What a difference a year makes. If the riots of 2011 epitomised last year, in stark contrast, 2012 will be remembered by the success of the London Olympic Games.
At first I was happy to only witness the closing ceremony when all the fuss was over, however, after Danny Boyle's opening; I thought it might be worth a watch after all, and indeed it was. After a slow start prompting The Sun to publish the headline 'Wanted Golf Medal', Team GB responded with spectacular success by claiming 29 gold medals, and as a result our nation has created a number of worthy role models which will inspire youngsters and aspiring athletes to take a greater interest in sport. Bradley Wiggins, Jessica Ennis, Mo Farah, there are too many to mention but there is no doubt that the 2012 Olympic Games has demonstrated an extraordinary amount of talent, and where better to have shown it than on home ground?
Not one who particularly follows cycling as a sport, I nevertheless found myself amongst a sea of other locals out to support Bradley Wiggins during the men's time trials which took place through Surrey. Flags, face paint, banners, they were all present along with a massive amount of Olympic spirit which brought the community together for a very special event. It wasn't just the cycling though, I also found myself glued to the TV watching every stage of Jessica Ennis's heptathlon along with the tennis, sailing and even the synchronised swimming.
But then came the problem. Captivated as I had been by London 2012, last night's closing ceremony clashed with the final golf major championship of the year, an event in which Rory McIlroy was leading. My heart said golf, but my head said the Games, and so I watched as London said goodbye to the Olympics and cemented our place in the history books. Of course, there was a bit of channel flicking in between, and I also managed to watch the conclusion of the PGA Championship. The morning after showed that Rory McIlroy is now a multiple major champion, and London's closing ceremony scored bonus points after finishing with back to back birdies following performances by the Royal Ballet and The Who.
Sebastian Coe will be happy with the way London has staged the Games, and even Boris Johnson can breathe a sigh of relief as TFL seems to have just about coped with the numbers entering the Capital. All in all, I am sold on London 2012 and after being offered a seat on the tube today, I suspect that the Olympic spirit will remain in the air for some time to come.
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