Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Those two weeks.

Is anybody else still having withdrawal symptoms from the Olympics? Still wondering what to watch? Longing for another montage? Luckily, in one week's time coverage of the Paralympics on Channel 4 shall begin! After witnessing British people reach such successful heights in so many sports it makes me wonder; what if I gave a different sport a go?!  Maybe judo, canoeing or even boxing? Well, I'd probably injure myself or die although female hockey players did pick up quite a few nasty knocks this year!
Gold for Edinburgh!
Firstly, there were the athletes..with the pressure of the world on their shoulders who rose to the occasion and proved any doubters wrong. Andy Murray's gold winning performance against perhaps the greatest male tennis player of all time, enough said. In such a historic location and competition he completely dominated Federer from start to finish- it was unforgettable! What made it even more special was the not so formal Wimbledon crowd who roared and jumped at any given moment! On the track, once again, the lightening bolt struck gold three times making the Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt officially a legend. For Brits, there was also that Saturday night where three golds were achieved through the dreams of golden girl Jessica Ennis, runner Mo Farah and jumper Greg Rutherford. At the other end of the pressure scale, Phillips Idowu had a Games to forget where he was just unable to deliver and reach the final largely caused by a hampered build up due to injury. 
Then there were those..where London 2o12 might have been their final appearance at an Olympic Games. The sensational Sir Chris Hoy struck gold once again in the velodrome becoming the most successful British Olympian of all time in terms of gold medals; here's hoping he goes for Glasgow 2014! On the topic of most successful Olympians, the now retired "fishman" also known as the American Michael Phelps splashed all records out the water and  is the most decorated Olympian of all time with 22 medals! It may have not been an inspiring swimming campaign for the Brits but the American stole the show along with  Chad Le Clos's dad, Bert! Continuing in the water, there was definite relief for Katherine Grainger and Anna Watkins who rowed over the line to take gold and of course Ben Ainslie making history in his boat.
Gold for Dunblane!
On a breather from the athletes and a detour from listing Olympic stories, for many the opening and closing ceremonies were the highlight of the Games. At the heart of these masterpieces were the wonderful  ideas of the creators but most importantly you and me; the public. There would be no world stage for these athletes without the volunteers who gave up so much time, the performers who danced their socks off, the crowds who lived each moment, the funding by the British public and everybody else behind the scenes! London 2012 proved to be a successful combination of hard work, dedication and vision from a variety of people. Another highlight of the Games perhaps were the spur of the moment gestures and comical mishaps. The image of the German discus thrower Robert Harting hurdling down the track is still vivid as I'm sure everyone was holding their breath and hoping he was not going to do a Vania Stambolova!! 
Lastly, there were those athletes..whose dreams were for many unexpectedly realised at the Games. The gutsy gold medal winning boxing from Nicola Adams, the accuracy of Peter Wilson in the shooting and the surprise 400m hurdles title for Felix Sanchez! Of course, there are hundreds and hundreds of more names to celebrate but as for a change there are too many to mention for Team GB! 
For me, my Olympics was a free ticket for the women's football quarter final between France and Sweden and it was class! Glaswegians do enjoy a game of football and there was no holding back with this crowd. There were Mexican waves flying around the stadium and constant "oohing" and "aahing" from the spectators also not forgetting the comedy and music acts outside Hampden. A real Olympic spirit was felt.

No mix up with the flags this time!
Thankfully,  the countdown is on for the Paralympics and for the more success stories to come; only one week to go! #takethestage

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