The past few days confirmed that London is delivering not just the greatest Olympics in history but, more interestingly, the 'coolest'.
Walking along the bustling streets of East London or through the crowds in Hyde Park this weekend, it was evident that London has rejuvenated the Olympic movement. Young people - 'cool' people - are harnessing this popularity and generating more energy and attention around every sport (no matter its popularity).
In Beijing in 2008, the entire event felt like a made-for-TV production. China delivered on their objectives of going massive and large-scale, wowing audiences at home. But the people who attended the Games, myself included, seemed just minute parts, accessories, to a bigger production. Take the night when Usain Bolt won his third medal: I was desperate to find somewhere to dance around with some Jamaican fans, but there was not a place to celebrate for love or money. The overarching discouragement of public gatherings extended to a severe lack of seating outside the arenas, which left me sitting on concrete for a couple of hours. It may have looked great on TV, but for an attending fan it seemed that Beijing had sucked the life out of the Olympics and stole the spirit of the Games.
Fast forward four years later and we in London are experiencing an amazing contrast. The Opening Ceremony was a demonstration of confidence, humour and quirkiness: from Mr Bean to the NHS to a parachuting Queen to a colourful dance party against 80s music. We used the biggest world stage to show a super cool expression of Britain with all its foibles. There was no posturing, just genuine and deep-rooted statements underpinned with a massive amount of pride in our culture and history.
Now, in the thick of the Games, there have been few complaints about traffic, transport and crowds (one of the public's biggest worries before this all began!). Instead, the Olympics have engaged some of the most cynical (albeit London's 'coolest') demographics - from the hipsters of the east end to the super wealthy of Knightsbridge. 'Beats by Dre', a pop-up house that has holed up in a not-so-secret location in Shoreditch, has become the place where athletes from all countries come to hang out, meet new people, experience the London scene, and learn about one of the biggest brand sensations of the last few years. On Kings Road in Chelsea, Bluebird has been packed with shoppers whose eye has caught the massive screen playing sport in the front garden. And rumour has it that a dance-music festival in a field in Standon stopped one of the gigs mid-show due to the audience chanting 'Put on Ennis' at the top of their lungs so they could see the Heptathlete grab the gold.
Helping the Olympics become 'cool' is the ability to communicate. Every medal, fall, heartbreak, can be effectively and efficiently relayed to the masses with minute-by-minute updates. The TV pundits have been great (loved seeing Michael Johnson and Denise Lewis scream and jump in excitement as Mo Farah made his way to the gold on Saturday night). But the new-media updates, from Twitter to London2012 apps, to Facebook make for even better reading, given that everything is being talked about on a massive, mainstream scale and expressed by personal stories and experiences.
Through this new media frenzy, London 2012 has been able to bring to life some amazingly 'cool' personalities, from Bolt to Phelps to Ennis.
All this 'coolness' has resulted in engaging with one extremely important population: young people.
This is why being 'cool' really matters. Because after a relatively dampening run, the IOC has found that being in a truly global, diverse city on the cutting edge of culture has major advantages. It has allowed its message, and more importantly its sponsors' messages, to reach entirely new and hard-to-reach populations that were always susceptible to, but never engaged with, the Olympic movement.
So here we are, one year on from the riots, when young people took to the streets, many of them who were (and still are) desperately unfulfilled, alienated and excluded. And yet now these young people seem to be taking to the streets for a different reason.
When asking the questions around how to ignite the right kind of passion in young people who in our current climate feeling more angry than inspired, should we not look at what type of passion the Olympics has lit around the city over the last week?
When we bid for the Games seven years ago, Lord Seb Coe and Keith Mills promised to inspire 12 million children through the Olympics. They have gone beyond that with International inspiration, engaging many millions of young people in a very positive way both here and across the world.
Passion for sport gives focus, it allows us to join with like-minded others and can act as a driving force to self-improvement. It is also a route to finding mentors and role models that young people can connect with and relate to in their communities.
My celebrations of the week - and there are many - also include one outside of the Olympics: from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. As "Curiosity" landed on the Mars, those astronauts celebrated their own gold medal. It was as moving as a victory in the pool or on the track. As London 2012 demonstrates humans conquering our physical boundaries, those at NASA are pushing forward boundaries in a whole new sense. Like the athletes, they have worked for years for one split second which could mean success or failure.
It reminds us that our goal must be to help young people find their passion - be it in sport, music, arts, politics or science. So we can have more moments to celebrate as individuals, countries and as a human race.
No matter what these young people achieve, it's all pretty 'cool' really.
Follow Nick Keller on Twitter: www.twitter.com/Nickbeyond