2012’s Gods and Goddesses

“The Champion becomes a Legend” is perhaps the commentary that will be remembered from these Games, the words that truly defined the Leviathan that Usain Bolt now represents in Olympic history in becoming the first man to defend all three of his sprint titles. Bolt’s 9.63 in the 100 metres showed how talk of Yohan Blake usurping Bolt’s crown was simply the media looking for a story. He is now unquestionably the greatest athlete of all time.

Elsewhere on the track, Somali refugee turned British citizen Mo Farah became one of the all-time greats in distance running, racking up a 5,000 and 10,000 metre double gold. Farah starred in the greatest night in British Olympic and athletic history in beating all-time great Kenenisa Bekele to win the 10,000 metres, alongside triumphs for heptathlete Jessica Ennis and long jumper Greg Rutherford. What’s more Farah’s ‘mobot’ became the celebration of the Games to the point at which even Bolt copied him.

In the pool, it was the Americans who dominated proceedings, as per usual. The greatest swimmer of all time, Michael Phelps, closed out his career with four golds in London. While many argue that there are too many swimming events – a genuine criticism of the Games – to criticise Phelps for winning a huge eighteen golds is churlish. On the women’s side Missy Franklin topped the medal charts with four golds of her own. The six foot one 17 year-old could come to dominate women’s swimming as Phelps has done in the men’s.

Finally, Nicola Adams, Britain’s first female Olympic boxing champion deserves a mention. Yes Adams won a gold just as many athletes win golds, but Adams won hers against all the odds when she beat the winner of the last three world championships, Ren Cancan of China, knocking her down in the process, a feat almost unheard of in amateur boxing. Adams’ medal was great example of peaking at the right time and provides a lesson that may of our other sportsmen should learn from.

Will Cook


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