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How can Rio follow London?

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David Bond | 15:50 UK time, Sunday, 12 August 2012

Turn the clock back five weeks ago and the BBC One late-night bulletin was already leading on the Olympics.

But it wasn't the sort of story we've become used to over the last 16 days of breathtaking sport. The fall out from the G4S security shambles was still playing big and ministers and organisers were scrambling to find a solution.

Re-watching the news from that Sunday night is like being transported to another time.

That's not to say the failure of G4S to recruit and train the required number of security guards wasn't a story. It was. The extra reliance of the military in plugging the gap has been one of the best features of London's Games.

What the story reflected was the heightened anxiety London, the media and the country were feeling as the Olympics approached. After seven years of build-up, the level of international pressure on Britain was intense.

How different it all feels now. From the moment Bradley Wiggins rang that giant bell to start Danny Boyle's wonderfully crafted opening ceremony the fears have melted away amid a joyous celebration. A celebration of sporting achievement, of the country's passion, heritage, and a rarely witnessed can-do culture. It has delivered a project Sebastian Coe called "the most complicated task Britain will ever undertake".

The International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge diligently avoids comparing hosts. But tellingly he said today that London had refreshed the Games in many aspects.

His words at the closing ceremony will be eagerly anticipated. But after a fortnight when millions of people have revelled in the drama of the Games, it doesn't feel like the country is hanging on his final assessment. They know these Games have been a triumph.

They have been a triumph first and foremost because of the quality of the sport.

Team GB showed off their medals won at London 2012. Photo: Getty

Team GB won a staggering 64 medals, 29 of them gold. The best performance of the modern era and arguably of all time. And to think the Sun splashed on day four with the headline: WANTED: GOLD MEDAL. The request was met again and again as the country drowned in home success.

We all expected the rowers and cyclists to come good but the big question was always going to focus on whether Great Britain could deliver more medals across more sports. The statistic that 16 different sports delivered medals here tells you they did.

Of course, not everything has gone to script for every sport. Swimming missed their medal targets and an internal review is under way - although some senior Olympic figures are asking why performance director Michael Scott was re-appointed before being asked to head up the review into why his team didn't win the five medals they predicted.

There are also bound to be some questions asked about athletics. Mo Farah, Jessica Ennis and Greg Rutherford produced that dazzling, golden 45 minutes in the Olympic Stadium with Farah repeating his exploits in the 5,000m a week later. But there were also some disappointing performances - capped perhaps by the men's sprint relay team dropping the baton again. Head coach Charles Van Commenee missed his own target of eight medals by two.

He said before the Games started he would quit if he didn't meet his own demanding predictions and today he told the BBC he would take a break before deciding his next move. But there is already a gathering campaign to keep him in post. Lord Coe gave an emphatic response, saying he hoped Van Commenee stay until the World Athletics Championships in 2017, which are being held in London.

Other sports such as wrestling, basketball, handball and volleyball may find they are struggling to receive the same level of funding in the run-up to the Rio Games in 2016. Here they qualified because London was staging the Games. That won't happen in Brazil.

But these are quibbles set against a backdrop of incredible success. The overall target set by UK Sport of at least fourth place was smashed with Britain coming third. The challenge now is to ensure funding for elite athletes is maintained so that Britain doesn't experience the post Games drop-off so clearly illustrated by Australia at these Games. There they won 16 gold medals and 58 in total. Twelve years on, it is seven and 35.

Today's announcement by the Prime Minister that funding will be kept at the same level for the last two years of the Olympic cycle is a big boost for sport, even if he may be accused of trying to make political capital out of the feel-good factor created by the Games. In truth this is small change to the Government.

Even if Team GB hadn't done so well, the quality of the big sporting moments might have made up for it. Usain Bolt's double treble, David Rudisha's world record run in the 800m, the Jamaican men and American women's sprint relay performances, Michael Phelps becoming the most decorated Olympian in history, watching USA basketball's dream team in action at the North Greenwich Arena. In all, 44 world records have been set and 117 Olympic records - backing up Coe's claims to provide a Games that would allow the athletes to compete at their best.

But some of the most memorable moments came not in sporting triumph but in the taking part. Double amputee Oscar Pistorius broke new ground just by competing in the Games - the first paralympian to do so on the track - and every one of the 204 countries sent a delegation which included female athletes.

There has been just one positive test for a banned substance since the Games started and, although a big doping scandal can't be ruled out until all the samples are tested, it does seem that drugs will not overshadow these Games.

The disqualification of eight badminton players for trying to fix the result of their matches provided a jolting reminder of sport's less attractive side but despite all the threats from Rogge and other administrators there has been no evidence of corruption or match-fixing involving any athletes.

On the organisational side - London's transport network didn't go into meltdown, for all the fears about security staffing levels there don't appear to have been any major problems, the Olympic park and the venues have been outstanding (and the decision to incorporate the city's many landmarks inspired). The volunteers have been friendly and helpful and the crowds passionate and very, very loud.

