Choosing a sporting highlight of 2012 is akin to a child agonising over which confectionary they can have in a sweet shop. We were treated to an enthralling Premier League finale, a nerve-shredding Champions League final, the miracle at Medinah in the Ryder Cup and Andy Murray ending Britain's 76-year wait for a singles Grand Slam. But all of those events were dwarfed by the 30th Olympiad, London 2012.

For just over a fortnight many Brits could forget about their own worries and seek escapism via the 24/7 coverage of the Olympics. Whether you were in the office, in the car, in the park or at the venue, sports you never watched - let alone cared about - suddenly transfixed you.

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All the stars are coming out tonight

Hardened cynics were, temporarily at least, softened by the good vibrations which reverberated around the country. It may be shamelessly jingoistic but that Britain was hosting its first Games since 1948 inevitably made the interest tenfold.

Transport inconveniences were scarce, Brits took a hiatus from their queuing pastime and strangers actually spoke to one another in public out of courtesy, rather than moaning about their music being on too loud.

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  • Andrea Baldini of Italy reacts after his match against Alexey Cheremisinov of Russia during men's individual foil fencing at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Tuesday, July 31, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

  • Russian gymnasts and team officials react as teammate Kseniia Afanaseva falls while performing on the floor during the Artistic Gymnastics women's team final at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Tuesday, July 31, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

  • South Africa's Chad le Clos reacts as he wins gold in the men's 200-meter butterfly swimming final at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Tuesday, July 31, 2012. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

  • Great Britain's Heather Stanning and Helen Glover celebrate after winning the gold medal for the women's rowing pair in Eton Dorney, near Windsor, England, at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2012. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

  • Yuri Alvear, of Colombia, reacts after defeating Chen Fei of China, to win the bronze medal during the women's 70-kg judo competition at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

  • Members of the U.S. women's eight team embraces coxswain Mary Whipple after winning the gold medal in Eton Dorney, near Windsor, England, at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Thursday, Aug. 2, 2012. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin congratulates Tagir Khaibulaev of Russia after he beat Tuvshinbayar Naidan of Mongolia to win the gold medal during the men's 100-kg judo competition at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Thursday, Aug. 2, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

  • Judges watch the trampoline performance of gold medallist Dong Dong of China at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Friday, Aug. 3, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

  • Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray

    Andy Murray, right, of Great Britain, is congratulated by Novak Djokovic of Serbia after Murray won their semifinal round men's singles match at the All England Lawn Tennis Club at Wimbledon, in London, at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Friday, Aug. 3, 2012. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

  • Britain's Jessica Ennis lands a jump during the long jump heptathlon during the athletics in the Olympic Stadium at the 2012 Summer Olympics, London, Saturday, Aug. 4, 2012. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

  • Great Britain's Peter Kirkbride reacts after clearing a weight during the men's 94-kg weightlifting competition at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Saturday, Aug. 4, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

  • Great Britain's Katherine Copeland cries during the award ceremony for the lightweight women's rowing double sculls after winning the gold medal in Eton Dorney, near Windsor, England, at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Saturday, Aug. 4, 2012. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)

  • Jamaica's Usain Bolt gestures before competing in a men's 100-meter heat during the athletics in the Olympic Stadium at the 2012 Summer Olympics, London, Saturday, Aug. 4, 2012. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

  • Britain's Jessica Ennis celebrates winning gold following the 800-meter heptathlon as she and other athletes complete a victory lap during the athletics in the Olympic Stadium at the 2012 Summer Olympics, London, Saturday, Aug. 4, 2012. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

  • From left to right, Susie Scanlan, Kelley Hurley, Courtney Hurley and Maya Lawrence of the United States celebrate their victory at the end of the women's eppe team bronze medal fencing competition against Russia at the ExCel Centre at the 2012 Summer Olympics on Saturday, Aug. 4, 2012, in London. (AP PhotoDamir Sagolj, Pool)

  • Gold medal winner, Jamaica's Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, left, crosses the finish line ahead of silver medal winner United States' Carmelita Jeter during the women's 100-meter final during athletics competition in the Olympic Stadium at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Saturday, Aug. 4, 2012, in London.(AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

  • Britain's Andy Murray celebrates after defeating Switzerland's Roger Federer to win the men's singles gold medal match at the All England Lawn Tennis Club at Wimbledon, in London, at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012. (AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano)

