2000 athletes compete for 47 gold medals!
Of all events, athletics is arguably the most varied with a total of 46 events being held in the main Olympic Stadium. The events are broadly broken down into running, walking, throwing or jumping events. The Olympic motto is ĎCitius, Altius, Fortiusí which means faster, higher, stronger and is reflective of the main athletic events requiring competitors to run faster than others and also jump higher and throw further.
Athletics have been part of the Olympic Games since they began but have over the years expanded substantially in scope. Running is often the top listed event over distances upwards of 100 metres. Most of the running events take part on a 400 metre running track in the main stadium. Some of the longer events such as marathons are held outside with the finish line within the Olympic Stadium itself.
Many events are also run over hurdles and steeplechases which involves running over obstacles before passing the finish line. In all events, the winner is the competitor that passes the finish line first.
Jumping events are done over rounds and give the competitors a chance to record their best possible distance or height. The winner is the competitor who manages to jump the furthest or highest. Throwing events such as shot, javelin, and hammer involve trying to throw an object as far as possible.
There are also some combined events which include a range of athletics disciplines and are completed over several days. Points are won in every event and the competitor with the most points at the end of the events is the winner.
Official Link: http://www.london2012.com/games/olympic-sports/athletics.php