Tickets and empty seats are the one blot on the landscape. The sight of rows of unfilled seats in areas reserved for accredited members of the Olympic family - including us the media - played out badly. But to Locog's credit they moved quickly to pull the international sports federations into line and to sell seats that weren't genuinely needed. Any that couldn't be filled were given to members of the military or local school teachers and pupils.

Despite that, the story hit a raw nerve with the public who were so desperate to see history being made at close quarters. Even now fans I have talked to on the javelin train from Stratford to St Pancras, or on the tube, say they wish they could have got to see more. That will always be a factor of any Olympics - supply will never meet demand. But the IOC has got the message about the ticketing system and will review it for the next Games in Rio de Janeiro.

It seems amazing to even be talking about the next Games so soon. Four years ago on the closing day of the Beijing Olympics the rhetoric from London 2012 officials was very cautious, deliberately designed to play down the idea that Britain could even hope to emulate China's Olympics. The shock and awe of it all was just too much. London's would be the budget Games and the question was how on earth do you follow that?

After the last three weeks the question might now be: How can anyone hope to follow London?


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  • Comment number 1.

    Good blog.

    I've supremely enjoyed watching the Games and I am incredibly proud Of Team GB's triumphs at London 2012.

    Go Team GB!

  • Comment number 2.

    Rio will do a good job I feel like London its one of the great cities of the world and their crowds are very loud and noisy. I hope that they have an informal approch. Its the first time ever that the Olympics have been in South America. It will probably be differient to London but no less exciting bring them on!

  • Comment number 3.

    The way for Rio to follow London is to do it their way, the Brazilian way, whatever that might be.

    London couldn't ape Beijing, didn't want to and thrived by not doing so.

    The games will be beside the seaside. That's one difference. They will showcase South America and their way of doing things, not necessarily the West's way of doing things.

    We shouldn't try and tell them how to do it.

    Just tell them that they must put the infrastructure, organisations and security in place, then welcome the world to their party in their own unique way.

    They can learn from London in some ways, but in the end, Rio must be Rio.

  • Comment number 4.

    Also we are GREAT BRITAIN there is no such place as "Team GB" wish the commentors would call the country by its proper title.

  • Comment number 5.

    if this writer is suggesting these olympics were better than bejing he needs his head looking at these were very good but bejing was just out of this world from the incredible opening ceremony the best one ever staged to the incredible performances bolt celebrating as he broke the world record, michael phelps winning 8 golds in 8 days however i will give london this the fans were much better than those in china.

  • Comment number 6.

    These Olympics have been fantastic. But will they change anything about the way women's sport is viewed and covered/reported in this country? For a woman like me who is not normally interested in watching sport, I have found a whole new world- loads of women's sports and interesting different sports, and good women presenters. But I'm so sorry now to see the BBC sports coverage gearing up to go back to being 95% men's sports again. I feel like I've lost something I never knew I could have.

    But on the positive side, these were the most egalitarian of games so far, and that must make a real difference to the status of women's sport for the future. I hope Rio will carry that on. I am also sure that the Latin love of life will bring its own magic to the Olympics.

  • Comment number 7.


    I have issues with your BBC news report last night. At the end of an evening when Mo Farah joined the ranks of the Olympic greats, you just had to try and make a point about the various legacy issues. That's a subject for you to investigate after the Paralympics, not to use as a dampener after another great night for British fans.

    Yet again, the BBC sport editor misjudges the mood. Why?

  • Comment number 8.

    The Great British public have again demonstrated their willingness to be open-minded and interested in sports from all across the Olympic family, rather than just to have their minds closed around one sport and maybe four and a half teams in that sport, as emphasised by a certain other giant broadcaster. Time to build upon and sustain this breadth of interest; a Grandstand revival would fill the gap and give us a legacy of a day of this joy every week. Many presenters have done themselves favours over this fortnight, and not just the usual suspects, but my pick would be Claire Balding.

  • Comment number 9.

    I'm curious about the statement "His (Rogge's) words at the closing ceremony will be eagerly anticipated."

    If by this you are planning a followup blog dancing for joy after he calls London the best games ever, then I feel in only right to point out that the IOC chief says that as a matter of course about every games that hasn't involved a mountain of cockups, or in other words Atlanta.

  • Comment number 10.

    Another poor blog. I actually find it hard to believe you point the finger at The Sun's day four headline. You were the the person 'asking questions' after the men's cycling road race. Which day was that? Day 1. Feel free to underhandedly amend this blog.

  • Comment number 11.

    A rather uncritical, self-congratulatory and arrogant blog.

  • Comment number 12.

    Ive never dreaded something so much and then enjoyed it totally! What a great Olympics!!

  • Comment number 13.

    If the Olympic movement can learn anything from these events it is that it is okay to be spectacular but if you do not embrace the culture of the country that is hosting the games then it is clinical.

    Beijing Games were very tightly run, but they were not embracing like the London games and the organisers simply did not care about issues such as empty seats - at least not from the public point of view, only the look of it.

    Rio is a very different city from London and their games, from the opening ceremony through to how people are shepherded around by stewards, should reflect their culture.

    The other lesson to learn is that the media will almost wish for failure so they can get a story - it was so nice to see all their doom and gloom rubbed in their faces.

