Best Moments of the Olympics

An absolutely fabulous Olympic games and my only reget is it did not last longer – everything crammed into 16 days is just too much. Many terrific moments but I’ve stripped mine down to eleven, despite my best efforts to keep the archery and weightlifting references to a minimum. Starters orders, Go:

Opening Ceremony
Opening Ceremony
Talk about surpassing expectations: the opener was fantastic. Really loved the superb chimneys coming up through the green and pleasant land as well as the Olympic rings being forged from molten steel.

Mr Bean was excellent and Bond / her Maj were a lot of fun too. Also featured the best cauldron lighting since that flaming arrow in Barcelona.

Phelps

Phelps’ Medal Haul
Does anything really need to be said about the most bemedelled athlete of all time?

Jamaica 1-2-3
Jamaica 1-2-3 in the 200m
Mirroring the fabulous Jamaican women’s 1-2-3 in the 100m four years previously Bolt, Blake and new boy Warren Weir destroyed the rest of the field. They also acted with a lot more grace than the BBC who insisted on a post race interview during the playing of the national anthem for David Rudisha’s gold medal win. To their credit all three turned to the Kenyan flag and stayed silent throughout, in spite of Phil Jones’ inane mumblings.

I’m was tempted to put in the men’s world record winning 4x100m final which was quite a spectacle but if I go down that route Jamaica would dominate the whole list.

Fashion
Fashion
Some pretty good creations this year. Stella McCartney’s outfits for team GB were very fetching as were the Russian tracksuit tops. Not quite sure what to make of Ralph Lauren’s American blazers and berets though. Particularly loved the Jamaican women’s alinear necklines, the Latvian BMX outfit and the superb Japanese showjumping helmet which would not look out of place in the cockpit of an X-Wing.

kazakhstan flag
Kazakhstan
They let themselves down by winning some bronzes in the last week but for a long while it seemed that the mighty Kazakhs were only interested in medals of one colour: Gold.

Mexican Archery
Mexican Archery
Boy oh boy when did the Mexicans suddenly become World beaters with the bow and arrow? The first guy to impress me on the range was Luis Alvarez, and not just ‘cos he looks like a chubby Wolverine – he was felling South Koreans as if under orders from Kim Jong Il himself. Then the women turned up and I began to think the universe had flipped onto its head: two of the three Mexican ladies made it to the podium and Aida Roman only lost the gold in a final single arrow shoot off against the World number one (Korean of course).

Zonderland
Zonderland’s Glorious High Bar Performance
I usually have very little interest in the gymnastics but this flying Dutchman chose to go for the most difficult combo and pulled it off perfectly.

Kirani
Kirani James
This guy embodies an awful lot of grace for someone only 19 years old. Prior to the 400m heats he neutralised the lame controversy over whether Pistorius’ blades deliver a speed advantage with the calm “I just see him as another competitor, another athlete. I really respect him. It is what it is.”, in the semis that saw Pistorius exit the race he traded bibs with the South African, and when he won the final he made a point to shake hands with every competitor before starting his celebrations. UN Secretary General in the making?

Kim Un Guk Breaks World Record in 62Kg Weightlifting
Perhaps I am biased here as this was the one event I attended but that night the crowd saw three Olympic and one World record broken and such a joyful performance by Kim that even a snaggle-toothed anti communist like me was on his feet applauding. I did refuse to stand for the North Korean national anthem however. That friends, is a step too far.

Ennis Heptathlon
Ennis’ Heptathlon
So much pressure was on the poster girl of the Olympics that anything less than a gold might well have been viewed as a failure. She delivered in spades: personal bests in almost every event, a 100m hurdle time good enough for gold in the individual event and then capped her triumph by crossing the 800m finish line first when 6th would have been enough.

Photo Finish in the Triathlon
Photo Finish in the Triathlon
After a 1500m in the water, 43km on a bike and a further 10km run it comes down to a photo finish? Wow.

Honorable Mentions