Rule Britannia

Posted on August 13, 2012

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The 2012 Olympics came to a fabulous end last night after 16 days of spectacular competition and whilst we’ll all be left with lasting differing memories of tears and triumph, I personally loved that British teams ran, cycled and rowed their way to the highest medal count since Britannia ruled the seas in 1908.

London has done a marvellous job hosting the games … nothing beats a hearty helping of Britain’s know-how and sense of humour.

So today … to mark the end of the games, some facts that have made London 2012 stand apart from the rest:

  • Girl Power: The 2012 Olympics had two significant milestones for female athletes. It was the first Olympics where every country had at least one female athlete and also, Female Boxing was included this year, which meant that every sport in the games had both male and female competitors.
  • The opening ceremony was based on William Shakespeare’s The Tempest. Academy award winner, Danny Boyle, in his role as Artistic director, had over 20,000 volunteers working on it!
  • The London Olympic stadium is the lightest stadium ever built. They also used 2,500 tons of steel tubing that was recycled from old gas pipelines which makes it a pretty green structure!
  • London was the first city to host the Olympics for a third time. They hosted the Olympics in 1908 and 1948 and whilst Athens has also hosted three Olympic games, one of them, the 1902 Athens Intercalated Olympic Games weren’t counted as an official Olympic event.
  • The Olympics will leave London with its largest piece of public art. The ArcelorMittal Orbit is a 377-foot observation tower that was built in the Olympic Park and is intended to be a permanent fixture of London.
  • Even though my adidas was the official apparel sponsor, Nike featured prominently in the games … not Nike of the swoosh variety but rather Nike, the Goddess of Sport. She was engraved on every medal given out during the games.
  • In all, 44 world records were set during London 2012 and 117 Olympic records broken.
  • US swimmer Michael Phelps became the most decorated Olympian in history while cyclist Sir Chris Hoy’s two gold medals meant he became the most successful British Olympian of all time.
  • The Games ended with the US topping the final medal table with 46 golds, followed by China with 38 golds. GB came third with 29 golds – their best tally since 1908.

All in all, it’s been a brilliant and inspiring couple of weeks. What once was nothing but wasteland, was transformed into an awesome Olympic Park and I hope, for years to come, a world of possibility and opportunity.

London lit the flame and in doing so lit the world.

And now to Rio, four years from now and with a very hard act to follow …

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