London 2012 was truly a spectacle of sporting achievement that took over the British capital earlier this summer, uniting the whole world for two weeks and inspiring youngsters everywhere.
The excitement and expectation began to build long before the first athletes moved into the Olympic village in July. On 18 May the Olympic Flame set down on British soil, beginning the torch relay that swept around the country and allowed everyone the opportunity to share in the occasion. Eight thousand inspiring individuals took part, from sporting legends such as Dame Kelly Holmes and fellow Olympian Sir Steve Redgrave to those nominated for their work in the local community.
And when five steel rings unified to create the Olympic symbol during Danny Boyle’s opening ceremony, an electricity was created that reverberated around the globe connecting people from all four corners for the following two weeks.
Athletes from 204 National Olympic Committees rose to walls and waves of sound as unprecedented levels of support inspired outstanding performances and records tumbled. On the track, Usain Bolt’s double triple [100m, 200m and 4x100 relay gold for the second time], David Rudisha’s unforgettable 800m and heroics from home favourites Jessica Ennis and Mo Farah set the 80,000 capacity Olympic Stadium alight.
In the pool, Michael Phelps graciously rose from Olympic waters for the last time, taking an incredible 22 medal haul with him – 18 of them gold. And in the velodrome Sir Chris Hoy won his sixth gold medal to become the most decorated British Olympian of all time, while Stephen Kiprotich of Uganda won the marathon on the final day of events.
The positive repercussions from hosting the Games will be felt across the UK’s capital for decades to come, thanks to the regeneration of the area and the legacy created by the state of the art stadiums and facilities such as the Velodrome and the Aquatics centre. But London 2012 has also been a catalyst for social changes throughout the UK, triggering a number of initiatives to capitalise on the enthusiasm generated and encourage people to get involved. London 2012 was an Olympic Games that pervaded the boundaries of sport the world over, and is one that will not be quickly forgotten.