The medals have been won, the ceremonies are done - what an Olympic ride!

On the HuffPost UK Picture Desk, we have spent two weeks sifting through thousands of images from the "best Games ever" - stunning photos of running, rowing, throwing, swimming, riding, sailing - as athletes from around the world push their physical abilities to the limit of human endurance.

The London Olympics has been a chance for sportsmen and women to showcase their talent - it has also been an incredible opportunity for intrepid photographers to capture jaw-dropping and memorable images.

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We want to share some of our favourite photos - from the hypnotic opening ceremony, to 16 days of world-class sport, to the final dazzling closing ceremony of an unforgettable Olympic Games.

Creative, colourful, a glimpse into the human soul - click below to launch our slideshow fullscreen and flick through the very best images of the London 2012 Olympic Games:

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  • A general view of the Olympic Stadium at the Olympic Park on July 24, 2012 in London, England. The opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympic Games will take place on July 27. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

  • A general view of the Orbit next to the Olympic Stadium during previews ahead of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Park on July 26, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Feng Li/Getty Images)

  • The Red Arrows, the Royal Air Force aerobatic team fly over the olympic park during the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on July 27, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Hannah Johnston/Getty Images)

  • The Red Arrows fly over the Olympic Stadium ahead of the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 London Olympic Games at the Olympic Park on July 27, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

  • A large Voldemort from the Harry Potter book series looms over performers during the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on July 27, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

  • Performers dance in a scene depicting the struggle between life and death during the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on July 27, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

  • Rings representing both the Olympics and the Industrial Revolution are lit and lifted during the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on July 27, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Morry Gash - IOPP Pool /Getty Images)

  • A flock of Mary Poppins descend to the stage during the Opening Ceremony for the London 2012 Summer Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium in London, England, Friday, July 27, 2012. (David Eulitt/Kansas City Star/MCT via Getty Images)

  • Fireworks go off over the Olympic Stadium during the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on July 27, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

  • Fireworks go off over the Olympic Stadium during the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on July 27, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Adam Pretty/Getty Images)

  • The Olympic flame burns in the cauldron during the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on July 27, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

  • General view as fireworks illuminate the stadium during the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on July 27, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Pool/Getty Images)

  • General view as fireworks illuminate the sky during the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on July 27, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

  • Searchlights over the Olympic Stadium during the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympic Games on July 27, 2012 in London, England. Athletes, heads of state and dignitaries from around the world have gathered in the Olympic Stadium for the opening ceremony of the 30th Olympiad. London plays host to the 2012 Olympic Games which will see 26 sports contested by 10,500 athletes over 17 days of competition. (Photo by Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images)

  • Performers represent victims of the July 7 bombings during the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on July 27, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

  • Janne Friederike Meyer of Germany riding Lambrasco competes in the 3rd Qualifier of Individual Jumping on Day 10 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Greenwich Park on August 6, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

  • Henrik Von Eckermann of Sweden riding Allerdings competes in the 3rd Qualifier of Individual Jumping on Day 10 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Greenwich Park on August 6, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

  • Kai Qin of China competes in the Men's 3m Springboard Diving Preliminary on Day 10 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Aquatics Centre on August 6, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

  • Han Soonchul of Korea (L) celebrates his victory over Fazliddin Gaibnazarov of Uzbekistan during the Men's Light (60kg) Boxing on Day 10 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at ExCeL on August 6, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images)

  • Mary Killman and Mariya Koroleva of the United States compete in the Women's Duets Synchronised Swimming Free Routine Final on Day 11 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Aquatics Centre on August 7, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

  • Daria Iushko and Kseniya Sydorenko of the Ukraine compete in the Women's Duets Synchronised Swimming Free Routine Final on Day 11 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Aquatics Centre on August 7, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

  • Silver medallist Nick Dempsey of Great Britain celebrates his children Thomas-Flynn (L) and Oscar (R) following the Men's RS:X Sailing on Day 11 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Weymouth & Portland Venue at Weymouth Harbour on August 7, 2012 in Weymouth, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

  • Sally Pearson of Australia crosses the line to win gold in the Women's 100m Hurdles Final on Day 11 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 7, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

  • Robert Harting of Germany celebrates winning gold in the Men's Discus Throw Final on Day 11 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 7, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)

  • Michael Conlan of Ireland (L) celebrates his victory over Nordine Oubaali of France during the Men's Fly (52kg) Boxing on Day 11 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at ExCeL on August 7, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images)

  • April Ross of the United States and Jennifer Kessy of the United States celebrate after winning match point during the Women's Beach Volleyball Semi Final match between United States and Brazil on Day 11 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Horse Guards Parade August 7, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

