Olympics & Paralympics among summer's golden moments

 

Great Britain has enjoyed an unprecedented summer of sport in 2012.

Not only did the biggest multi-sport events on the planet - the Olympics and Paralympics - come to these shores, packed into a crammed calendar alongside such regular treats as Wimbledon and the Open Championship, but there was a first-ever British Tour de France winner, a Test series between the top two teams in the world and England began life under a new manager at football's European Championships.

TV and online viewing figure records were broken as the British public tuned in to witness British athletes rack up honours and accolades galore.

And Olympic gold medallist Andy Murray could provide the crowning glory on Monday when he faces Novak Djokovic in the US Open final, bidding to become the first male British Grand Slam champion since Fred Perry in 1936.

On the day British Olympic and Paralympic stars take part in a victory parade in London, BBC Sport relives some of the moments that have made the summer so memorable.

London 2012 Olympics

Farah seals second gold with 5,000m

British athletics' golden hour

Eighty thousand people inside the Olympic Stadium were treated to the finest hour in British athletics history as Greg Rutherford, Mo Farah and Jessica Ennis all became Olympic champions.

In 46 minutes, Rutherford became Britain's first Olympic long jump champion since 1964, Farah stormed to 10,000m gold and the Games poster girl Ennis secured the heptathlon crown to cap an unprecedented 'Super Saturday' for Britain, in which they won six Games gold medals.

Relive it: Great Britain enjoy a record medal-haul at the 2012 Olympics.

Sir Chris Hoy becomes Britain's most successful Olympian

Twelve years after his first Olympic medal in Sydney, Sir Chris Hoy shot around the London Velodrome to defend his keirin title and capture his sixth Olympic title - and seventh Olympic medal in total.

In doing so, Hoy overtook rower Sir Steve Redgrave as the British Olympian with the most gold medals. The Scotsman said: "I'm 99.9% sure I won't be competing in Rio. How can you top this?"

Relive it: Watch Sir Chris Hoy claim a record-breaking sixth Olympic gold medal.

Usain Bolt becomes a 'living legend'

Usain Bolt became the first man since Carl Lewis in 1988 to successfully defend the Olympic 100m title, setting a new Games record and the second fastest time ever in the process, before becoming the first man to win the sprint double at successive Olympics. For good measure, he rounded off that achievement by sprinting to a new 4x100m relay world record with his Jamaican team-mates.

Coming into London 2012, there had been doubts raised - including by Bolt - about his fitness after training partner Yohan Blake beat him over both distances at the Jamaican trials. But the sprinter's performances in London put paid to that. He summed it up quite simply by saying: "I'm a living legend."

Relive it: Watch Usain Bolt win 100m gold.

Women's football comes of age

As Britain women's football team beat Brazil in their group-game contest, 70,584 spectators inside Wembley Stadium looked on - a record for a women's football game in the UK.

Great Britain 1-0 Brazil

That record was broken again for the final between Japan and the USA as 80,203 people flocked to the same venue and make a mockery of fears that women's football would be played in front of empty stands at the Games.

Relive it: Watch how the USA reached the final with a thrilling 4-3 win over neighbours Canada.

Nicola Adams puts women's boxing on the map

As women's boxing prepared for its Olympic debut, there were plenty of voices claiming women had no place in the ring. By the time British flyweight Nicola Adams had fought, and at times danced, her way to the historic first Games gold, ruthless in the ring, gracious and unfailingly cheerful out of it, a great many more people had been won over.

Irish icon Katie Taylor followed suit in the lightweight division and Taylor now wants to see her sport make further progress. "I just wanted everyone to see how great women's boxing is," she said. "But this is only the start. It will be amazing to see what the sport is like in a few years' time. I reckon in Rio in 2016 it will be even better than this."

Relive it: Nicola Adams outclasses rival to win historic boxing gold.

Michael Phelps becomes most decorated Olympian of all time

US swimming legend Michael Phelps won the 18th gold medal, and 22nd medal in total, of his Olympic career at London 2012.

The 27-year-old, who has now retired after four Olympic Games, said: "I'm leaving at a good time. The sport is going to be fun to watch, I'm excited to see it from the outside more than anything and see what these guys continue to do to change the sport."

Relive it: Michael Phelps triumphs to win 18th Olympic gold medal.

London 2012 Paralympics

Sarah Storey cycles into the record books

By winning four gold medals at London 2012, swimmer turned cyclist Sarah Storey equalled the 11 career gold medals of Britain's top modern-day Paralympians Tanni Grey-Thompson and Dave Roberts.

The 34-year-old Manchester athlete, whose prowess is such that she had only narrowly missed out on selection for the Olympic cycling team, dominated all four of her events in London, winning the road time trial by over seven minutes.

