London 2012 Olympics: The wonderful and weird

With the Games now over, we look back at the amazing feats of human achievement and the surprising things the two-week celebration of sporting ability has taught us.

New world records have shown a man can

  • Pedal

    750m in 42.6s
    Philip Hindes, Jason Kenny and
    Sir Chris Hoy, Team GB - team sprint
  • Lift

    233kg clean and jerk
    Ilya Ilyin, Kazakhstan - 94kg class,
    combined with a 185kg snatch, he also
    broke the combined world record with 418kg
  • Run

    800m in 1m 40.91s
    David Rudisha, Kenya
  • Swim

    1,500m in 14m 31.02s
    Sun Yang, China - freestyle

And a woman can

  • Pedal

    500m in 32.422s
    Gong Jinjie and Guo Shuang, China - team sprint
  • Lift

    333kg combined
    Zhou LuLu, China - 75-plus kg class,
    146kg snatch and 187kg clean and jerk
  • Run

    4x100m in 40.82s
    Tianna Madison, Allyson Felix, Bianca Knight and
    Carmelita Jetter, USA
  • Race walk

    20km 1hr 25m 2s
    Elena Lashmanova, Russia

Body shape matters, but it isn't everything

  • Jamaican flag Athletics
    Usain Bolt
    Advantage:
    Unusually tall for a sprinter, but has a very long stride
    Medals: Gold medalGold medalGold medal
  • Chinese flag Swimming
    Ye Shiwen
    Advantage:
    Large, powerful hands and feet
    Medals: Gold medalGold medal
  • Great Britain flag Cycling
    Bradley Wiggins
    Advantage:
    Long, lean, light and aerodynamic
    Medals: Gold medal
  • German flag Cycling
    Robert Forstemann
    Advantage:
    Large, strong, 34" (86cm) thighs
    Medals: Bronze medal
  • Japan flag Gymnastics
    Asuka Teramoto
    Advantage:
    Tiny and nimble at 4ft 6in (1.36m) and 4st 10lbs (30kg)
    Medals: None
  • Chinese flag Basketball
    Zhang Zhaoxu
    Advantage:
    Very tall at 7ft 2in (2.19m)
    Medals: None
  • Italian flag Swimming
    Fabio Scozzoli
    Advantage:
    Large underarm muscles, like fins
    Medals: None
  • Guam flag Judo
    Ricardo Blas Jr
    Advantage:
    Sturdy and hard to move at 34st 5lbs (218kg)
    Medals: None

Small countries can punch above their weight

  Bronze medal Population Population per medal
1Grenada flagGrenada 1 104,487 104,487
2Jamaica flagJamaica 12 2,741,052 228,421
3Trinidad and Tobago flagTrinidad and Tobago 4 1,341,465 335,366
4New Zealand flagNew Zealand 13 4,368,136 336,010
5Bahamas flagBahamas 1 342,877 342,877
23Great Britain flagGreat Britain 65 62,035,570 954,393

...and so can Yorkshire folk

  Gold medal Silver medal Bronze medal Total
1USA flagUSA 46 29 29 104
2China flagChina 38 27 22 87
3Great Britain flagGreat Britain 29 17 19 65
12Yorkshire flagYorkshire 7 2 3 12

But most of all we've learned that Britain and its visitors embraced the Olympics

Visitor icon  = 10,000 people
7.4 million visited Olympic venues
Data graphic
  • 500,000
    turned out to see the cycling road races
  • 350,000
    watched Super
    Saturday on big
    screens
  • 200,000
    went to see the road cycling time trial

2.5 million went to the Olympic Park
Overall, there were 705 people cheering for every one of the 10,500 competing athletes

And those crowds were also very noisy

Decibles
  • 105 to 110 - Olympic stadium crowd for various events
  • 114 - Excel arena during Irish boxer Katie Taylor's first fight
  • 124 - Velodrome finals, including Team GB's Sir Chris Hoy

Note: Medals per capita have been calculated using country populations from the UN Population Division, 2010 revision. Olympic Park visitor numbers are up to 9 August. Source: Locog, Guinness World Records, Dangerous Decibels Project, Action on Hearing Loss, UK Health and Safety Executive, UN Population Division, news agencies, BBC correspondents. Pictures: Getty, Reuters, AP, AFP.

Produced by Lucy Rodgers, Claire Shannon, Nour Saab, Luke Ward and Marina Shchukina

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