  • Comment number 14.

    Or how to start off a blog with a nonsensical sentence.

    "Turn the clock back five weeks ago" ?!

    Where did you go to school?

    To turn the clock back five weeks ago you need a time machine, Mr Bond.

  • Comment number 15.

    2016 will be remembered as one sexy samba party!

  • Comment number 16.

    I can't wait for RIO this going to be one carnival with loads of noise and colour!

  • Comment number 17.

    I have totally enjoyed the Olympics and quite enjoyed sports I would not normally watch.Brazil , Rio , will do it in their own way and just like China will give notice that they have arrived as a major power, both sporting and economically.The old order is changing and nothing will stop it.Britain have put on a great Olympics but its out, out , out London...........In, in, in Rio. Life goes on.

  • Comment number 18.

    Chris1977 - There is no such country as Great Britain. Anyway, get with the spirit - Go Team GB! Awesome display!

  • Comment number 19.

    At 17:38 12th Aug 2012, Angry_of_Swansea wrote:

    A rather uncritical, self-congratulatory and arrogant blog."

    You must be a very sad and unhappy person not to have felt joy over the course of the last 2 weeks, which this blog reflects.

  • Comment number 20.

    Every country who host the Games will do so in their own way , China brilliant Uk brilliant but in a differnt way and im sure Rio will be brilliant in their way . stop for goodness sake trying to put country against country this is meant to be the Friendly games bringing folks together so stop the im better than you etc , just love the whole thing leave the competition in the stadiums .

  • Comment number 21.

    Have you noticed that, if you discount swimming medals (which I shall continue to do until fish are allowed to compete), team GB is just one gold behind the USA?

  • Comment number 22.


    Quote = "Rogge has always been reluctant to compare different Olympics, eschewing the habit of his predecessor Juan Antonio Samaranch of calling them "the best Games ever.""

  • Comment number 23.

    "The statistic that 16 different sports delivered medals here tells you they did."

    I've now seen this twice, but according to the medal tables it's actually 18 sports (the various forms of cycling and canoeing are counted separately).

    A quick analysis of the tables shows we are 3rd in the number of golds and in the number of sports in which golds were won, and 4th in total medals and the number of sports in which medals were won (slipping behind Russia in both of those). An amazing performance, one in which all members of Team GB can be proud.

  • Comment number 24.

    A blog as arrogant as the opening ceremony, very fitting. Am sure the sponsors, corporate visitors and rich have enjoyed being a part of the games, shame the masses didn't get a chance, the propaganda of the incredible atmosphere, games for the people and legacy will soon die out and we will be just left with the bill. Looking forward to Rio...

  • Comment number 25.

    Yes these games have been wonderful and a credit to the country and the BBC coverage in general has been excellent...apart from David Bond & Jill Douglas' inane comments at the cycling (David ..I don't think I've seen your apology yet) Hugh Porters awful commentary, Jake Humphrey treading water because he was clearly out of his depth etc. Plus points include the HD + red button coverage. All in all they have united the country and brought about a much needed feel good factor.

  • Comment number 26.

    I am not a natural sports fan, but I have followed Olympic Games since I was 9 in 1968 (Mexico City).

    I was so pleased London WON the bid and feared that something would go wrong. But it hasnt.

    The sport itself has been spectacular and the facilities look fantastic on my 46" HD TV. We have surpassed Beijing which has surprised me and the added bonus has been that Team GB has been so successful with the numbers of medals won and the fact we are 3rd in the medal chart.

    So its a HUGE congratulations to Seb Coe and everyone who has worked so hard to make London 2012 so memorable for the right reasons.

  • Comment number 27.

    I found the Beijing games quite disturbing. It was all about power and control. In many ways I found it an act of intimidation. I was worried all games would be compared to the gigantic and money no obect ethos of the Beijing games. Could only the very very richest countries host a games in future. To me, the games is about the world coming together in harmony. It is not about a country stamping and shoving its power in everybodies faces. So well done London for giving the Games back to humanity. For rediscovering its soul. For returning a friendly face and smile to the games, all sadly lacking in China.

  • Comment number 28.

    No corruption? What about the evidence that Azerbaijan paid for medals in boxing. That was pretty conclusive. There were some very very strange boxing decisions in Azerbaijan's favour which prevented the true winner moving forward.

  • Comment number 29.

    rio? they are party people, with great carnivals, friendly and they will be the ones to beat after its all said and will be a distant memory by then.

  • Comment number 30.

    One additional legacy that London 2012 will have achieved - killing off Scottish independence.

    Chris Hoy wrapped in a union flag and Andy Murray mouthing the national anthem must have made very unhappy viewing for Mr Salmond and his compatriots.

  • Comment number 31.

    And to think that FIFA didn't think England was worthy enough to stage the World Cup...

  • Comment number 32.

    @ Northern superspur: Rogge never has - and never will - call any Olympics "the best Games ever". That was Samaranch, his predecessor. Rogge made it clear from the start he was not going to continue that tradition.

  • Comment number 33.

    How can Rio follow London?

