Philadelphia-based Companies Plan to Shine at the London 2012 Olympic Games

By Hayley Hanafee, for GPA -- With only days until the Opening Ceremony (to air on Friday July 27), the world’s eyes will be focused on the fervor around the London 2012 Summer Olympics and Paralympics. Although the XXX Summer Games will take place in London, an array of Philadelphia-based companies and athletes have golden expectations to represent the Greater Philadelphia Region and bring home Olympic glory.

Those who are unable to travel to London and witness the games in person will rely on extensive coverage from NBC to recreate the excitement within their own living rooms. In 2011, Philadelphia-based Comcast acquired NBCUniversal for $4.4 billion and the rights to broadcast the Olympic Games through 2020. Traditional NBC TV stations will provide daily coverage for 17 days, as well as stream thousands of hours of every Olympic event on

According the Inquirer, “NBC is projecting 1.1 billion to 1.3 billion in advertising revenue and other economic benefits from the London games.”

In the months prior to the Opening ceremony, NBC has already featured a variety of Philadelphia-local Olympic hopefuls as they prepare to perform for the world stage.

In addition to serving as the locus of media coverage for the 2012 Olympics, Philadelphia is servicing this summer's Games in even more delectable fashion: Philadelphia-based ARAMARK has again qualified to operate the culinary services in the Olympic Villages and at the Weymouth and Portland sailing competition venues. With an outstanding track record for providing meals and services for the past 15 Olympic Games, ARAMARK expects to serve around 70,000 meals a day to athletes, coaches, officials, and participants.

While this may seem like a non-stop marathon for all employees involved, ARAMARK has recruited an enthusiastic team—including chefs from around the world—to meet the demands of hungry competitors until the closing of the Olympic Ceremony.  ARAMARK prepares to deliver and provide healthy alternatives of fine quality.

Philadelphia will play its role in London; however, this is not the first time the city has contributed to Olympic coordination and planning. Philadelphia was named the fifth community partner of the United States Olympic Committee in 2006. And since then, the region has made efforts to prove they could host the 2016 Olympic Summer Games. In 2008, the city hosted the Olympic trials for Table Tennis and Gymnastics, hoping to raise Philadelphia’s profile as an Olympic Sports town. After eventually being eliminated from consideration, many of the local organizing committees, including The Philadelphia Sports Congress still see the tangible reality of hosting a future Olympic Games. 

Philadelphia is an especially strong contender given its diverse athletic heritage and tradition of featuring internationally renowned sporting events across the Delaware Valley each year. The region has a nonstop sports calendar welcoming a variety of world class sports to state-of-the-art facilities. Special events include the USA Collegiate Rugby Sevens, the Aberdeen Dad Vail Regatta, Pro Cycling Tour, Independence Dragon Boat Regatta, The Penn Relays, and the Devon Horseshow. With a region full of sports enthusiasts, our premier athletes are ready to perform at the Olympic level.

Watch the 2012 Games for some of these local athletes:

Brendan Hansen – (Swimming) This Haverford High School graduate is ranked fourth in the world, third time Olympic qualifier, and set a world record in the 400m medley relay at the 2008 Olympic Games. He is also a spokesperson for the Leukemia Research Foundation. 

Katie and Julia Reinprecht – (Field Hockey) Julia and Katie (ages 20 and 22) are the first sister duo to represent the U.S. field hockey team in the Olympics. Natives of Perkasie, PA, both sisters are four-time All-State honorees at Mount Saint Joseph’s Academy and earned top player honors while at Princeton University.

Casey Eichfeld – (Canoe/KyakHailing from Drums, PA, the 22 year old will be paddling his way to compete in the slalom canoe in his second Olympic Games after finishing 11th in C-2 Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. He began competing at an international level at the age of 14.

Susan Francia – (Rowing) Hungarian-native, settled with family in Abbington after the age of two. Francia first began rowing at UPenn in 2001 and remains a top London contender after being recognized as the 2010 U.S. Rowing Team’s Female Athlete of the Year. She is a member of the 2008 Olympic women’s eight gold medal team

Phillip Dutton – (Equestrian) A legendary equestrian, Phillip Dutton will be riding in his fifth Olympic competition at the age of 48. In 1996 and 2000 he won the gold for Australia. He now resides and trains in Avondale, PA.

Pottstown Dance TheatreSelect members of the dance company (with youngest member age-10) was invited by the American Alliance of Performing Arts Educators to take part in the closing Olympic ceremonies on August 12. Their performance is titled “The Evolution of Dance” and will showcase a 30-minute fusion of diverse dance styles.

For more information on Greater Philadelphia's local athletes visit