Sprinter Jonnie Peacock becomes Britain's golden boy

At just 19, Britain's Jonnie Peacock is the Paralympic T44 100m champion as well as the world and Paralympic record holder.

It's been a tremendous two years for the Cambridge athlete who, in winning his gold medal, beat three-time Paralympic champion Oscar Pistorius to become the fastest amputee sprinter in the world.

Pistorius said: "We witnessed one of the great Paralympic performances. I think he is going to inspire a lot of people in the coming years."

Cycling - Wiggins's double

Bradley Wiggins's summer of success

Just before Bradley Wiggins secured his historic Tour de France title, Olympic cycling legend Sir Chris Hoy put into perspective the enormity of what the Londoner was about to accomplish. "If he does it, I think this will be the greatest achievement by any British sportsperson ever," he said. "That's a big claim, but you cannot overstate how hard it is to win the Tour de France."

Having become the first Briton to win the yellow jersey, Wiggins added to his triumphant year at London 2012 where he won time trial gold to confirm his status as one of Britain's greatest Olympians. Such was his popularity that his distinctive sideburns became the summer's must-have accessory.

Relive it: Bradley Wiggins wins Olympic time trial gold.

Tennis - Murray v Federer

Andy Murray's tears and triumph

Magic Murray wins gold for GB

Just a few weeks after a heartbreaking Wimbledon final defeat by Roger Federer, Briton Andy Murray avenged that loss to secure the biggest title of his career, winning the Olympic men's singles gold medal.

Murray beat the Swiss world number one in straight sets to become the first British man to win the crown since 1908.

He said: "It's number one for me - the biggest win of my life. I have had a lot of tough losses in my career and this is the best way to come back from the Wimbledon final."

And the Scotsman could add a Grand Slam title to his gold on Monday when he meets reigning champion Novak Djokovic in the US Open final.

Relive it: Watch Andy Murray enjoy the biggest win of his career.

Relive it: Andy Murray in tears after losing Wimbledon final.

Golf - The Open

Adam Scott's implosion

Australia's Adam Scott had a four-shot lead going into the final four holes of the Open Championship, but he bogeyed all of them to lose by one shot to South African Ernie Els.

Scott, bidding for a maiden major and hoping to become the first Australian to lift the claret jug since 1993, admitted: "It was a very sloppy finish. I managed to get myself in some trouble and couldn't make the putts to get out of it over the last four."

Relive it: Watch analysis of how Adam Scott lost the Open.

US PGA Championship

Rory McIlroy's second major

The Northern Irishman set a new US PGA Championship record in winning the final major of 2012 by eight shots. The 23-year-old was also the youngest winner of the event since it altered formats from matchplay to strokeplay in 1958.

"I had a good feeling at the start, but I never imagined doing this," said McIlroy who returned to world number one and also became the youngest man to win two majors since Spain's Seve Ballesteros in 1980.

Relive it: Rory McIlroy wins US PGA Championship at Kiawah Island

Football - Euro 2012

Spain thrash Italy 4-0 in the final

Spain's victory, by the biggest winning margin ever recorded in a World Cup or European Championship final, saw them become the only side to win three consecutive major tournaments and reignited debate on whether Spain are the greatest team ever.

The coach who masterminded Spain's display, Vicente del Bosque, said after the game: "We're talking about a great generation of footballers. They know how to play together because they come from a country where they learn to play properly. This is a great era for Spanish football."

Relive it: Watch Spain dominate Italy in the Euro 2012 final.

Euro 2012: Pirlo's audacious penalty against England

Andrea Pirlo's wizardry against England

For 120 minutes, not only did Italy midfielder Andrea Pirlo expertly command the quarter-final clash with England, he did so with apparent ease. The 33-year-old was the game's leading passer with an 87% success rate.

As if his performance in normal time was not enough, Pirlo showed utter nervelessness with an audacious spot-kick as his side beat England on penalties. BBC Sport pundit Alan Hansen described it as "a master-class in technical ability".

Relive it: England undone by Andrea Pirlo wizardry.

Cricket - England v South Africa

Kevin Pietersen's rollercoaster ride

England batsman Kevin Pietersen declared he had "never batted better in his life" after hitting 22 fours and a six as he amassed 149 not out in the second Test against South Africa.

However, by the third Test he had been dropped following reports he sent derogatory text messages about team-mates. He later apologised.

It was another season in the headlines for the South-African born player who was also fined by the England and Wales Cricket Board for criticising Sky television presenter and former England opener Nick Knight, and who also announced his retirement from one-day international cricket in May before reversing that decision in August.

Relive it: Jonathan Agnew's analysis of Kevin Pietersen's innings at Headingley