    What a stupid question. Mate its Rio de Janeiro, I take it you've not been because if you had, you wouldnt have asked the question. I hate to break this to you, but London is'nt all that.

  • Comment number 34.

    Can Rio follow London?

    Well, I've started saving for it already. Watching the womens beach volleyball on Copacabana beach, drinking a beer as the sun sets sounds like heaven to me.

  • Comment number 35.

    And if you add up all the gold medals for the countries of which The Queen is Head of State you will find an impressive total of 48, two more than the Americans.

    A good way to celebrate one's Diamond Jubilee...

  • Comment number 36.

    An excellent legacy from these games would be for the UK media to realise what is and what isn't sport. What we have seen during the Olympic Games is sport. Premier league football is corporate marketing. The two have little in common.

  • Comment number 37.

    I didn't think it would be a good Games. I certainly didn't think it would be 'great'. But it turned out to be fantastic and Mrs Odicean and I have taken up table-tennis and BMX cycling.

  • Comment number 38.

    You ask if Rio can match London 2012...of course they will....London was questioned, the journalist doubters....all the press were against London and its possiblity to hold the games, to build, secure and run the games....Well we are proof it can be done, and our Team Gb did exceedingly well...So will Brazil...and why compare, each country presents thing differently....
    what we must now prove is that the Olympic park will not become a tumble weed park, that our athletes will be supported always, we will respect all athletes whether they have medals or not...
    Now what were the viewing numbers?
    How many BBC journalists were presenting the games?
    Is this the biggest production the BeeB has ever done or likely to ever do again?
    What were the number of hours live? Because I feel I have watched them all!
    How will the Beeb get our licence fee money back? will they make a DVD or the opening/closing/highlights for sale?
    Will all the Gold medalists get OBE's? Will there be a reception with the Queen?
    Bravo to all and thank you for 2 amazing weeks

  • Comment number 39.

    I think we made up on the medals department after having a very "British" opening ceremony, as Gary Lineker puts it!

    No matter who's next in line for the Olympics, the Bejings opening ceremony will always be mentioned for years to come.

    Rio like Bejing, does not have to follow anyone as it is as unique in history already. The only thing they have to do is make it entertaining. After all it is a ceremony.

    Money is important, but not the main thing for ceremonies. It's creativeness and uniqueness. Originality is the theme people should be going for but at the same time - spectacular. Bejing had that and it wasn't just about the money involved. Without good concepts who cares how much money that was involved. In fact, the more money that's involved the more pressure of organising a ceremony that size! It has to work!

    Brazil is good at carnivals and things like that. So, we could be expecting one large carnival opening ceremony in 2016.

    I think the real question should be, if Bejing was to host the Olympics again... how would Bejing, not follow... but outdo, Bejing 2008?

  • Comment number 40.

    The games were a tremendous success despite the best efforts of the media (not least the BBC ) to ruin it before it was started.

    Hopefully the BBC and others will apologise not just to the games organisers, but also to the London business who lost custom as a result of people being unjustifiably put off visiting the city by lazy journalists manufacturing scare stories.

    Was the ticketing great? No, but it was never going to be possible to get everybody into the stadiums who want to be there. More lazy journalism to focus on those who didn't get a ticket rather than enjoy the delight of those that did. If the critics have a way of seating 2 million people in a stadium then fine. Otherwise only PMs and royalty seem able to get all the tickets they wanted.

    Shame on you British media.

  • Comment number 41.

    How can Rio follow London?
    Simply spend more money, add in additional hype and spin then flood the media with non stop dissection of the whole commercial circus.

  • Comment number 42.

    Why do the media have to write this type of idiotic article? 2016 will be Brazil/Rio's games and it will do it in its own way, just as 2012 was Londons game and different to China, which was different to Athens, which was different to the previous one in Sydney.

  • Comment number 43.

    it was Barcelona wow or then Beijing now London now they say Rio can't beat us,wait and see!

  • Comment number 44.

    eleven billion pounds, that's £11,000,000,000 or over £400 for every household in the United Kingdom - what else could we have got for that money?

    If Rio are sensible they'll keep the budget down to a few hundred million.

  • Comment number 45.

    I am almost dumbfounded by the content of this blog and the comment about the "Sun" after the shamefully negative and illinformed comments made by the writer on previous days. The combination of poor writing, silent changes to content (still unacknowledged), transparent bandwagon jumping regarding popular public trends (tickets, news paper bashing, etc) has been disingenuous at worst and amusing at best. I for one look forward to Rio and the fact that we, almost certainly, will not have to endure the witterings of the current BBC sports editor.

  • Comment number 46.

    At 17:28 12th Aug 2012, Chris from Thornaby wrote:

    Many presenters have done themselves favours over this fortnight, and not just the usual suspects, but my pick would be Claire Balding.

    The same Clare Balding who defamed a teenage world record holder and gold medallist because she couldn't believe a 16 year old Chinese girl could do it? What a joke. I suppose it's just an extension of how I saw the games - incredibly biased vs. ethnic Chinese and to a lesser extent, other non white nations. It was incredibly obvious in every game they played, their support by far eclipsed by those of opposing nations. Just compare any "cheer" for a Chinese win, say in a point , a game, a set.... to that of the opposition. So much for fair play, this was an event of racial solidarity. Home advantage is one thing, actively giving less support to one side in match where the home side aren't featured because they are Chinese shows a deep prejudice that runs strong in the subconcious mind.

