Top Ten Olympic/Paralympic Moments
We watched, we cheered, we cried. The highs and lows of the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics.
• First Gold of 2012
After an initial dry spell, Team GB looked to be heading for a bit of a washout with five days of the games gone and no gold to show for it. Behind even North Korea in the medals table, things were looking down for our Olympic heroes.
Step in Heather Stanning and Helen Glover - the nation exhaled a collective sigh of relief as they won the coxless pairs rowing.
• Mo Farah takes gold
Mo Farah’s surprise at winning the Men’s 5,000m final was written all over his face. The image of the excited athlete crossing the line arms wide, mouth agape has even spawned a series of internet parodies. Indeed, you may have enjoyed seeing Photoshopped images of Mo running away from donisaurs, exploding cars, and the cast of Braveheart.
• Jessica Ennis celebrates
Emerging victorious in the heptathlon, Jessica Ennis’s emotional celebration at the Olympic stadium left few dry eyes in the UK.
Her win was made all the more remarkable by the fact that she attained three personal bests during her assault on the heptathlon.
• Big Medal day
After Team GB recovered from their early drought in the medals table, the nation was astounded when Saturday August 4 became Britain’s greatest Olympic Day in History. Team GB grabbed six gold medals in a day, with three of them arriving in the space of just 45 minutes.
The heptathlon, the long jump, the 10,000m, followed two golds in rowing and another in cycling.
• Chris Hoy becomes the greatest
Perhaps the biggest news of London 2012 was that Sir Chris Hoy, having already become the nation’s hero after his success in Beijing 2008, was now officially Britain’s greatest Olympian of all time.
When he won the Keirin, the Edinburgh-born cyclist’s six gold and one silver medal put him above Sir Steve Redgrave in the all-time table.
• Pendleton’s hopes dashed
After sports fans across the UK sat on the edge of their seats cheering her towards the finish line, we all shared Victoria Pendleton’s heartbreak at her eventual loss to Australia’s Anna Meares.
However, in the spirit of sportsmanship, Pendleton was quick to congratulate her old rival on her win.
• Ellie Simmonds inspires
There was no let up for Ellie Simmonds as the young Paralympian continued to leave her mark time and time again. Finishing the 2012 games with two golds, a silver and a bronze, it seems as though the 17-year-old swimmer will continue to inspire the British public for years to come.
• False steroid controversy
When 16-year-old Chinese swimmer Shiwen Ye broke the world record during the 400 metres individual medley, the world watched in awe of her extraordinary talent - all except American coach John Leonard, who branded her performance ‘suspicious’.
The incendiary comments brewed up a media storm over hints that the young swimmer could be guilty of doping, but the issue soon shrank when Olympic chiefs revealed that she had consistently tested negative for doping.
• Oscar Pistorious competes in both Olympic and Paralympic Games
Oscar Pistorious continued to add to his collection of Paralympic gold medals this year with victory in the 400m T44 final and 4 x 100m relay final. However, it was the South African’s appearance at the Olympics, the first time a double leg amputee has competed at the Games, that proved just as memorable. Pistorious’ deeply personal victory was surely made all the sweeter when considering the years of legal wrangling for the right to compete in both.
• Sarah Storey equals Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson’s record haul
Having claimed the first gold medal of the Paralympics for Great Britain, cyclist Sarah Storey went on to win three more during the Games, leading to many to compare her to legendary Paralympian Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson as she equalled the wheelchair racer’s record haul. Storey has now amassed 11 gold medals in all, having won five as a swimmer before making the switch to cycling.
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Wednesday 19 June 2013
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