London 2012

End of the games

“We did it right”

There were four more days of Olympic games left, and we returned to watching the events from the comfort of our sofa, or at work in the office chair. We watched Usain Bolt win the 200m final, the Women’s 4x100m smash the world record and a frenchman win pole vault.

I caught the two BMX finals, each with their own share of calamity. I grew an interest in boxing, watching British guys and gals, jab, dodge and fight to our best boxing gold medal haul for 100 years. I even became passionate about Taekwondo, watching Jade Jones in her semi final and final bouts, superbly winning in two very close contests, only six minutes each, another fantastic unexpected gold for Team GB.

I streamed some fanciful synchronised swimming, impressed by our routine, but blown away by the Spanish. The final of the beach volleyball came down to the wire, with Germany winning; as too did the standard Volleyball, Russia winning at the last, coming back from a two set deficit and match point. The group sports all beginning to wrap up now. I watched the Basketball final, hoping Spain could defeat the US, of course it didn’t happen.

On Saturday morning we switched between mountain biking and rhythmic gymnastics and in the evening we marveled at Usain Bolt one last time, his last Olympic race? He, Yohan Blake and fellow Jamaicans smashed the 4x100m men’s relay record, making it six golds for Bolt.

Tom Daley then won a superb bronze in the 10m platform. And to cap-off the Team GB medal phenomena, a second, brilliant gold for Mo Farah in the 5000m. Wonderful.

Even the Sunday morning marathon was exciting, as people lined London’s streets to watch Kiprotich win impressively for Uganda, ahead of the Kenyan favourites. Time for one more medal? Go on then, a silver in the Women’s modern pentathlon, the last of over 300 Olympic events.

I suppose I should mention the closing ceremony too; Spice Girls, Pet Shop Boys, Muse and co. played us out with a slightly misguided music festival inside a paper maché London, not a patch on the opening ceremony, but equally quirky.

And that was that. Fireworks exploded and the Olympics were over. Two phenomenal weeks of sport, it felt like a national holiday, a two week break from reality. On Monday we would all raise our heads from a frenetic sporting schedule and return to the real world. But for now, we could celebrate, celebrate an awesome Team GB medal toll29 golds, 17 Silvers and 19 Bronze; celebrate a job well done — an enormous occasion executed with perfection, from the venues, the athletes, the volunteers and the transport network, it all just worked, flawlessly. And in the words of Lord Coe, “we did it right”.

We’re so glad we could have been part of it all, and feel privileged to have seen so many events. Simply unforgettable.