    The British press in particular did itself no favours - least of all the "impartial" BBC. After the first week, when China led the medals table we had several negative stories lamenting China' success - the BBC made stories on "China's obsession with Gold" and "when will their dominance end" etc.... sure enough, when the US finally took the lead in the medals table, all of a sudden it's a congratulatory positive tone towards our cousins over the pond.

    I hope the next Games in Brazil will be far more impartial, away from a western-centric point of view.

  • Comment number 47.

    How will Rio follow London,because it will.And in 4yrs time the IOC will say the Rio games were the best ever,as they have always done.

  • Comment number 48.

    @44, actually the £2.2 billion came from the National Lottery, about another £1 billion came out of the pockets of every london council tax owner, £2 billion came from private finance. so that means the Tax payers from the rest of the country problably put in £5-6 billion over 5-6 years, which is a drop in the ocean when you consider the NHS, Defense, Education budgets every year.

  • Comment number 49.

    So can we now see all these wonderful sports more often on TV...rather than the same old boring money grabbing football,...please please...this has been proof that their are other sports, and if a legacy is to be had then they must be shown on a regular basis

  • Comment number 50.

    For Team GB? All the superlatives in the Thesaurus!!
    Please may I just pick out one of them? To Andy Murray, Olympic Gold Medallist in the Men's Singles, nothing else will do but a simple THANKYOU! You deserved to win at Wimbledon and somehow it was even better that you won that Gold Medal!
    Also a very big thankyou to the little girl who told me of Andy's Gold Medal at Picadilly Circus last Sunday.
    Sir Steve Redgrave, a gentleman and a true Olympian.
    I am so proud.

  • Comment number 51.

    65 medals, not 64. It always helps to publish a blog reflecting on the games after they've actually finished.

  • Comment number 52.

    Don't you read what you write?
    "The overall target set by UK Sport of at least fourth place was smashed with Britain coming third."
    Doesn't "at least fourth" mean fourth or better?
    Even if they had finished first they wouldn't have "smashed the target" they would have achieved it.

  • Comment number 53.

    Without meaning to be pedantic Chris1977 we are GREAT BRITAIN & NORTHERN IRELAND - not simply Great Britain!!!

    The games have been amazing - glad that we have proved so many doubters wrong - especially the press who seemed to be trying to sensationalise the likelihood of failure.

  • Comment number 54.

    At 18:27 12th Aug 2012, myname182 wrote:

    I think the real question should be, if Bejing was to host the Olympics again... how would Bejing, not follow... but outdo, Bejing 2008?

    They need to add a more modern, present representation of their people. The importance of friends and family, working and learning to make a better life for them and their children. And more of their own cultural icons, I remember Beijing 08 and they had Sarah McLachlan as one of the singers... I guess it was to show they had international foresight, but hardly a Chinese showcase is it!

    I did watch the 08 ceremony back last week and thought it a bit boring, too much on ancient history and not enough on how the past hardships has shaped the people of today. Of course by the time China gets the olympics again, it will have changed beyond all recognition.

  • Comment number 55.

    Loved the games and outstanding support by the crowds giving such lift and drive for our athletes.

    Rio should do their own thing - the world did not totally understand some of our quirks in the opening ceremony - that will be the same for when the Brazillians show the world their history and culture.

    One bug bear I had was jeering and booing during a certain national anthem - Ours, when played at Cardiff during the soccer. Otherwise, respect for other athletes and their anthems at all other venues was impeccable.

  • Comment number 56.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 57.

    RE John1977 comment.Tthe correct team name is "Great Britain and Northern Ireland" Team GB is a good shortened version.........

  • Comment number 58.

    I remember watching the closing ceremony of the Beijing games: Boris waved the flag, Beckham missed his target and in drove a tiny red bus in the midst of 40 tonnes of spectacular fireworks and Chinese splendour. Was anyone else worried? I know I was.

    But how wrong I was. The London 2012 Olympic games have been wonderful. I was at the Athletics when Bolt won the 100m and everything from the transport, to the staff, to the food, to the general atmosphere was excellent. Well done Seb Coe, all the athletes, all the volunteers and all the people who made it happen. You nailed it!

    I don't think we should get bogged down in saying whether it was better than Beijing or not as good as Sydney. The bottom line is, it was brilliant and presented the UK to the world in a great light.

    Big shout to Steve Cram whose commentary and insights have been spot on.

  • Comment number 59.

    Really good blog David. I am so proud of the way the games have gone and how our athletes stood up to, and excelled under home pressure. Super well done to the Games Makers those ever cheery volunteers AND London transport who worked so so hard to keep us all moving. Well done too to the police soldiers and security staff who helped keep us safe. Well done to London, the leading city of this world we live in.

  • Comment number 60.