  • Victoria Brown

    Goalkeeper Victoria Brown of Australia, left, reacts with teammates after they tied the score 13-13 during their women's water polo quarterfinal match against China at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012, in London. The teams tied 14-14 at end of regulation before heading into extra time. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

  • Serena Williams, Venus Williams,

    Serena Williams, left, and Venus Williams of the United States laugh together on the podium after receiving their gold medals in women's doubles at the All England Lawn Tennis Club in Wimbledon, London at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

  • China's Liu Xiangrong takes a thrown a women's shot put qualification round during the athletics in the Olympic Stadium at the 2012 Summer Olympics, London, Monday, Aug. 6, 2012. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

  • United States' Sanya Richards-Ross, left, is embraced by United States' Deedee Trotter after she won gold in the women's 400-meter final during the athletics in the Olympic Stadium at the 2012 Summer Olympics, London, Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

  • Britain men's water polo players react to a goal by Glen Robinson during a preliminary men's water polo match against Montenegro at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Monday, Aug. 6, 2012, in London. Hungary won 11-6. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

  • Russia's Evgeniia Kolodko reacts after taking her final throw to win bronze in the women's shot put final during the athletics in the Olympic Stadium at the 2012 Summer Olympics, London, Monday, Aug. 6, 2012. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

  • Michael Conlan of Ireland, left, and Nordine Oubaali of France, react after their men's quarterfinal flyweight 52-kg boxing match at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)

  • Japan's players celebrate winning their classification hockey match against South Africa at the Riverside Arena at the 2012 Summer Olympics, London, Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2012. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

  • Germany's Ariane Friedrich reacts after clearing the bar in a women's high jump qualification round during the athletics in the Olympic Stadium at the 2012 Summer Olympics, London, Thursday, Aug. 9, 2012. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

  • Germany's Peter Kretschmer and Kurt Kuschela celebrate after winning the gold in the medal men's kayak double 1000m in Eton Dorney, near Windsor, England, at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Thursday, Aug. 9, 2012. (AP Photo/Armando Franca,Pool)

  • Saori Yoshida of Japan celebrates after she beat Tonya Lynn Verbeek of Canada for the gold medal during their 55-kg women's freestyle wrestling competition at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Thursday, Aug. 9, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

  • Jamaica's Usain Bolt, center, is embraced by his mother Jennifer, center left, after he won gold in the men's 200-meter final during the athletics in the Olympic Stadium at the 2012 Summer Olympics, London, Thursday, Aug. 9, 2012. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

  • Australia's crew Mathew Belcher and Malcolm Page, foreground, celebrate after winning the gold medal of the 470 men's class sailing competition at the London 2012 Summer Olympics, Friday, Aug. 10, 2012, in Weymouth and Portland, England. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

  • United States' Carmelita Jeter reacts as she crosses the finish line to win the women's 4 x 100-meter relay during the athletics in the Olympic Stadium at the 2012 Summer Olympics, London, Friday, Aug. 10, 2012. The United States relay team set a new world record with a time of 40.82 seconds.(AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)

  • Ethiopia's Meseret Defar reacts as she crosses the finish line to win the 5000-meter final during the athletics in the Olympic Stadium at the 2012 Summer Olympics, London, Friday, Aug. 10, 2012. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)

  • Luciana Aymar

    Argentina's Luciana-Aymar, bottom, looks on as Netherlands hockey players celebrate their win in a women's hockey gold medal match at the 2012 Summer Olympics, London, Friday, Aug. 10, 2012. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

  • South Korea's head coach Hong Myung-bo is hoisted up by his players after the team won their men's soccer bronze medal match against Japan in Cardiff, Wales, at the 2012 London Summer Olympics, Friday, Aug. 10, 2012. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

  • Julie Bresset

    Julie Bresset (4), of France, approaches the finish line to with the gold medal in the Mountain Bike Cycling women's race, at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Saturday, Aug. 11, 2012, at Hadleigh Farm, in Essex, England. Bresset dominated the picturesque course at Hadleigh Farm on Saturday to win the mountain bike gold medal in her first Olympics.(AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

  • Bronze medallist Belarus' Liubou Charkashyna cries after a performance during the rhythmic gymnastics individual all-around final at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Saturday, Aug. 11, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

