For the last couple of weeks I have been GLUED to my TV, Internet and Mobile keeping up with all things Olympics.
I have ALWAYS loved the Olympics and have watched every year, but this year, being held in our home country, everything was different and I was captivated even more than usual!
I always said if the Olympics came to the UK I would volunteer, take time out from work and be part of it all. However with my little girl being so young and living such a distance from London it unfortunately wasn’t feasible so my once in a life-time dream was put on hold and instead I threw myself into “watching” and “supporting” TeamGB.
I thought the opening ceremony was outstanding, Danny Boyle did an amazing job of portraying our small yet wonderful island and how it has grown and developed through the years. After watching I was proud to be part of such a historic and vibrant dot on the map and even prouder that we had just showcased ourselves and opened our country to the world. Venues and historic sites across London and other parts of the UK transformed and major sporting events were held against stunning backdrops of iconic London landmarks.
Initially the medals seemed a little slow but after Rebecca Adlington secured her bronze in the women’s 400m freestyle and the Men’s Gymnastic and Equestrian Teams secured Bronze and Silver respectively the flood gates soon opened and nothing could stop TeamGB!
1st August saw Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome win GOLD and Bronze respectively in the Men’s Cycling Individual Time Trial. In the rowing Women’s Pair Glover and Stanning stormed home to win GOLD with the Men’s Eight winning a very respectable Bronze. Michael Jamieson swam the race of his life to win Silver in the men’s 200m Breaststroke too.
2nd August brought a flurry of medals for TeamGB. Peter Wilson set his sights on GOLD in the Men’s Double Trap Shooting and his target was spot on! The men’s lightweight four, comprising of Chambers, Chambers, Bartley and Williams took Silver in the rowing. Gemma Gibbons kicked British Judo into the limelight with an amazing performance to take Silver. Hoy, Hindes and Kenny lit the taper for what was to be a stunning medal haul in tack cycling, bringing home the first GOLD in the Men’s Team Sprint and Lizzie Armistead finished off where the men’s team failed with a Silver in the Women’s Cycle Road Race. Baillie and Stott and Florence and Hounslow brought the canoe slalom festivities to an amazing close with a GOLD and Silver respectively in the Men’s C2 Double Canoe.
3rd August saw further success in the Velodrome, Clancy, Thomas, Burke and Kennaugh took GOLD in the Men’s Cycling Team Pursuit and Victoria Pendleton GOLD in the Women’s Keirin. British Judo once again shone with Karina Bryant taking Bronze and there was further success in the rowing, with Watkins and Grainger storming home to take GOLD in the Women’s Double Sculls, Nash and Snatch taking Bronze in the Men’s Pair and Alan Campbell Bronze in the Single Sculls. Rebecca Adlington put up a stirling effort to clinch Bronze in the women’s 800m Freestyle in the pool.
4th August became known as Super Saturday, with a stunning medal haul for Team GB. Jessica Ennis sailed home to victory with a clean sweep in the women’s Heptathlon to take GOLD, Mo Farah stormed across the finish line in the Men’s 10,000m to take GOLD and Greg Rutherford also jumped into his GOLD medal position in the Men’s Long Jump. Another GOLD for the Velodrome too with King, Trott and Rowsell pedalling home to victory in the Women’s Team Pursuit. There were two further medals for the GB rowing team, Gregory, Reed, James and Triggs Hodge took GOLD in the Men’s Four and Copeland and Hosking, GOLD in the Women’s Lightweight Double Sculls. Purchase and Hunter took Silver in the Men’s Lightweight Double Sculls.
5th August saw Andy Murray finally beat his nemesis and take GOLD in the Men’s Singles Tennis Finals and in partnership with Laura Robson he took Silver in the Mixed Doubles. Further success was also to come in the men’s Gymnastics with Louis Smith and Matt Whitlock taking Silver and Bronze in the Men’s Pommel Horse. Ed Clancy took Bronze in the Men’s Omnium in the Velodrome, whilst Christine Ohuruogu, a Silver in the Women’s 400m. Ben Ainslie sealed his place in Olympian history with GOLD in the Men’s Finn and Percy and Simpson took Silver in the Men’s Star.