    After David Bond's negative comments immediately before the Games ("Well they've got this far but all kinds of problems may occur during the next two weeks") he's been conspicuous by his absence since then, but here he is again and I hope the last part of comment 45 proves to be right. I think the Games and their organisation have been superb (apart from the ticket website where the person in charge should make a public apology) and all the carping critics should belt up.

  • Comment number 61.

    As some have mentioned, one of the purposes of the Olympics is supposedly furthering international goodwill, understanding etc.etc. If so, then all those, including much of the media (and some of the posters in this thread), have ignored this - and used them instead as an exercise in comparison between nations.

    I applaud the efforts of all the GB medal winners (some more than others), and all those who tried their best but didn't win medals. But I am highly dubious about the value of the medals table. It tells us next to nothing about the real "health" of a nation.

    And, wonderful as these games have been, let's not use that as an excuse to crow over others. Some of the comments I've read reveal a lot about personal prejudices against other countries and peoples. Let's just allow Rio to get on with their organisation of the next games, without such pressures. They probably won't be as well-organised as these London games, but might have some virtues of their own to applaud.

  • Comment number 62.

    I have thoroughly enjoyed everything about London 2012 -- hugely owing to you, the BBC professionals, as well as the Athletes of course (all of them, from around the world) -- but I must call you up short on the Hyperbole.

    "The most complicated task Britain will ever undertake?" Seriously?

    World Wars already forgotten? Underground construction already forgotten? Infrastructure upgrades to come, including all kinds of new technological advances & their inevitable integration... not even worthy of consideration?

    Please, fellow enthusiasts, the word "ever" -- a simple enough word! -- encompasses both directions on the timeline. "The Best Sprinter Ever" won't work as a title: none of us has lived enough to measure & observe All the sprinters of All Time.

    Similarly, "Best Games Ever" doesn't work for similar reasons. These have been, for British participants and fans, the Best Games in a Century. And that's plenty!

    There is absolutely nothing disrespectful in the least about using truthful, accurate superlatives that do not infringe upon reality.

    A fantastic job was done by all, in the end. There were a few wobbles. There were a few moments or choices that might have been improved upon. But tonight is for Celebration -- and Relief.

    Paralympics still to go... And then Back to Business, Britain!

  • Comment number 63.

    @24. At 18:00 12th Aug 2012, twitwithnoname wrote:
    "Am sure the sponsors, corporate visitors and rich have enjoyed being a part of the games, shame the masses didn't get a chance"
    So the 80k in the stadium every day (for example) were *ALL* "sponsors, corporate visitors and rich" were they? No. So stop talking nonsense.

  • Comment number 64.

    I am with Napoleon (34) saving up for Rio de Janeiro, CARNIVAL CITY, and Grizzerly (36) there is much more to sport than football, from 'fighting' women (3 medals) to 'dancing' horses (also 3 medals).

  • Comment number 65.

    #48 Yes, how proud we should be to take lottery money away from true good causes and disadvantaged people, instead we invest it with taxpayers money to sponsor these athletes, hire the best coaches and become the most financially supported team in history therefore buying the medals we have won, leaves a bad taste in your mouth...

  • Comment number 66.

    @ Frank H

    It would probably surprise a lot of viewers/readers but there is no such thing as a medal table, the IOC do not publish one as they do not recognise ranking by country. As we've seen, it's very easy to manipulate for whatever need is required, the US, for example, publish it by medal count (GB were 4th in that one).

    The BBC had 'breaking news' earlier that our third place was "confirmed" whom, exactly? Certainly not the IOC as they prohibit it.

  • Comment number 67.

    61 The IOC as far as I know did not invent the medal table its a media thing and because of that even the media read it differiently for example Britain finished forth if you look at US media outlets because Russia won more total medals but as Britain won more golds elsewhere they were third. Not really that bothered most sports are indivdual and most Great Britain team members had more to worry about then some table.

  • Comment number 68.

    London having the ability to showcase itself as a world class host will no doubt stand us in good stead for the future in terms of holding major sporting events. (Remember we're only 2 years into the "golden decade!")

    The Olympics in your home town really will be a once, maybe twice, in a lifetime event. With developing countries such as Brazil picking up the baton and embracing the Olympic spirit; with India possibly bidding in the future, the competition for these events will be immense. Now London has shown itself to be a competent, safe host; rather than something that could come back in 60-80 years, it could well be back in 40.

  • Comment number 69.

    In reply to Chris1977 who suggests great Britain is the proper title, not team GB. As athletes from Northern Ireland were included (and won medals for Team GB), the proper title is actually" Great Britain and Northern Ireland" the 2 parts comprising the UK. The BBC did very occasionally remember this in their commentary but usually forgot and by the last week Northern Ireland was totally ignored. It should have been "Team UK" to include both as Northern Ireland has never been part of Great Britain.

  • Comment number 70.

    re comment 4. It is not even GREAT BRITAIN. It is the UK. Great Britain is not a country, it is an island. Why are we GB for Olympics ? It is not only confusing for us (clearly) but also the rest of the world.

  • Comment number 71.

