The Greatest Moments of the Greatest Games
It was a sporting fortnight for the ages. Security, transport and budgetary fears dominated the buildup to the London 2012 games. Observers, pundits, various media types predicted disaster, horrendous weather and a national embarrassment. Not many predicted what would come to pass over the course of London 2012; an unqualified success.
How could London hope to compete with the huge state sponsored majesty of Beijing? It would surely be impossible. But from Danny Boyle’s opening ceremony through 65 British medals, through sporting moments that will last a life time; London 2012 lived up to the wildest dreams of Sebastian Coe and co.
Inspire a Generation - the LOCOG slogan for 2012 - seemed a tad corny at the outset. But the success of the games banished all cynicism. And indeed, a generation were inspired.
Inspired by moments like these:
Super Saturday and three golds in no time. Greg Rutherford in long jump, poster girl Jessica Ennis in Heptathlon and Mo Farah in the 10,000m. One surging GB glory after another crowned by Mo’s run. A cacophony of home support cheered him over the line. It was his first of a double golden haul.
Mo again, winning in the 5,000m. He started at the absolute back of the pack. Causing some nerviness in fans despite an understanding of the tactical aspects of long distance running. Again he crossed the line to a cacophony of patriotism. His celebrations with - star of the games - Usain Bolt afterwards. In which Mo did the “To Di World” celebration (Bolt’s Bolt, in other words) and Bolt did the ‘Mo-Bot” in celebration with his friend. It was perhaps the image of the games. And like the rest of these moments will no doubt inspire generations.
And what could be better than Andy Murray winning Wimbledon. At least winning at Wimbledon. His moment of triumph was made all the more appropriate by the identity of his opponent. To beat Roger Federer on Centre Court for a gold medal; a mere month after losing the Wimbledon final. And in the manner of the victory, in straight sets. It could get no better than that for Murray.
Chris Hoy wins the Keirin to become the most decorated British Olympian ever. Hoy looked in trouble in the home straight with a German rider pulling ahead of the Flying Scot.
But Hoy simply wasn’t going to allow his storied Olympic career to end in anything but glory. He’s got legs like tree trunks, and he used that power one more time to surge past the opposition and into the record books. His emotional medal ceremony in which the hardest man in Scotland wept uncontrollably, like all the moments above; will inspire generations to come.
There were countless unforgettable Olympic moments over days of thrilling sport. It is difficult to believe that London 2012 did it; but the games of the 30th Olympiad were without doubt the best ever.
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