- 25 Aug 08, 10:34 AM
It's been a massive two-and-a-half weeks of Olympic action.
We asked 14 of our reporters from BBC Sport and 5 Live to pick their best and worst moments.
Clare Balding (BBC Sport equestrian reporter in Hong Kong and studio presenter in Beijing)
Highlight: Becky Adlington's double gold and Chris Hoy's three golds. They have reached an even higher plane of excellence in an outstanding team performance from British athletes. In Becky's case, she has achieved something never before done by a British swimmer, and in Hoy's, something that has never been done by a cyclist of any nation before. Hoy is just immense, both physically and mentally.
Lowlight: British women's rowing quad miss gold. I felt the pain of the women's quad as I am sure every single person watching at home would have done as they won silver when they so wanted and deserved gold. Kath Grainger is the most successful female rower Britain has ever produced and yet she felt as if she had failed. The effort all four had put into their training, the time and emotion they had invested and the pain they went through epitomised the Olympic spirit. Only defeat can triumph be truly appreciated.
Star of 2008: Usain Bolt. I'm assuming most other people will say Michael Phelps, but if Usain Bolt could run the 100 and 200m using different styles and doing it backwards, I'm pretty sure he'd do it. His joy is infectious, his talent unparalleled and his exuberance unfettered. He is one cool dude.
Tip for 2012: Miners Frolic. Tina Cook's horse performed beautifully in all three phases of the eventing and was the star of the show. He is only 10, which in horse years is very young. Soundness allowing, he will be at the peak of his powers come London and in Tina has a rider with the experience, talent and dignity to excel.
Simon Brotherton (Radio 5 Live cycling and boxing commentator)
Highlight: Nicole Cooke winning road race gold. But the whole fortnight has been a highlight; how could it not be, with all the success achieved by the GB cycling team?
Seeing Chris Hoy become the first British Olympian in exactly 100 years to win three gold medals at the same Games was a moment to saviour, but I would have to pick Cooke's victory. It was Britain's first gold medal in Beijing and really set the tone for the rest of the fortnight.
I remember interviewing her live on the radio later that day under an umbrella as we walked through Olympic park in the dark. It was absolutely pouring with rain, but it was great to talk about her win and I think she really enjoyed hearing the reaction in her parents' lounge as she crossed the line, which we played to her.
Lowlight: Shanaze Reade crashing out of the BMX final. Reade falling off on the last corner of the BMX was a real shame, but she showed how gutsy she is during the competition and the BMX as a whole was a great success.
Star of 2008: Usain Bolt. He ran a different race to everyone else and claimed three world records. I found the 100m and 200m finals more exciting and gripping as sporting moments than any of Michael Phelps' eight golds, even though his was a gargantuan feat.
Tip for 2012: Jason Kenny. The 20-year-old made it through to the final of the men's sprint against Chris Hoy. He had to settle for silver this time round, but look out for the Bolton youngster at London 2012.
Caroline Cheese (BBC Sport, text commentator in London)
Highlight: Nicole Cooke wins Britain's first gold - and the unrestrained celebrations. Also, the sight of Olympic icon and British sporting hero Sir Steve Redgrave in an ill-fitting pac-a-mac.
Lowlight: Softball. What the...? Ditto dressage.
Star of Beijing: Usain Bolt, obviously. But for the Brits, got to be Sir Christopher Hoy.
Tip for 2012: If it's not me in the archery (still hoping...), I'll go for Jason Kenny to do a 'Hoy'.
Andrew Cotter (BBC Sport, weightlifting commentator)
Highlight: A tie for first place shared by Usain Bolt's 100m and 200m victories. Both utterly astonishing and what a contrast between the two. I wish that he had run through the line in the 100m but his coasting simply underlined his total dominance. Great to see, though, that he did it in the 200. I suspect he knew that he had Michael Johnson's record in him and also knew that he might not get another chance like it.
Alastair Eykyn (Radio 5 Live, hockey and tennis commentary)
Highlights: The short spell when GB's men hockey team were on track to beat Olympic champions Australia for the first time in 20 years - only to be pegged back by a late equaliser. And an honourable mention for the cheerleaders at the beach volleyball at Chaoyang Park.
Star of Beijing: Usain Bolt, Michael Phelps and Chris Hoy stand out as does, less obviously, Rafael Nadal for showing the tennis world what the Olympic spirit is all about. Take note Andy Murray.
Tip for 2012: Ashley Jackson and Charlotte Craddock to star as GB's hockey teams reach the semi-finals of men's and women's event. Good money on tears from Paula Radcliffe after her victory/abandonment/injury in the Marathon.
