The amazing British summer of sport culminated with the closing ceremony of the Paralympic Games as millions around the world watched Coldplay, Rihanna and Jay-Z delight and wow the stadium crowd.
First the UK had the Queens Diamond Jubilee Celebrations, followed by a superb summer of sport and then of course the Olympics! During the 2012 Summer Olympics some 10,820 athletes participated from 204 nations across 302 events in a total of 26 sports and 39 disciplines. For the very first time women’s boxing was included on the schedule and mixed double tennis also returned. A total of 32 new world records were created and the host country finished third in the medal table. Top 3 in the medal table were; USA with 104 medals (46 gold, 29 silver and 29 bronze), China with 88 medals (38 gold, 27 silver and 23 bronze) and Great Britain with 65 medals (29 gold, 17 silver and 19 bronze). The opening ceremony was part British history lesson, part show extravaganza, as was the closing ceremony.
Then came the Paralympic Games with 4,294 athletes competing from 164 nations in 503 events in 20 sports. Again records were broken both in terms of athletes’ achievements and in ticket sales, with all events a complete sell out – the first time in history. People were inspired across the globe and team GM finished third in the table with 34 gold, 43 silver and 43 bronze (total 120), behind China and Russia. Sebastian Coe proudly attributed the last thirty days of sporting excellence as ‘Made in Britain’. And some 800 athletes will travel through the streets of London on a victory parade on open-top floats, dubbed the biggest victory street parade ever seen in the UK! The parade will travel along London’s Fleet Street and The Mall, finishing at Buckingham Palace where there will be a fly-past by the Red Arrows with a ‘thank you’ message written on the plane.
The closing ceremony also featured the extinguishing of the Olympic flame and the official handover to Rio de Janeiro which will host the Olympics and Paralympics in 2016.
And in case you can’t wait, Rio 2016 kicks off in under 4 years, 1424 days to be precise with all the details and build up on the official website
We cheered, we cried, we were all inspired, thanks London, it was truly awesome!
And for all those travelling to London and the UK we have produced a series of guides to help you get the most from your visit and save money too; Top 10 must-see London attractions, 10 Cultural things to do in London, 10 Totally Free Things to do in London, 10 Best Shopping Locations in London and 10 Best Nights Out in London. Enjoy!
By Julie Bowman