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The London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games will be the biggest sporting event ever staged in Britain.

From the moment London was awarded the games in July 2005, the task to build the stadium and all venues began.

40,000 construction jobs were created.

The Olympic torch, the symbol of the Olympic Games would later begin an 8000 mile journey to London.

The last time an Olympic torch appeared on the streets of England was in 1948. That year London last hosted the Olympic Games. The country was emerging from years of world war and athletes would travel through a bomb damaged city were basic materials were in short supply. To stage 1948 event, countries donated food and water. Denmark supplied 160,000 eggs, some for the chef preparing food for the Indian team.

Wembley stadium, rapidly converted from a greyhound race track, was the backdrop for the Games athletics.

The London 2012 event will be very different. Over 600,000 people are expected to ascend on Heathrow Airport during the event.

To enter the UK and access the Games venues, athletes, coaches, officials and media from around the globe will apply for an official Olympic and Paralympic Accreditation Card, issued by the UK Border Agency.

In 1948, the equivalent was a special Olympic Identity Card issued by Customs, for those attending the Games.

In 2012, special Olympic Lanes have been put in place at Heathrow to allow athletes, coaches, and officials safe, secure and swift passage through the airport and border.

And for their many tons of specialist equipment, including horses and weaponry, they will be allowed to enter the country with permit and simplified procedures removing the payment of Custom duty.

Sale of Olympic related merchandise helps recoup some of the cost to stage the 2012 event. Officials including HM Revenue and Customs, the Border Force and Trading Standards will be on the alert to stop the selling of counterfeit Olympic material.

And for the athlete attempting to cheat, the Border Force will tackle the smuggling of illegal drugs across the border and work closely with UK Anti Doping organisation to limit the use of performance enhancing drugs for this year's event.

For those taking part, for those supporting the event and for millions watching, it is hoped London 2012 will be remembered as a great international sporting celebration.