The 2012 Olympic games swept us all of our feet. Going into the games we had the ticketing fiasco and issues with security personnel, mixed with our very British pessimism, which meant many were indifferent to the games. But throughout those 16 days, the nation was glued to their TV screens willing Team GB on, as they brought home 65 medals.
Discounting the football, the show kicked off with Danny Boyle’s celebration of our past and present, with the British countryside, Industrial Revolution, British literature and our National Health Service playing big roles, before we were then greeted by the site of our neighbour – the Queen and James Bond skydiving into the stadium.
Being in London’s Belgravia district we were never too far from the action, with the Triathlon, Marathon and Cycling Road Races all finishing a mile down the road from us at the Mall. However after the disappointment of the mens road race, it took several days for Team GB to register their first gold with Helen Glover and Heather Stanning beginning the rush. But from then on, no one could’ve predicted the gold glut that saw Team GB finish in 3rd place, only behind superpowers China and the USA, in their largest haul since 1908.
Arguably the finest day was ‘Super Saturday‘, which saw Team GB pick up 6 golds. Britain started the day by picking up 2 gold’s at Eton Dorney, which also saw a new record set for most medals by a country in the Olympic Regatta, before 1 more was added at the Velodrome in the Olympic Park for the women’s team pursuit. And then we were treated to the finest night of Athletics this country has ever seen. Within the space of an hour, ‘face of the games’ Jessica Ennis won her Heptathlon in style, by winning the 800-metre race in front of an electric and partisan 80,000 crowd. Greg Rutherford then picked up gold in the long jump, before Mo Farah powered through to win the 10,0000-metre race.
Throughout the remainder of the games, the heroes of Team GB helped bring in a regular stream of medals, as the remarkable 29 gold medals ensured the achievements in Beijing were bettered, alongside the largest medals tally set in over a century. One notable achievement was Sir Chris Hoy smashing the record for most Olympic gold medals won by a member of Team GB.
And then it was onto the Spice Girls, The Who and many other globally recognised British acts to wrap up the show in a showcase closing ceremony that marked the end of a remarkable 2 weeks for our small country. In what has been a magnificent year for Britain with the Diamond jubilee and Olympics, we can only hope that this continues with the Paralympics!
Go Team GB!