- 22 Aug 08, 09:25 AM
Fire. Moon. Speed. Sky. Gold. Respect.
The Jamaican burned down the track on a crisp, clean, dry night in Beijing with the moon, almost in full bloom, appearing in the sky as if itself wanting to witness the special moment.
Bolt's two record shattering performances in achieving the sprint double are two of my main highlights of these Beijing Games, two memories I undoubtedly share with hundreds of millions of others around the globe.
Michael Phelps swimming to an Olympic record of eight gold medals at a single Games is another collective memory I and many others will take from Beijing 2008.
But what else has truly stuck in your mind?
On Saturday's My Games programme we're going to look at some of your favourite Olympic moments, so send us your thoughts, either through this blog or via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In terms of the sport, other highlights for me include;
Yang Wei's gold medal in the all-round men's gymnastics;
Natalie Du Toit's participation in the women's 10 km open water event, in which she finished a disappointing 16th but proved there are more important things than winning even at an Olympic Games;
Afghanistan winning its first ever medal, which came thanks to Rohullah Nikpai in Taekwondo's 58 kilogramme category.
Nikpai comes from the Maidan Wardak region in Afghanistan, an area which has been rife with insurgency, and after winning a bronze, the 21 year old said he hoped his medal could be a message for peace in his country.
That is also the message China has been trying to convey to the watching world during these Games. One World, One Dream is the slogan of Beijing 2008, and China has certainly won many new admirers over the course of the Games.
No-one is naïve enough to think the picture of Beijing being represented through their televisions is the real China. But after seven years of controversy in the build-up to the event, things have gone even better than the ultra-organised organisers could have hoped for.
Think back just a couple of weeks and all the worries about how the smog in Beijing might affect the athletes, how the algae at the sailing venue in Qingdao might have ruined the competition there and how doping scandals would wreck the credibility of the sporting competition.
Hardly any of it has materialised. Thank goodness.
And finally, for me personally, having been lucky enough to be right here in the thick of the action, another major highlight for me came one late night as I was walking back to my accommodation at the media village. A Chinese gentleman stopped me in the street and asked me where I was from. He introduced me to his wife, his son, his young baby daughter and his grandmother. We spent about five minutes chatting, he and his wife wanted to know about my life in England, and I asked him about their life in Beijing. I carried a smile with me through the rest of the next day. Thank you sir, even though I don't even know your name.
One day, because of all of this, I will return to Beijing with my own family.
Don't forget to send us your highlights of Beijing 2008. Bye bye.
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