frenzies of screams and Twitter trends (its name is One Direction; some of you may have heard of it and thought it was a hot new GPS device); the 100th anniversary of the Titanic's sinking; Prime Minister David Cameron leaving his 8-year-old daughter in a pub. • Britain makes what should be its most popular contribution beginning July 27. That's when the 27th Summer Olympics begin in London, the first city to host the Games three times in the modern era (the others were in 1908 and 1948). • Here are more facts and figures to help with your Olympic warmup.
Sources: Times wires; Allure magazine; Vogue magazine; infostradalive.com; Guardian newspaper, London; Ventura County Star; Tendersinfo News
10,500 Approximate number of athletes participating.
212 Extra staff members hired by the London borough of Westminster to help with cleanup efforts.
10 Olympic appearances for Canadian equestrian Ian Millar, the first athlete to reach that mark; he breaks a tie with Hubert Raudaschl, an Austrian sailor from 1964-96. Millar, 65, made his Olympic debut in 1972. He could have 11 appearances, but Canada was among the countries that boycotted the 1980 Moscow Games.
7 Gold medals swimmer Michael Phelps could win. That would give him 21 for his career; he already is the all-time leader for the Summer and Winter Games with 14. And with Phelps having 16 total medals already, two more of any color ties him for the most decorated Olympian, Summer or Winter, with Larysa Latynina, a gymnast for the former Soviet Union in the 1950s and '60s.
26 Gold medals won by the United States in 3-meter diving, the most by any country in any discipline in any sport. Brandon's Chris Colwill is one of two U.S. men competing in the event at London. He won the Olympic trials.
38 Total seconds it took Jamaican sprinting world-record holder Usain Bolt to win three gold medals in three finals in 2008 (100 meters, 200 meters, a 100-meter leg in the 400 relay).
26 Sports to be contested, two fewer than 2008. Baseball and softball are gone, voted out by the International Olympic Committee in 2005. Baseball suffered from not having major leaguers compete, and IOC president Jacques Rogge said at the time its drug-testing program fell way short of international standards. As for softball, Rogge said it had to increase its "global appeal" (perceived by some to mean the United States won too much).
60 Age of the average elite rower's back, according to doctors, says British rower Mohamed Sbihi.
4 Sports that have been in every Summer Games: track and field, swimming, fencing and artistic gymnastics ("artistic" being the event with men and women competing on apparatus such as the vault, as opposed to rhythmic gymnastics, the one in which women do routines with ribbons and Hula Hoops).
9 Bikinis two-time defending beach volleyball gold medalist Misty May-Treanor of the United States plans to take to London.
1 New event: women's boxing. It has received the most publicity for its controversy over the Amateur International Boxing Association's initial ruling that women had to wear skirts in the competition so they could be distinguished from the men. After many of the women objected, the association backed off and said they could wear skirts or shorts.
$25 Donations being requested at a fundraising-sendoff barbecue for the defending silver medalist U.S. men's water polo team Saturday in Camarillo, Calif.
5 feet 2 Height of U.S. gymnast Jonathan Horton, who goes to his second Olympics as the defending silver medalist on high bar. "I come from a long line of short people," he says. "It's almost like I was designed for the sport."
6,000 Calories consumed daily by Britain's rowers, says coxswain Phelan Hill (who says he consumes 1,000 to 1,500 a day).
13 Shoe size of U.S. swimmer Missy Franklin, 17, who also will swim in seven events and is expected to be one of the Games' big stars.
71 Age of Japanese equestrian Hiroshi Hoketsu, expected to be the oldest competitor.