For 17 days, from July 27 through August 12, 2012, 10,800 athletes from 204 countries put aside their individual differences and became competitors of one world. The legacy of the 2012 London Olympic Games will hopefully remain with everyone who participated and the millions who watched all the performances. London is the first city in the modern era of the Olympics to have hosted the games three times, 1908, 1948 and 2012.
From the opening ceremony where to the delight of the world, it seemed as if HRM who celebrated her diamond jubilee this year, joined James Bond and parachuted into the stadium. Sir Paul McCartney got the crowd rocking singing Hey Jude and with the resurrection of Freddie Mercury and John Lennon and a Spice Girls reunion at the closing ceremony, it was a games to remember.
Olympians come in many shapes and sizes, from the youngest, Adso Kpossi, the 13 year old swimmer from Togo, to Hiroshi Hoketsu, the 71 year old who competed for Japan in in the equestrian sport, dressage. They all share one desire, to make their home country proud and for a handful of athletes that dream came true.
Usain Bolt of Jamaica became a household name, not only with the fans but with the other athletes. He is now known as the fastest man on earth. For the first time, a runner with the first name Mohammed, known as Mo Farah, won two gold medals for Great Britain.
Michael Phelps set numerous records, both personal and for the record books. He became the most decorated Olympic athlete of all time. He has set a record that may never be topped.
The United States may have won the total medal count with 104, but none of the medals is more meaningful than the one that was won by the tiny country of Montenegro. They are relatively new the games as a country and after their gold medal loss to Norway on Saturday, Bonjana Popovic from their silver medal handball team said proudly, “This is like gold for us.”
Kirani James who won the island nation of Grenada’s first ever gold medal is now a national hero and in his honor a half-day holiday was declared. How exciting is that?
In all, there are 18 countries which won only one medal at the London Olympics. For these countries, it isn’t about the numbers, it is about national pride, and none is prouder than Venezuela whose fencer Ruben Limardo won the gold medal and who returned home to a hero’s welcome.
For the first time ever, a woman competed from the countries of Saudi Arabia, Brunai and Qatar. This was a major advancement for women in these highly restrictive countries. Woman played a major role in these Olympics, more so than ever before and the names Gabby Douglas and Jessica Ennis are easily recognizable around the globe.
International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge declared the Olympics over with praise for the athletes. “Through your commitment to fair play, your respect for opponents, and your grace in defeat as well as in victory, you have earned the right to be called Olympians,” he said, adding: “These were happy and glorious games.”
The true legacy of the Olympics in general and these games in particular, is that for one bright shiny moment, the world came together as one. It gives hope that this oneness can extend beyond the games.
I have been an Internet writer for more than 16 years. While I specialize in travel, I write on a variety of subjects. I love genealogy, food, and fashion. I have 10 grandchildren so family travel is something we often do.