  • Elizabeth Cambage, Natalya Vodopyanova

    Australia's Elizabeth Cambage jams her finger into the eye of Russia's Natalya Vodopyanova while defending a drive to the basket during a women's bronze medal basketball game at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Saturday, Aug. 11, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

  • Woojin Hwang

    Hwang Woojin, of South Korea, and his horse Shearwater Oscar, fall down after the horse bucked after the starting bell sounded to start their run in the equestrian show jumping stage of the men's modern pentathlon at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Saturday, Aug. 11, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

  • Jamaica's Usain Bolt, right, crosses the finish line ahead of Ryan Bailey of the United States in the men's 4x100-meter relay final during the athletics in the Olympic Stadium at the 2012 Summer Olympics, London, Saturday, Aug. 11, 2012. Jamaica set a new world record with a time of 36.84 seconds. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

  • Luke Campbell of Great Britain, celebrates winning his fight against John Joe Nevin of Ireland, after their bantamweight 56-kg gold medal boxing match at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Saturday, Aug. 11, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)

  • Spain's Marc Gasol and United States' LeBron James battle for a loose ball during the men's gold medal basketball game at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Sunday, Aug. 12, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

  • Tugstsogt Nyambayar, Robeisy Ramirez Carrazana

    Cuba's Robeisy Ramirez Carrazana reacts after being declared the winner over Mongolia's Tugstsogt Nyambayar in their flyweight 52-kg gold medal boxing match at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Sunday, Aug. 12, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

  • Uganda's Stephen Kiprotich celebrates after crossing the finish line to win gold in the men's marathon at the 2012 Summer Olympics Sunday, Aug. 12, 2012 in London. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)

  • Moritz Fuerste

    Germany's Moritz Fuerste, left, celebrates his team's 2-1 win against the Netherlands in the men's field hockey gold medal match at the 2012 Summer Olympics, in London, Saturday, Aug. 11, 2012. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

  • Bronze medalist Thomas Daley from Britain celebrates after the men's 10-meter platform diving final at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Saturday, Aug. 11, 2012. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

  • The team from Belarus performs during the rhythmic gymnastics group all-around final at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Sunday, Aug. 12, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

  • File - United States' Aries Merritt, left, crosses the finish line in the men's 110-meter hurdles final to win gold ahead of Jamaica's Hansle Parchment during the athletics in the Olympic Stadium at the 2012 Summer Olympics, London, in this Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2012 file photo. Olympic hurdles champion Merritt is facing some of his toughest competition at the IAAF's 100th anniversary gala. Three months after winning the 110-meter hurdles at the London Games, Merritt will be up against Usain Bolt and 800-meter gold medalist David Rudisha for the IAAF's World Athlete of the Year award. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, file)

  • Sport - Christmas Package 2012

    File photo dated 06/09/12 of Great Britain's Jonnie Peacock celebrates after winning gold in the Men's 100m - T44 Final.

  • Sport - Christmas Package 2012

    File photo dated 03/08/2012 of Great Britain's Katherine Grainger (left) and Anna Watkins celebrating winning gold in the women's double sculls.

  • Sport - Christmas Package 2012

    File photo dated 05/08/12 of Great Britain's Andy Murray after winning the Olympic Gold Medal in the Fina of thel Men's Singles.

  • Sport - Christmas Package 2012

    File photo dated 07/08/12 of Great Britain's Sir Chris Hoy becomes emotional as he celebrates winning Gold in the Men's Keirin Final.

And then the games began, albeit not with the assistance of Bane blowing up Danny Boyle's green and promised land. The spectacular opening ceremony on Friday 29 July was a mesmeric and poignant prologue to a feast of sport.

Team GB had to wait until five days into the Games to win their first gold medal, but it was to be the first of 29 - their biggest haul since the 1908 Games, also held in London.

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The Bolt and the Mobot

But what was the highlight? Bradley Wiggins' road race win? Super Saturday? Mo Farah's double triumph? Katherine Grainger finally collecting her first gold? Ben Ainslie making it four in a row? Sir Chris Hoy becoming Britain's greatest Olympian? Some won't be namechecked and that only underlines the magnificence of Britain's achievement at London 2012.

Aside from British interest, there was Usain Bolt charming just about everyone, Michael Phelps becoming the most decorated Olympian of all time, 32 world records and many more. It's just a shame it lasted less than three weeks.