    Although I enjoyed the Games I was able to watch, the experience was ruined by the appalling quality of coverage by Channel Nine in Australia. Ignorant presenters, some laughable commentators, and about 3 mins of ads for every 4 mins of sports shown killed most events as spectacle. It wouldn't have been so bad if we had been able to access the BBC web site, but this was blocked by the IOC. In future, home country's Web sites should be freely accessible to all.

  • Comment number 72.

    I hope there truely will be a legacy for all from the £10bn+ we've spent on the games though given my local sports center in Coxhoe is due to close due to 'government cutbacks' - I am not optimistic.

  • Comment number 73.

    The typical comment from people I speak to is "I wasn't really interested or bothered.....but I now find myself hooked into
    watching every minute I can..... I Think there was some trepidation
    amongst many brits that we would somehow drop a clanger. Yet once the
    games got under way, the crowds came out of the woodwork and just
    for every event be it on the road, on the water or in the countryside.
    The Brits really took these games to their hearts and their support for every event was so astonishing, we all astonished ourselves.
    Moreover the running of the games was jaw droppingly good from first to last. The only problem is what is going to fill the hole in all our lives now ????

  • Comment number 74.

    I Think the writer who thought that Beijing was better should perhaps recall that the Olympic site was in that city was not open to the public. These 2012 games have truly been a peoples games and the peoples from around the world have attended in their hundreds of thousands.

  • Comment number 75.

    Must say that these Olympic games have given me some newfound pride and shows to the world that despite everything, we are certainly not a depressed nation.

    The opening ceremony was quirky, and full of novelty that portrayed perfectly that aspect of Britishness, and despite the initial threats from unionists, etc... showed the best of Britain.

  • Comment number 76.

    Ref chris1977 comment 4. Shut up you pedant, TEAM GB is GREAT BRITAIN!

  • Comment number 77.

    arrow wrote:

    Have you noticed that, if you discount swimming medals (which I shall continue to do until fish are allowed to compete), team GB is just one gold behind the USA? Comment by some clown called arrow! If you discount all the cycling and rowing medals (sports that are really minor in the world of sports) and the dubious boxung medals, GB will be about 7th not only one gold behind the US who actually did better than China...and remember the panel of Radio 5 and their arrogant predictions about the Americans!

  • Comment number 78.

    Some intelligent people rightly commented about the obsession of the press comparing countries etc Brazil will be very good in their own way as China was in their own way, about time GB stops this endless "we are as good or better than them attitude" no one is better than others...

  • Comment number 79.

    Best summary from a commentator was when Jade Jones won her Gold;

    'You little beauty',

    which summed up his and our admiration of what she had achieved.

  • Comment number 80.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 81.

    Re #53 Sorry to be pedantic Chris_McKeoewn but we are the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland not simply Great Britain and Northern Ireland..

    That aside well done to all the fantastic medal winners, you truly have Inspired a Generation.

  • Comment number 82.

    Burger bars v Beach bars
    Bronzed girls in bikini's v pasty chavs pushing a multitude of sprogs around and tutting when people have the nerve to get in their highnesses way
    Golden sandy beaches v paved over council estates

    yup, just how could rio ever follow london.

    You muppet.

  • Comment number 83.

    "4. At 16:45 12th Aug 2012,
    Chris1977 wrote: Also we are GREAT BRITAIN there is no such place as "Team GB" wish the commentors would call the country by its proper title."

    It is a tad hypocritical to complain when you yourself don't know the proper title of your own country. The proper title is the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, not Great Britain which only refers to the island of England, Scotland & Wales.

  • Comment number 84.

    What struck me was the humility of the vast majority of the medal winners. Having devoted the major part of the last four years of their lives to intensive training at the highest level, they displayed a marked lack of excessive triumphalism but delighted us with a keen sense of respect for their fellow competitors. Deliberately fouling an opponent was largely absent, cheating was at a minimum and appreciation of the Olympic spirit very much to the fore. Aspiring young footballers would be well advised to take the examples of Nicola Scott. Jessica Ennis, Bradley Wiggins and Sir Chris Hoy to heart rather than the self-aggrandisement spectacle provided each week by the players of the Premier League. David Foley

  • Comment number 85.

    It can't.
    After Athletics and Swimming which sports have the most events? Answer - Wrestling with 18, along with Rowing and Cycling. So Rio can improve by getting rid of half of the wrestling events and keep Wind Surfing, BMX etc. add Squash, Rugby-7s

  • Comment number 86.

    Rio will follow London wonderfully well - it is in the scheme of things, the passing on to others. In a few weeks London will have been and gone (except for the cost to us). Good luck to Rio I say, I sincerely hope you are better, bye bye London.

  • Comment number 87.

    I seem to be the only one slightly uneasy at the obvious connection between state funding and the medal success. Do we seriously think we are suddenly that much better than say Australia and Germany. State funding of elite sport always seem to be the reserve the old Eastern Bloc and China, who used it to glorify their State.

    Saying that I thoroughly enjoyed it and have great respect for the whole team.

  • Comment number 88.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 89.

    I have loved these games.

    As much as I'm proud of the amazing achievment of Team GB greater credit should be given to the greater Team GB. Every person that has been employed ot volountered at these games have all added to a remarkable spectakle.