Juliette Ferrington (Radio 5 Live sailing reporter, Qingdao)
Highlight: Iain Percy and Andrew "Bart" Simpson winning gold in the Star class. It was a thriller right to the end, with medal places changing all the time on the final day of Olympic sailing. No-one deserved it more than Bart, and it left Britain's sailors with their best Olympic medal haul for a century.
Lowlight: Nick Dempsey missing out on a windsurfing medal after going into the medal race lying in silver medal position. In true Dempsey style he said: "It's not the end of the world, I've got other great stuff going on." He's only marrying Sarah Ayton this autumn!
Star of Beijing: Ben Ainslie. People rave about Michael Phelps winning eight gold medals, but Ainslie competes in an Olympic sport where he can only win one medal at a time - so winning third gold of his sailing career deserves similar recognition. Chris Hoy is also up there.
Tip for 2012: What more can the RYA extract from their squad? Britain finished the regatta as the world's top sailing nation (again!) and surpassed the medal total at the past two Games in Athens and Sydney. The only way is up.
Gordon Farquhar (Radio 5 Live sports news reporter, Beijing)
Highlight: Terribly hard to pick one from an Olympics of such extraordinary stories. From my own perspective, being in the opening ceremony was an experience I'll never forget, as was standing feet away from Chris Hoy at the velodrome as he thundered towards gold in the individual pursuit. I was really struck by the ordinary bloke-ness of Michael Phelps at his press conference after winning an eighth swimming gold medal. But the one moment that really stopped me dead in my tracks was Usain Bolt's showboating finish in the 100m final. I think I was almost in shock.
Lowlight: Ukrainian heptathlete Liudmyla Blonska's positive drugs test, following her two-year doping ban in 2003. Low as a snake's belly.
Star of Beijing: I'm going to have to say Phelps.
Tip for 2012: Louis Smith. His bronze in the pommel horse was a huge achievement, an indication of the growing strength in depth in the GB team. I expect the sailors to do to the rest of the world what the cyclists have just done at the velodrome - stuff them out of sight.
Tom Fordyce (BBC Sport blogger, Beijing)
Highlight: When Usain Bolt proved that Lightning can strike twice. What a 200m.
Lowlight: Being beaten by an 84-year-old local at table-tennis.
Star of Beijing: Usain Bolt. His Royal Hoyness.
Tip for 2012: Jason Kenny. He even pushed Hoy close in the sprint.
Jake Humphrey (BBC Sport studio presenter, Ling Long Pagoda, Beijing)
Highlight: Gymnastics. Amazing entertainment, breathtakingly skilful, and generates really gripping drama. Beth Tweddle, four years on from the disappointment of Athens, looked to end her creditable career on a high and missed glory by one step! Just a single, step to the right was the difference between a medal and heartbreak - how can you not be thrilled by a sport where the margins are so tight? I was also privileged to meet Beth and Louis Smith. He is just what British gymnastics needs. Cool, accessible, talented, inspirational... and best of all an Olympic medallist!
Lowlight: I may always regret not seeing China, in China, winning Olympic gold in table tennis or being there when Usain Bolt was in full flight...glad I was able to share it with you guys at home, though.
Also, although the sport was phenomenal, the stadia breathtaking and the crowds vocal, with Olympic Green being behind a security cordon, there was no party atmosphere and 10 minutes after the end of the day's action it was deserted. There was a lack of bars, restaurants and communal areas for people to congregate and celebrate the sport. The venues need to be open to the public and I'm sure it's something that will be addressed by the 2012 organisers.
Star of Beijing: Hoy, Adlington, the sailors, Brabants, the rowers, Ohuruogu... do I need to go on? We're winners and it feels great!
Tip for 2012: Shanaze Reade. After her BMX disappointment, Reade will be driven on to be the face of 2012 for British sport, and she's so talented she might just do it. Whether she's on the dirt track or in the velodrome, I have high hopes. I'm sure her talent will be nurtured by our impressive British cycling set up by 2012. I hope she remains focused for the next four years and does herself proud.
Hazel Irvine (BBC Sport studio presenter, Ling Long Pagoda, Beijing)
Highlight: Nicole Cooke's first gold for Team GB. It was on my watch - I've been on air every morning from 6am UK time - and there is a bit of inter-shift rivalry over the medal count. It was particularly dramatic for me because the weather was as foul in Beijing as it was out at Badaling, where Cooke battled through the rain to win, and our studio started leaking. Viewers may remember the sight of Sue Barker sitting in bare feet as her shoes were drying out!
The men's 100m freestyle relay in the Water Cube was also a highlight - the way Jason Lezak chased down Alain Bernard over the final 50m was incredible, as was Michael Phelps' reaction. He managed to get eight golds here, with a little help from his friends - and on that occasion a very big help.
