The 2012 Olympics – Days 11 to 16, The End

Whilst my previous posts on this subject have been bullet point notes of things that have stood out for me, I can’t do the same for this one. Already, the specific details are beginning to fade from my brain, and we’re only one day post-Olympics. Mo was brilliant, obviously. There were some great final moments in the modern pentathlons, weird as they are. Tom Daley’s diving on Friday was fantastic, not just because he got the medal, but because the overall standard was so incredibly high.

And then there was the Closing Ceremony. Billed as a festival of British music, it was a glorified variety show, and one of those mixtures where you cannot please anyone. But the bits that did please, were epic. For me, that included Freddie, and Queen, the Spice Girls, Take That, Eric Idle (although more for how rousing it was than the Monty Python references that mostly go over my head). There were far too many fireworks, so much so they almost looked like things were on fire, but the colours and the glory made it all worthwhile.

The flame went out, and things were officially handed over to Rio.

Where does that leave us now? After two weeks of constant sports choice, channel after channel stocked full of competition, endeavour, role models and medals, it’s back to normality.

Oddly, I feel as though I’ve had a holiday. For the past fortnight, I essentially gave myself permission to do nothing that wasn’t London 2012 related, and although I still kept up with some “chores”, it was a vacation of sorts. And thus now I feel rejuvenated and ready to get even more productive than ever before. This must be what people feel like when they actually do holiday!

To finish, I’ll just revisit the sports as I promised I would.

  • Aquatics – It was incredible! Even more fun than I thought it would be, and it was quite sad that the main racing action finished halfway through.
  • Archery – I didn’t watch much of this, but the bits I did see were better than I’d thought – if not as Robin Hood as I’d hoped.
  • Athletics – It really is the mainstay of the sport. The relays were great, and I got more and more into the jumping events too.
  • Badminton – I saw, perhaps, one match.
  • Basketball – Actually found myself less interested in this than I’d hoped. All the time-outs did my head in.
  • Boxing – Wasn’t as disturbing as I’d thought, apparently there’s a difference between amateur and professional. Either way, it’s still not my thing.
  • Canoeing – I’m disappointed in the amount of white-water stuff I saw, but the one-kneed variety actually made my knees hurt just watching.
  • Cycling – I mentioned my thoughts on cycling last time, but I did enjoy it – as grumpy as I sounded about it.
  • Equestrian – The only horsey stuff I really got involved with was in the modern pentathlon, when they were all on random horses. Hard!
  • Fencing – Only saw the lady that protested with a bit of a sit-in. I find fencing confusing.
  • Field hockey – I had no idea the hockey was quite so dangerous, but what I saw, I quite enjoyed.
  • Football – Watched a bit of football, but it’s so commonplace, that I wasn’t too bothered.
  • Gymnastics – Loved the gymnastics, but after the first few rounds, it felt as though we were watching the same old, same old. Naturally, the gymnasts have their one routine for each apparatus, so you only need to see it once or twice. Meanwhile, the group rhythmic stuff was brilliant! I take back what I said about it before.
  • Handball – Started to get into this towards the end of the fortnight, but a lot of the throwing and catching seems a bit of a waste of time.
  • Judo – Less violent than I thought but quite exhausting to watch all the hopping from one foot to the other.
  • Modern pentathlon – This felt very tacked on the end, and it was unfortunate timing that I didn’t see as much as I’d like.
  • Rowing – I liked the rowing but the commentators were awful and ruined it for me.
  • Sailing – I couldn’t really follow the individual races, I didn’t understand what I was looking at, but I liked following the results and working out who could win, etc, etc.
  • Shooting – I didn’t see any of this, only clips from the Team GB gold medallist.
  • Table tennis – It became a bit of a laughing stock in our household. Clearly quite a skilful thing to do, but everything is so tiny and it all feels faintly ridiculous.
  • Taekwondo – I don’t think I saw any of this, unless it slipped in when I thought I was watching Judo.
  • Tennis – Same as football – enjoyed what I saw but felt just like a multi-colour Wimbledon.
  • Triathlon – Like the modern pentathlon, the timing of this was bad for me to be able to watch but I still love it.
  • Volleyball – I much preferred the indoor volleyball to the out, and really got into one match – although I needed to brush up on the rules.
  • Weightlifting – I actually can’t believe how little weightlifting I saw, but the ones I did see were lifting weights that looked downright dangerous!
  • Wrestling – This, I’m not even sure it was actually aired! I kept seeing it on the schedule, but I don’t remember seeing it anywhere or being talked about at all!

Overall, I can only reiterate what I said in the Sidepodcast comments after the Closing Ceremony. It was an amazing fortnight, made great not just because it was in London, but because there was so much access on the BBC, and through the magic of Sidepodcast and social networks, we all got to share in it together. I’d say roll on Rio, but there is so much to get done before then!