    Thank you all very much, you have made London, England and the UK very proud.

  • Comment number 90.

    Most people I have spoken to (and HYS posts on other items relating to the Olympics) would seem to indicate that the vast majority of the British people consider the Olympics to be one hugely expensive jolly for the sole benefit of a few athletes to further their financial interests through product promotion and for Mr. Coe to further his own inflated ego. The saturation "news" coverage by the media at the expense of more newsworthy items has been an insult to licence payers. Shame on the BBC!

  • Comment number 91.

    It's a shame there weren't more Welsh winners. Also we could have done without golds in Dressage and Sailing. Apart from that it was a decent Olympics.

    The massive brag fest by the BBC is somewhat hypocritical though. We pile much more money into cycling and rowing than other countires yet the BBC is more than happy to fawn over these successes. Yet Chelsea FC do the same and win the Champs League yet the BBC say come out with snide comments like "money CAN buy everything". Yes you're right. In the same way that money CAN buy 30 Olympic Golds!

  • Comment number 92.

    No: 48 – I agree with you. The NHS is a bottomless pit and wastes thousands very year. Not to mention the fat pensions the nurses & doctors get. All you hear are nurses moaning about their pay - have been for the past 40 years!! I am glad some of my taxes went towards the Olympics – better spent than putting it into a failing NHS.
    David Beckham you are a true ambassador for this country and it is about time you were made “Sir David”.
    Sir Steve Redgrave, true Olympian and gentleman you are such a kind man.
    All of the organisers and the competitors and their coaches should be very proud of themselves - I am very proud of you all. Good luck for Rio!!!!!

  • Comment number 93.

    Agree with the many positive comments made here. Team GB have delivered some incredible performances and the overall organisation of the games has been outstanding.

    A few minor gripes:

    1) The lack of fan engagement areas in Central London. It would have been great had there been more official fan zones with big screens, for example in Trafalgar Square and in the newly lanscaped park by the London Eye. There was of course the Hyde Park location but that was let down by the acres of dusty wood chip on the floor and £5 drinks... A few more public venues similar to 'Park Live' in the Olympic Park (controlled access but free) would have brought a real carnival atmosphere to the heart of London and enabled those without tickets to feel part of it.

    2) Average-to-poor quality official merchandise at high prices at the venues and lack of medium sizes.

    3) The ticketing system showing tickets that were not actually available.

    4) The lack of coverage of other nation's major victories. For example I was at a wrestling gold medal match where a Japanese hero won their 3rd Olympic Gold. Japanese media went nuts but did not get a mention anywhere on the BBC as far as I'm aware.

    But all-in all it's been an extremely competently delivered games, fantastic venues and wonderful home team success medal-wise. Tempted to save for Rio.

  • Comment number 94.

    I predict the general mood will turn sour towards the end of this year. 20 years after the games, people still flock daily to the beaches in Barcelona. Games are about the legacy afterwards and not the gold than shines only for a little while.

  • Comment number 95.

    The only time their was booing of a national anthem was...suprise...suprise, at the start of a chavball game. Can we please have more of these great Olympic sports on the tv instead of the over-paid prima donnas of the premier league?
    Rio will do a great job at the next olympics but they need to get the crime sorted out. Parts of Rio make the old east end look like the vicars tea party.

  • Comment number 96.

    One big winner from the event will be McDonalds, a major sponsor splashed everywhere and a gigantic world biggest "restaurant" plus three others in the Olympic Park, their profits will be booming and another generation of kids hooked on their unhealthy offerings. What a legacy, no wonder less people are exercising and the nations waistbands keep growing, shame money rules over ethics...

  • Comment number 97.

    One of the negatives of the London games.....David Bond

  • Comment number 98.

    I doubt that there will be any change in the media coverage of sport as a result of London 2012. Female sport will still be ignored as will minority sports. I found the partisanship and lack of generosity towards other nations at the event I attended sad.

  • Comment number 99.

    Halarious!! I almost forgot to point out the continued use of the "sports editors standard guide to reporting" per my comment "8" on the "compelling first week" blog dated 3rd August. For ease repasted here. And, the excerpt from the blog above. Seem familiar? First mine from the 3rd!

    "Today was a good day at London2012. The crowds were on form but a disappointing result in the (insert sport here) means that questions will need to be asked of the (athletes / squad / team / coaches / organisers *dete as appropriate)"

    And now content from the above blog.

    "There are also bound to be some questions asked about athletics. Mo Farah, Jessica Ennis and Greg Rutherford produced that dazzling, golden 45 minutes in the Olympic Stadium with Farah repeating his exploits in the 5,000m a week later. But there were also some disappointing performances - capped perhaps by the men's sprint relay team dropping the baton again. Head coach Charles Van Commenee missed his own target of eight medals by two."

    Uncanny! (*note I have left my original typo of "dete" and not silently edited to correct to "delete")

  • Comment number 100.

    i thought this article was going to be about how Rio will follow London. It's just another about what Britain did.

    This is the same journalist who did a documentary about how much of a disaster the Euro 2012 tournament would be because of racism. Well that didnt manifest itself , did it.


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