The athletes have departed, the stadiums are closed and we’re back to searching the TV for something to enlighten or entertain us in the evening. The London 2012 Olympics are over and what an experience it was for the UK! As a nation who err on the side of caution I don’t think any of us thought it would go quite so smoothly or that we’d all get swept up with Olympic fever. As inspirational athletes like Ben Ainslie have been sailing by London and their hometowns this week I thought it was the perfect time to think about the great memories we’ll be taking away from it all. So I’ve got some good friends and my sister involved to share their Olympic experience and the highlights they’ll be remembering.
Mich Scott, Games Maker and spectator in London
I was lucky enough to get selected as a Games Maker based at the Olympic Park, in all of the areas that weren’t a venue. I spent most days during the games there on shift, leading a team to help spectators make their way around the park and giving them hints and tips about where to go.
I did manage to get a little time off, with one day as a spectator within the park, one day up at the Lee Valley for the Canoe Slalom (unfortunately the day before the gold/silver) and another seeing a demo of Super-Hi-Vision at the BBC (16x the picture quality of HD and 22 channels of sound, but unfortunately around 20 years away from our lounges!).
I have two different Olympic highlights, the first as part of being a Games Maker. That was the people I was working with; from the staffing managers to the members of my team. They were all brilliant, friendly and enthusiastic – it really was a true pleasure to work with them.
My sporting Olympic highlight was the second Saturday and Jess/Greg/Mo’s golds. Three gold medals in a single session, indeed within 45 minutes was something very special indeed, even though I was only watching it in a pub!
Lyndsay Toal, spectator at the Games and in London
The stadium that organisers had constructed in the grounds of St James’s Park and historic Horse Guards Parade was a sight to behold. The atmosphere in the stadium was fantastic, with Mexican waves, clapping, shouting, laughing, and “ooh”ing and “aah”ing as the players leapt and dived for the ball. Strangers spoke with one another and nationalities sat side by side cheering on teams from other nations. It definitely lived up to its reputation as the Games’ greatest spectator event!
My Olympic highlight would have to be watching Mo Farah win the 5000m final with my friends in Cardiff as we crept closer and closer to the TV, urging Mo to sprint down the home straight.
Danielle Andrews, spectator in Nottingham
Choosing my Olympic moment is a tricky decision, we were fortunate to get tickets to a few events and the atmosphere at each was incredible! I think if I had to choose the best moment it would probably Tom Daley winning his bronze medal. I was biting my nails with each of his dives and found myself really willing him on. I was thrilled when he won a medal and got choked up when I saw how important it was to him. It was so great to see someone who has been through so much achieve a dream and be able to be so excited. The pride in him was compounded when I saw how much the Chinese diver who had won Silver cried over his achievement – he wasn’t able to be proud of the high level he had reached, he was simply gutted his medal wasn’t gold. Contrasted with Tom jumping into the pool with his team in celebration made me more proud to be British!