6th August brought further GOLD’s with Jason Kenny taking GOLD in the Men’s Sprint in the Velodrome and Skelt, Maher, Brash and Charles jumping into the GOLD medal spot in the Equestrian Team Jumping. Beth Tweddle added to her many medals with a bronze in the Women’s Uneven Bars.
7th August The Brownlee Brothers stole the show in the Triathlon, with Alistair taking GOLD and Jonathan Bronze. Nick Dempsey sailed to a Silver Medal in the Men’s RS-X Windsurfing and the Equestrian Team added to their impressive medal tally with yet another GOLD from Bechtolsheimer, Hester and Dujardin in the Team Dressage. Laura Trott and Sir Chris Hoy added to the GOLDEN glory in the Velodrome with GOLD medals in the Men’s Keirin and Women’s Ominium.
8th August saw just one medal for Team GB, Robert Grabarz jumped his way to a Bronze medal in the Men’s High Jump.
9th August and the medal tally was back on form with the girls taking centre stage! Nicola Adams became the first woman ever to take a GOLD medal in Women’s Boxing and entered the history books. Charlotte Dujardin took GOLD in the Individual Dressage and Laura Bechtolsheimer, Bronze. Jade Jones also shot Taekwondo into the limelight, taking GOLD.
10th August and Lutalo Muhammad took to the Taekwondo ring and took away a Bronze, whilst Patience and Bithell and Mills and Clark both took Silver in the 470 sailing. The Women’s Hockey Team and Anthony Ogogo both fought their way to a Bronze medal.
11th August and Mo Farah became a double Olympian, taking an amazing GOLD in the Men’s 5,000m and Luke Campbell added to the GOLD tally with a Boxing GOLD. Another GOLD came from Ed McKeever in the Men’s Kayak Single and Schofield and Heath, a Silver in the Men’s Kayak Double. Tom Daly did his dad proud and was ecstatic with his Bronze in the Men’s 10m Platform Diving.
12th August, the final day brought a GOLD and Silver in men’s Boxing, from Anthony Joshua and Freddie Evans respectively and Samatha Murray, a Silver in the Modern Pentathlon.
Overall Team GB finished a FANTASTIC 3rd in the overall medal table, with 29 GOLD medals, 17 Silver and 19 Bronze. It was our best performance for almost a century and proved that Team GB 2012 were #OurGreatestTeam
I don’t think there’s one highlight of the Games for me, I screamed with joy every time we took a medal, let alone GOLD! However Jessica Ennis, Mo Farah, Sir Chris Hoy, Bradley Wiggins, Ben Ainslie, Katherine Grainger and Victoria Pendleton all stand out for their amazing achievements both prior to and during London 2012! For some of them it was a climax of a career and the last Olympics, and in some cases competition that they would participate in.
London 2012 saw some new names move up the table in British Olympian History and new names were made. In addition, it also saw some amazing achievements from other countries too, no one will forget the name Michael Phelps! he may have got off to a slow start but he soon showed that he had earned his place in Olympic history as the greatest Olympian and was going to go out on a high!
I think the Olympics have been great for the UK, it’s brought people together in a united show of patriotism and joy, people who would never normally speak with one another interacted and London, a city not normally known for it’s sociable commuters appeared to spring into full blown conversation.
The Olympics most certainly has ‘inspired a generation’! I hope that the plans for investment in sports within schools being discussed by political leaders come to fruition and develop for when my daughter attends school.
Times haven’t been easy for a lot of people of late, but for two brief weeks it seemed as if a lot of worry had been forgotten and people celebrated with one another. I just hope that some of the joy and patriotism stays with us all and I can’t wait for the Paralympics now!
*Images taken from the London 2012 website