Lowlight: The disappointment etched on Kath Grainger's face after taking silver in the women's rowing quad race. She has won three silvers in the Olympics which is an incredible achievement - but for her it was not enough.
Tip for 2012: Gymnast Louis Smith, cyclist Jason Kenny and 1500m runner Steph Twell.
James Munro (BBC News, sports news, Beijing)
Highlight: The look on the face of Chris Hoy's dad, David, when his boy won his first gold. Pride, relief, and payback for a lifetime of support from a fantastic family. Seeing Becky Adlington win two golds. Her joy after the 400m was unadulterated, infectious, exuberant, and you knew straight away how significant a moment it was for British swimming.
Lowlight: Frankie Gavin's early departure. It couldn't have been a worse start for Britain, but the boxers fought back.
Star of Beijing: Dave Brailsford - what his team has achieved in Beijing is more than just gold. They've written the blueprint for success in 2012. Michael Phelps - I saw five of his eight golds - surely no-one can do it again. Georgia's Nino Salukvadze and Russia's Natalia Paderina downing air pistols and embracing despite the conflict between their two countries. Showed how sports matters when it really shouldn't.
Tip for 2012: Jason Kenny. King Chris has a 20-year-old pretender to the throne in the velodrome. And grit your teeth through the years of budget concerns and building delays - ask anyone outside the Birds Nest and they'll tell you it's all worth it.
Eleanor Oldroyd (Radio 5 Live/BBC Sport reporter in Beijing)
Highlight: Middle Saturday, 16 August. What a day! It encapsulated everything that was great about this Olympics. I was up at 5am to present 5 Live Sport for the first two hours from the Water Cube where I saw Becky Adlington win her second gold medal and Michael Phelps win his seventh gold.
As soon as the finals finished I moved outside onto Olympic Green to do some roving reporting via the radio mike, which is such a great and liberating way to broadcast, and then it was up to the Bird's Nest to present the final hour and half from that iconic stadium. I can genuinely say that was the pinnacle of my broadcasting career!
As soon as we went off air, I got straight onto the media bus to the lake up at Shunyi - where I saw the men's four win rowing gold. Then in the evening, we headed out to Tiananmen Square where we were just milling around soaking up the atmosphere and chatting with the Chinese people. We ended up the night having supper by Houhai Lake and I was in bed exhausted by 1am.
Lowlight: I hope London manages to achieve more of a sense of fun. The security fears meant people could not move around freely around Olympic Green as it was fenced off. It will be great in London if people are just able to turn up on the day and say 'hey let's go and see some hockey' or whatever. I really hope London gets that right. We can't compete with China in terms of scale, or the money we can plough into venues, but we can make it accessible for the fans.
Tip for 2012: Charlotte Kerwood is a really promising young shooter who just missed out this time. So many young British competitors did well and will have learnt about the cauldron of pressure at an Olympic Games, which will hopefully mean more medals next time round.
Karen Pickering (BBC Sport and Radio 5 Live swimming pundit, Beijing)
Highlight: Two medals in the women's 400m. Becky Adlington (gold) and Jo Jackson (bronze) were so gutsy down the final 50m. I have been waiting for Jo to get a result - she is someone I swam with and against - and she deserves it. This British women's team has a special feel about it. They want to beat each other but they also want each other to do well. It's a special bond.
Lowlight: Shanaze Reade crashing out in the BMX. She's such a star in the making and a great role model for boys and girls. She did not want to settle for silver, she just wanted gold. I was so nervous for her going into the final and I was crushed when she crashed on the final bend.
Tip for 2012: Reade. Coaches work hard to install that win-at-all-costs competitive streak, but she has it in spades. She is still rough round the edges, but she has got all the ingredients, she just needs to control it a bit. Shanaze will be back in 2012 - maybe in the velodrome as well as the BMX track.
Claire Stocks (BBC Sport blogger and editor)
Highlight: Chatting backstage with Jess Sylvester after her team-mate Beccy Adlington's gold. Sylvester's pride, admiration and excitement at her friend and training partner's success was the biggest insight into what it takes to be a champion and the increasingly upbeat mood in the British swimming camp.
Also, running my own 100m final down the Bird's Nest's emblematic track - I took second behind Radio 5 Live's Chessie Bent (there were only two of us in the race...). As the final night's athletics came to an end, and all the athletes, officials, broadcasters, reporters and photographers began to pack up and go home, the stadium suddenly became our own.
All the volunteers became demob happy too, and were queueing up to have their photos taken on the medal podium. It was brilliant to get to go down and sprint down the same lane as Usain and just muck about with the place to ourselves after nine days of just the best athletics one could ever wish to see. What a privilege.
Lowlight: Watching Paula Radcliffe's pain as she battled to finish the marathon, knowing another Olympic medal chance had gone by, possibly for good.
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