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Road to 2012

Road to 2012

Road to 2012


Welcome to the National Portrait Gallery/BT Road to 2012 project. Explore the journey towards the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games through the commissioned photographs, exclusive interviews with photographers and athletes, and behind-the-scenes shots.

Participation projects

The Road to 2012 participation projects focused on engaging local people living and studying in the six Olympic host-boroughs, and explored local views and perspectives. The projects celebrated local stories of inspiration, achievement and community. The following videos highlight A Local Story, a project with east London photographer Katherine Green.

Explore the video playlists below by clicking on the thumbnails.

Hackney CSV

Growing Greenwich

Lee Valley Riding Centre

Renewal Programme Refugee and Migrant Project, Newham

Aston-Mansfield, Newham

East London Disability Swim Group, Hackney

Blackheath Fencing Club, Greenwich

East London Wheelchair Athletics Group, Tower Hamlets

Branches, Waltham Forest

Repton Boxing Club, Tower Hamlets

Docklands Sailing and Watersports Centre, Tower Hamlets

Young's Table Tennis Group, Greenwich

RLSB, Tower Hamlets

Portraits jointly commissioned with BT

In 2009 the National Portrait Gallery began the largest photographic commissioning project it has ever undertaken. The Gallery invited seven UK-based photographers to document the road to 2012. Working on location around the country, the project records the preparation towards the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

See the full list of portraits commissioned


Road to 2012 Stories Behind the Olympic Games

This remarkable collection of portraits showcases the men and women preparing for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Commissioned over three years, these photographs tell the incredible stories of all those responsible for the London Olympics as well as the athletes whose dream it is to take part. Together they provide an unparalleled record of the human ingenuity and skill involved in creating the world’s pre-eminent sporting event.

Find out more about the publication

Tour dates

  • Adjacent to Wales Millennium Centre at Cardiff Bay: 30 March – 27 May 2012
  • Mound Precinct, Edinburgh: 1 June – 8 July 2012
  • Centenary Way, Birmingham: 13 July – 9 September 2012

Press releases


Tudor and Elizabethan matching pairs

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Regency familiar faces

Rearrange tiles to uncover sitters from the Gallery's Collection by playing our puzzle game.

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Who do you think you were?

Answer a few lifestyle questions about the Elizabethan period and discover your inner Elizabethan!

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