The London Olympics provided us with more captivating story lines and memorable moments than we could ever have wished for. The drama, the passion, the commitment, the joy, the tears, and the hope… the Olympics brought so much into our lives that it is difficult to contemplate that the event will not embrace our TV screens for another four years. Leaving us with a compendium of memories, from extraordinary triumphs to heart-breaking tribulations, the 17-day event, in which the world seemingly came together to share their emotions and excitement, will remain in our minds for decades to come. Hailed as the event that changed the face of Britain, these top-ten moments will be passed through the generations and will inspire children to take up physical activity and truly embrace the concept of the Olympic legacy.
Image courtesy of Nick J Webb, Flickr
Here is our selection of the best bits from the 2012 Olympic Games.
1. Phelps tops the medal table
In Beijing, America’s Michael Phelps topped the chart for the most medals won during an Olympic Games. In London, Phelps secured his position amongst the sporting giants by winning his 22nd Olympic medal, succeeding all other Olympians.
2. Bolt sprints away with more medals
Jamaica’s Usain Bolt became the first sprinter to literally run away with the gold medals at both the 100 metre and 200 metre finals at two Olympics. His achievements have enabled him to be considered by many to be the greatest sprinter ever to have walked the earth.
3. Boudia upsets the podium places
In the men’s 10 metre platform diving, one man secured his place at the top of the podium by the slimmest of margins. American David Boudia placed only 18th in preliminary round, scraping himself into a place in the semifinals. However, it seemed that Boudia was saving his best efforts until last, upsetting the medal predictions by beating China’s Qui Bo and successfully becoming America’s first male platform diving medal winner since Greg Louganis.
4. Farah does the double
Benefiting from the support of the home crowd, Britain’s Mo Farah fought his way onto the top podium place in both the 10,000 metre and 5,000 metre finals. Farah dedicated his two gold medals to his two unborn twins. The stadium was alight with Mexican wave style cheers as Mo made his round the track building into a crescendo of rapturous applause as he crossed the line in both races.
5. Zonderland dazzles with epic bar work
The Netherlands’ Epke Zonderland amazed viewers with his horizontal high bar performance, which featured a challenging Cassina-Kovacs-Kolman combination. His gold was the Netherlands’ first ever gymnastics medal.
6. Feck flops in the diving
Germany’s Stephan Feck amused the audience with an uncharacteristic “back flop” that drew zeros from the judging team of the preliminary round of the men’s 3 metre springboard diving. Unsurprisingly, his dive quickly became an Internet sensation with viewers from across the globe.
7. Murray seeks revenge after Wimbledon loss
Just two weeks after being beaten in the Wimbledon finals by Switzerland’s tennis ace Roger Federer, Britain’s Andy Murray’s quest for an Olympic gold on home ground proved successful. Beating Federer in straight sets 6–2, 6–1, 6–4, Murray became the first British tennis player in over a century to win an Olympic gold medal.
Image courtesy of James Bird, Flickr
8. Mitchell runs through the pain of a bad break
America’s Manteo Mitchell ran through the pain of a broken leg during the men’s 4 x 400 metre relay to enable his team to qualify in the heats. Mitchell later watched his teammates win the gold medal in the final.
9. Le Clos beats Phelps in the final stroke
South Africa’s Chad le Clos beat America’s two-time Olympic champion Michael Phelps to the gold in the 200 metre butterfly. Le Clos swam to victory in just 1 minute 52.96 seconds – 0.05 seconds faster than Phelps.
10. Harrison secures her place in history
Kayla Harrison became America’s first judo champion after standing victorious in the women’s under 78 kilogram competition. Harrison, who suffered from sexual abuse at the hands of a former coach, was hailed for turning her traumatic past into a tremendous triumph.
While some athletes have vowed to continue, others have voiced their retirement plans. Regardless of the athletes’ own future visions, we can be sure to look forward to more spectacular sporting moments in Rio in four years’ time.
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