Join us as we count down to the 2012 Games

THE clock has been ticking down to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games ever since International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Jacques Rogge made the dramatic announcement at 12.49pm on Wednesday, July 6, 2005.

But after years of preparation, just 52 weeks will remain next Friday before the torch is lit and the curtain rises on the Games of the XXX Olympiad.

Over the next year, the Bury Free Press will be guiding you through the build up to the “greatest show on earth” as Great Britain hosts its first Olympics since London 1948.

A number of gold medal hopefuls will be hoping to stand atop the podium on home soil, including Beijing 2008 cycling winner Victoria Pendleton, world championship swimmer Chris Walker-Hebborn and top rower Josh Tonnar.

But we will be bringing you a range of Olympic and Paralympic updates and information, from our local medal hopefuls to where you can participate in a range of sports that will be featured at the Games.

We also want to hear your 2012 stories. Were you lucky enough to receive the best seats in the Olympic Stadium for the 100m final? Have you been involved in putting the Games together? Or will you have a role to play when the best athletes in the world reach our shores next summer?

Whatever your Olympic story is, we would like to hear it.

Contact us by writing to: Olympic Stories, Sports Desk, Bury Free Press, Kings Road, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, IP33 3ET.

Altervatively, email: sport@buryfreepress.co.uk or call the sports desk on 01284 757865 or 01284 757815.

OLYMPIC HEADLINES

n Open water swimmer Keri-Ann Payne becomes the first Brit to qualify for the 2012 Games.

n Great Britain’s track and field team will not be allowed to attend the opening ceremony at the Olympic Stadium.

n Amputee athlete Oscar Pistorious posted the Olympic qualifying time when shattering his personal best in 400m.