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Bye to Beijing

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And so with heavy heart, like a five-year old waving goodbye to mummy at the school gate, we prepare to bid farewell to the 2008 Olympics.

Today there are 12 gold medals to be won and there is pride to be played for in numerous minor position play-offs, but the main focus will be on the closing ceremony which starts at around 1300 BST.

Given the opening ceremony, we can expect Beijing to provide us with a stunning farewell, while London will whet the world's appetite with an eight-minute film looking ahead to 2012. Will London be able to match Beijing - maybe that's one to debate on 606 tonight, though no essays on China's suitability as a host of an international event please, this isn't a politics board.

And anyway grand finales are all well and good, but what about the sport we hear you ask.

Well, handball, volleyball, water polo, rhythmic gymnastics all get a share of the limelight today but, to be honest, it feels a bit like the last few minutes of Christmas Day.

You stay up til gone midnight not because you particularly want to watch a repeat of the French and Saunders 1994 Christmas Special but because, hey, it's Christmas and it's a long wait to the next one.

You have to extract every last bit of satisfaction and that is why you will stay tuned to find out whether it's Denmark or Korea who claim seventh place in men's handball.

As for British medal hopes, well, if you're reading this after about 3am you are too late (assuming Dan Robinson doesn't walk the course). Robinson goes in the men's marathon, but is unlikely to challenge for a medal, finishing in the top 10 being a more realistic target.

As an interesting aside, Robinson's wife Jessica is heavily pregnant. Child birth and running a marathon in stifling Beijing humidity probably rank fairly even on the list of uncomfortable experiences.

As for other highlights:

Ireland's Kenny Egan will fight Xiaoping Zhang in the men's light-heavyweight final. However, the BBC's Jim Neilly believes Egan might suffer at the judge's hands, saying: "I think the Chinese fighter will get a point for touching gloves at the start of the fight." (

Is this a fair reflection on the overall standard of judging at the Games? Give us your thoughts.

Water polo:
Hungary play the US in the men's final, but it's the bronze medal match that has caught our eye. Serbia v Montenegro. Ollie will be all over this one on the live text and he even has a fascinating fact or two to throw in. You can't possibly go to sleep with that kind of build up.

Err, umm
No - that appears to be pretty much that for real highlights. So, it's probably as good a time as ever to ask what your high and lowlights of the Games have been? And try to be original - we all know that Usain bolt put in a decent shift!

Thanks for your contributions. Let's sit back and enjoy the last day of the Olympics and wish our lives away by looking forward to four years' time.

Here's the science bit:

Today's schedule:

Medals to be won:

Live text:

Latest 10 comments

Read members' comments or add your own

posted Aug 25, 2008

Although I believe the London Olympics will be a great success I do have a couple of concerns.

Firstly, I think the BBC coverage will be as excellent as it was for these Olympics. I would prefer it though if the presenters refrained from telling us which country an athlete was from if they were not English.
Remember this is a Great Britain Team.

Secondly, if you don't buy a lottery ticket please do not comment on how much the games are costing.

Thirdly, will presenters be very careful when doing interviews. Today I saw David Davies blanked by the interviewer, at Heathrow. I can only assume that Gold Medalists are worthy of this honour.

Fourthly, i have my doubts about our opening and closing ceremonies if the handover contributions are anything to go by.

Lastly, best interview of the games was Bryony Shaw's. Her joy at winning the Silver Medal was fantastic.

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posted Aug 25, 2008

British football team at the 2012 Olympics? The last thing we need is those overpaid, underskilled morons showing their lack of ability and clogging up the media with their pampered wives. These Olympics have certainly highlighted the gulf between true athletes who know how to behave, work hard and deliver when it counts and the underachieving dross in the premiership.

Mind you, at least they'd have a bye past the qualifying this time.

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posted Aug 25, 2008

I cant wait for London 2012.
Simce we won the Bid, I registered for the volunteering process, I so want to be part of the Olympics.
It will be brilliant, I want to volunteer and be part of what will be the best Olympics and only Olympics in the UK in my lifetime.
I hope all our money will not just be chucked at London 2012, next year sees the 2016 Olympics chosen so we must focus on London 1st and save a bit of the pot for 2016 and beyond to continue what we have done in 2008.

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posted Aug 25, 2008

I will miss the Beijing Olympics

The best 2 weeks i have ever witnessed in Sporting Olypics history.

This 2008 Beijing Olympics shows why Olympics is the Greatest Sporting show on Earth.

Well done Beijing.

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posted Aug 25, 2008

I think Lord Moynihan has been rather "caught up in the moment."
Suggesting that we might aim for third in the medals table in 2012 is I'd suggest, a little ambitious.

There's no suggestion from him of course, as to from where the extra medals will come.

I hope he doesn't think athletics.
It would be wonderful to win as many medals again in cycling, but can anyone see it happening?

To hang on to fourth place will be no small achievement.

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posted Aug 25, 2008

And finally from me some closing words from our national anthem

For the people who politicised everything
(and maybe for one or two players / judges)

'Confound their politics
defeat their knavish tricks'

For the Scottish sports minister

'and shall sedition hush
and like a torrent rush
rebellious Scots to crush...."

But finally for the whole world

Not in this land alone,
But be God's mercies known,
From shore to shore!
Lord make the nations see,
That men should brothers be,
And form one family,
The wide world over.

God save the Queen! God save us all and see you in 4 years!

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comment by BenHK (U7028155)

posted Aug 26, 2008

Loved it all.

With the exception of that buffoon Gordon Brown trying to get himself a bit of reflected glory. What on Earth has he got to do with the success?

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comment by A Hoser (U1795536)

posted Aug 26, 2008

"comment by bwhampson (U7028155)
posted 4 Hours Ago

Loved it all.

With the exception of that buffoon Gordon Brown trying to get himself a bit of reflected glory. What on Earth has he got to do with the success?"


Not defending Brown here, but maybe because he is leading the nation that is going to the next Olympics maybe the answer. Also wasn't every world leader there?

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posted Aug 26, 2008

Enjoyed Beijing totally, and congratulations to all the brilliant atheletes who did it on the big stage! 2012 will be fantastic in the London, I will definatly go to the marathon and cycling events.

But here is the BUT! I believe we are putting an unfair and vast amount of money into this than other British sport and why? Is it because the olympics is more political than other sports? If you work and pay taxes you are paying for this and for the atheletes.

I just dont understand why the olympics recieves so much cash, at the moment my view is that its politically motivated. But I can always change my mind given a good reason!

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posted Aug 26, 2008

Of course much of it is politically motivated.
All politicians want to be associated with a "success."

There's no great fuss made of "medal winners" coming home from Iraq or Afghanistan is there?

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