The opening ceremonies of the 2012 Olympics - the Games of the XXX Olympiad - begin tonight in London.
The largest international sporting event in the world takes place every four years; it is the third time that it has been held in London. The last time was in 1948.
The first modern edition of the games was organized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in Athens in 1896. The original Olympics - with nude athletes - took place in ancient Olympia, Greece, from the 8th century BC to the 4th century AD.
The Olympics is an historical event enjoyed for generations. Participating - as a competitor or spectator - connects you to your ancestors who also lived through the moment.
We've trawled the Internet to find weird and wonderful historic Olympic facts. Here are some of them:
Following our series of polls on characteristics that run in the family, and with the Olympics now underway, we wanted to ask your thoughts on whether athletic ability runs in your family.
Some families love going on hikes, swimming, bike rides and pursuing other outdoor activities together. But do athletic parents produce athletic kids? Do you have athletes in your family?
Let us know via the poll below:
In about three weeks, the 2012 Summer Olympics (officially the Games of the XXX Olympiad) will begin in London, UK.
The countdown to this summer's event began at the closing ceremony of the 2008 summer Olympics in China, as the Olympic flag was handed to the Mayor of London by the Mayor of Beijing.
This year, 197 countries will participate in 26 sports at the biggest international sporting event of the year.
The Olympics provide an opportunity to reminisce about great moments of the past, such as the 1936 Berlin games when Jesse Owens won four gold medals or when Michael Johnson smashed both the 400m and 200m sprints in the 1996 Atlanta event.
We couldn't resist searching records relating to "Olympic games" in our new family history search engine - SuperSearch - and discovered really interesting information, such as this Kansas State University yearbook entry, demonstrating one student's ambition to win a gold medal in 1988 and discussing his time trials for the 1984 Olympics.
You can also try it for free - searching "Olympic games" or another keyword - that could lead to information about your family history.
As the Games draw closer, we''re interested in learning your personal Olympic stories. Have you competed? Do you have any Olympians in your family tree? If you're not sure, try a quick SuperSearch and see what you discover.
Let us know in the comments section below, or email your stories to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sports are a traditional part of family entertainment.
Allegiance to specific teams - which team you cheer for - is something generally passed down through the generations.
Baseball, basketball, football, soccer, rugby, cricket - so many teams with associations to certain cities. To New Yorkers, it will always be the "Brooklyn" Dodgers, even though they left for other parts long ago, while Chicagoans will always love "Da Bears."
We go with our families to sporting events. We support the same team, we console each other when they lose and celebrate when they win. Our family team is part of our shared family experience.
I remember going with my family to watch football games, and I imagine taking my own children, when they're old enough to appreciate it.
We're interested in learning if you have a family team. Does your family cheer on the same team? Or, do you support rival teams? Let us know via the poll below.