  • Ashton Eaton of the United States competes in the Men's Decathlon Shot Put on Day 12 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 8, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

  • Bertrand Gille (center) #6 of France is defended by Raul Entrerrios Rodriguez (L) #9 and Joan Canellas Reixach (R) #21 of Spain during the Men's Quarterfinal match between Spain and France on Day 12 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at The Basketball Arena on August 8, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

  • Maroi Mezien of Tunisia competes against Isabelle Sambou of Senegal during their Women's Freestyle 48 kg Wrestling match on Day 12 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at ExCeL on August 8, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)

  • Scott Brash of Great Britain riding Hello Sanctos in the Individual Jumping on Day 12 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Greenwich Park on August 8, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

  • Yulia Koltunova of Russia competes in the Women's 10m Platform Diving Preliminary on Day 12 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Aquatics Centre on August 8, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

  • Eloyse Lesueur of France competes in the Women's Long Jump Final on Day 12 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 8, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

  • Jason Richardson of the United States hugs Carmelita Jeter of the United States after the Men's 110m Hurdles Final on Day 12 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 8, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

  • Robin Cheong of New Zealand walks out to compete against Hedaya Wahba of Egypt during the Preliminary Round Women's -57kg Taekwondo match on Day 13 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at ExCeL on August 9, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Hannah Johnston/Getty Images)

  • Darius Draudvila of Lithuania competes during the Men's Decathlon Discus Throw on Day 13 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 9, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Pawel Kopczynski - IOPP Pool /Getty Images)

  • Action as the field make their way across a jump in the Men's BMX Cycling Quarter Finals on Day 13 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at BMX Track on August 9, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)

  • Kurt Kuschela and Peter Kretschmer of Germany celebrate winning the Gold medal in the Men's Kayak Double (K2) 1000m Canoe Sprint Final A on Day 13 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Eton Dorney at Eton Dorney on August 9, 2012 in Windsor, England. (Photo by Armando Franca - IOPP Pool /Getty Images)

  • Ophelie Aspord of France leaves the water after the Women's Marathon 10km Swimming at Hyde Park on August 9, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

  • Usain Bolt of Jamaica leads Yohan Blake of Jamaica on his way to winning gold in the Men's 200m Final on Day 13 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 9, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

  • Mathew Belcher (R) and Malcolm Page (L) of Australia celebrate in the Olympic rings after winning gold in the Men's 470 Sailing on Day 14 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Weymouth & Portland Venue at Weymouth Harbour on August 10, 2012 in Weymouth, England. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

  • Ashraf Aliyev of Azerbaijan (R) competes with Sohsuke Takatani of Japan during their Men's Freestyle 74 kg Wrestling qualification bout on Day 14 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at ExCeL on August 10, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Feng Li/Getty Images)

  • A man and boy have their photograph taken as the sun sets behind the Olympic rings on Day 14 of the London 2012 Olympic Games on August 10, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

  • Bjorn Otto of Germany competes in the Men's Pole Vault Final on Day 14 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 10, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

  • German Sanchez Sanchez of Mexico competes in the Men's 10m Platform Diving Semifinal on Day 15 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Aquatics Centre on August 11, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Adam Pretty/Getty Images)

  • A race walker competes during the Women's 20km Walk final on Day 15 of the London 2012 Olympic Games on the streets of London on August 11, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Feng Li/Getty Images)

  • Michael Phelps of the United States competes in the Final of the Men's 400m Individual Medley on Day One of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Aquatics Centre on July 28, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

  • Heather Watson and Laura Robson of Great Britain play against Sabine Lisicki and Angelique Kerber of Germany on Day 1 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in Wimbledon on July 28, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

  • Valentina Vezzali of Italy competes against Arianna Errigo of Italy during their Women's Foil Individual Fencing Semi Final match on day one of the London 2012 Olympic Games at ExCeL on July 28, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)

  • Cate Campbell of Australia celebrates with her teammates after they won the Final of the Women's 4x100m Freestyle Relay on Day 1 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Aquatics Centre on July 28, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

  • Queen Elizabeth II watches the morning session of the swimming at the Aquatics Centre during a tour of the Olympic Park on day one of the London 2012 Olympics Games on July 28, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Martin Rickett/WPA Pool/Getty Images)

  • Diego Occhiuzzi (R) of Italy reacts while competing against Rares Dumitrescu of Romania during their Men's Sabre Individual semifinal match on Day 2 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at ExCeL on July 29, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Hannah Johnston/Getty Images)