The Highs and Lows of The 2012 London Olympics
The Pet Shop Boys jumped the gun in rickshaws, One Direction placed the contemporary, The Spice Girls brought nostalgia, Muse amplified the event anthem, and The Who called in the curtain
shouting “Right behind you, I see the millions. On you, I see the glory,” – all as the London Olympic flame was extinguished and The Games of the XXX Olympiad were declared closed.
For more than two weeks, the whole world bore witness to the 2012 London Olympics. In the tradition of competition and camaraderie among nations, Olympic athletes put the bodies and skills they honed for four years on the line all for the pride and glory of their homeland.
Great Britain (GBR)
The hosts saw the 2012 London Olympics as a foremost venue to remind other nations and even itself that it can still be a major player in the ever changing world. And reminded, we all were. A beautiful Olympic stadium, precise organization of the Olympic athletes, equipment and venues, hassle-free accommodation
and transportation, entertaining opening and closing ceremonies and most strikingly, a show that London is perhaps the only city that can perfectly combine the Olympics with history – accentuated by Andy Murray (GBR) getting over the hump and winning the gold against Roger Federer (SUI) in historic Wimbledon.
Team GB’s best medal haul in over a century (65 total: 29 gold, 17 silver, 19 bronze) was just icing on the cake
United States of America (USA)
Not only did the USA win the overall medal tally (104 total: 46 gold, 29 silver, 29 bronze), but their Olympic athletes sent a message that erased the claim that all Americans are unhealthy. Michael Phelps decorated his neck with six more medals (four gold and two silver
) and put himself on the pedestal as “The Greatest Olympian in History.” Beach volleyball gods Kerri Walsh and Misty May-Treanor ride into the sunset with another gold and the recognition as the most dominant pairing in the history of the sport. Team USA men’s basketball reinforced themselves as the world leader of the sport and ambassadors of its premiere league, the NBA. Team USA women’s basketball showed that the gap between them and all other competitors was as large as Texas.
Even NASA’s Mars Curiosity Rover
stole the headlines from the 2012 London Olympics, much like how USA soldiers killing Osama bin Laden stole the headlines from the Royal Wedding. You mad, Great Britain?
Usain Bolt (JAM)
The Jamaican runner claimed “I am now a legend,” as he became the first Olympic athlete to achieve a double-double – winning the 100m and 200m sprints in 2008 Beijing and defending it in 2012 London. Not satisfied, “Lightning Bolt” upped himself as he claimed the first double-triple – adding the 4x100 team relay to his list of two consecutive Olympic victories. Proving to the world and himself that no one can catch him, Bolt is now reviewing tryout offers for football and cricket clubs.
Men’s Football Team (MEX)
Mexico’s first Olympic gold is finally coming home to Mexico City. The Mexican football team outlasted tournament favorites Brazil (BRA) and served notice to its South American neighbor and the world that it is now a football force. Not a bad warm-up for the 2014 FIFA tournament.
Not a bad slap in the face as well for Brazil, who is hosting both the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics in Rio.
“The Olympic Spirit” is and always will be an abstraction. However, such can never stop Olympic athletes from exhibiting that unnerving will to go on. Oscar Pistorius (RSA) – double amputee and capable competitor in the 400m sprint – and Im Dong Hyun (KOR) – legally blind and world record holder and gold medalist in archery
– and Guor Marial (IOC) – only athlete without a nation and representing the world – have all been proofs that impossible is nothing.
The 2012 London Olympics was dubbed as “The Twitter Olympics” as 140 or less characters were encapsulated the beauty of both London and Olympics. From the athletes to the media, from the organizers to spectators, and from Arctic to Antarctica, the 2012 London Olympics dominated Twitter feeds.
Great Britain (GBR)
Not one thing is perfect. As beautiful as the 2012 London Olympics was, its build-up was anything but. Doomsayers predicted a failure of the railway system
, a disconnect between the sports and their historical venues and even a terrorist attack. The logo was messy and the mascot was creepy.
Moreover, when the highlight of your opening ceremony is Mr. Bean, there is a problem. We can not blame 2012 London though; following the spectacle that was 2008 Beijing was always an unfair additional burden to carry.
For about 75 percent of the 2012 London Olympics, the so-called “new superpower” was leading the medal board, at one point even being way ahead of #2. But in the end, the “old superpower” usurped leadership and claimed victory – Olympic and morale-wise. China still finished second (88 medals: 38 gold, 27 silver, 23 bronze), yet still a place behind the USA. Hey, at least China can still be proud about 2008 Beijing being tops in contemporary memory.
Usain Bolt (JAM)
In 2008 Beijing, Usain Bolt (JAM) celebrated before even crossing the finish line. But he still won, and even broke the world record. In 2012 London, Bolt was making claims of being a legend and having no respect for long-time recognized track legend Carl Lewis (USA). But he still won, and even still broke world records. Here’s to a man who can walk the talk. Or more appropriately, run the talk. No, most appropriately, blur through the talk.
Nadzeya Ostapchuk (BLR)
Nadzeya Ostapchuk (BLR) was bringing home gold in shotput to Minsk, but hours before the closing ceremony, her medal was re-awarded to Valerie Adams (NZL). According to the International Olympic Committee, Ostapchuk tested positive for steroids
before and after her competition and therefore had her victory erased from the records.
Ostapchuk was the first, and so far only, winner to have her medal rescinded in the 2012 London Olympics. Doping, as the offense is called, is a problem that continues to plague all sporting events.
Saudi Arabian media
The 2012 London Olympics claimed another milestone by being the first games where all nations have at least one female athlete. Brunei, Qatar and Saudi Arabia all sent female athletes as part of their delegations after being the only three nations to be unable to do so in 2008 Beijing.
The move was celebrated as a step forward throughout the world, but was met with rejection in their homelands. Most especially in Saudi Arabia, major media and social network users blasted the government for caving in to international pressure and humiliated their own countrymen for breaking tradition.
Samuel Wanjiru (KEN)
Many Olympic athletes are not as lucky as Michael Phelps or Usain Bolt to be able to defend their gold medals – be it because of age, injury, better competition or personal regression. However, 2008 Beijing men’s marathon gold medalist Samuel Wanjiru (KEN) was unable to defend in 2012 London because of his untimely death, the reasons of which are still unknown.Juice Recommends:Juice Movies: All the latest from the silver screensJuice Dining: Channel your inner foodie