The London Olympics are in full swing and, as friends may have noticed, I’m absolutely loving them!
Here, in no particular order, are my top ten moments so far…
1) Matthias Steiner (Beijing Olympics). This got me started before the games had even begun. Not for the easily moved, this is a clip of a German weight-lifter at the Beijing games. For me, it sowed the seed of the idea that sporting achievement happens against the backdrop of a person’s personal life and challenges.
2) Chad’s Dad. When Chad Le Clos beat Michael Phelps in the pool, many may have been surprised, however few will have cheered louder than Chad’s dad, Bert. Here he is, talking about his ‘beautiful boy’. I think that Bert deserves his own show…
3) Mo’s final lap. Mo Farah winning the 10,000 metres has to be one of the most incredible moments of the Games. I’m sure I’m not the only one who has been asking local pub landlords to ring a bell as I go past on my evening run…
Here’s a clip of the BBC commentators watching his final lap;
4) Jessica Ennis. The face of the Games. And didn’t she live up to it? A modern champion. Humble, likeable and very, very talented.
5) Boris dangles from a zip-wire. For many (in fact most politicians), such an incident would have spelled political ruin. For Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, getting stuck on a zip-wire was yet another opportunity to secure his reputation as Britain’s most recognisable and, dare I say, most loved politician.
6) “We Won The Olympics”. When Sophie Hosking and Kat Copeland won Olympic Gold in the women’s rowing, they looked at each other in disbelief. It was Kat’s wonderfully childlike phrase which will be remembered though… “We Won the Olympics!”
7) Seb Coe meets a Doctor. Lord Coe describes his most powerful memory of the Games as the moment he met one of the Games Makers (the Oympic Volunteers) on the tube. The man, Doctor Andrew Hartle had been involved in treating patients in the wake of the 7th of July bombings, and explained;
“For most of the last seven years those two events – the award of the Games and the July bombings – have been pretty inextricably linked.
“I found the opening ceremony really quite cathartic. It really gave me closure. London is now known for something else – it is known for hosting the Games. Being part of it has been an astonishing experience.”
Lord Coe said;
“That really summed up to me what the volunteers are doing here and that is a conversation I will remember for the rest of my life. That was a seismic moment in terms of conversations I’ve had with volunteers.”
Listen to a recording of Seb Coe telling the story on BBC Radio 5 Live.
8 The Opening Ceremony. Specifically, the moment in which Danny Boyle’s incredible chimneys rose from the floor of the stadium. I watched with millions as the Victorians arched their backs in awe;
9) Lizzie Armitstead. I must confess, there are a number of stars of the Olympics who I had not heard of before the Games began. Lizzie Armitstead was one of them. She won Great Britain’s first medal of 2012 and, alongside millions of others, I discovered one of our incredibly inspiring athletes. Humble, ambitious, refreshing.
10) Olympians supporting Olympians. I found it inspiring to see a Knight (Sir Chris Hoy), still massively in his element, winning Gold for Great Britain. I also enjoyed seeing his support for his fellow athletes in other disciplines, using Twitter. It is this kind of camaraderie, between athletes, hosts, Londoners and visitors, which has typified the Games for me.
“That’s how to do it!! Finish the job in style! Just superb @j_ennis !!!!”
So that’s it. Some funny, some serious. Some we may forget in a few weeks. Others we’ll remember for the rest of our lives.
What are your favourite memories from London 2012?