The vast majority of athletes left the London Olympic empty-handed and without a medal, but they will always have their memories of the games. And so will we. Here are some of my favorite memories of the 2012 games. Top of the list were Usain Bolt's sprint double in the 100 and 200 metersandDavid Rudishaleading from the front to win the 800 meters in a world record time.
South African double-amputee Oscar Pistorius made history just by stepping up to the starting line. The "Blade Runner" even did well enough to get through to 400-meter semifinals.
The gold medal for sheer determination goes to American Manteo Mitchell who broke his leg in the middle of a 4x400-meter relay qualifying heat. In the middle of the race he heard a 'pop' andfelt intense pain. Although he had fractured a bone in his leg, he carried on running to help his team qualify for the final.
For spectator involvement there were 14 minutes of continuous cheering from the crowds urging local runner Mo Farah to gold in the 5,000 meters - after watching him win the 10,000 meters a few days earlier.
And in atouching moment, two women, one from Saudi Arabia and one from Palestine, ran in hijabs. The Muslim runners lost their heats but were cheered by the 80,000 strong crowd.
The 2012 London Olympic Games are over, but here are 16 fun facts to keep you entertained until the next games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.
1 When London hosted the Olympic Games in 2012 it became the first city to officially stage the event for the third time. Athens would also share this honorexcept for the fact that the 1902 Athens Games are not counted as an official event.
2The 1896 Athens Games are officially the first modern Olympic Games, but the foundations for the modern games were laid in the small English village of Much Wenlock in 1866. One of the guests at the event was a Frenchman, Baron Pierre de Coubertin. The Baronwas so inspired that he founded the International Olympic Committee and became the 'father of the modern Olympic Games'.
3 One of the two London mascots was called Wenlock in recognition of the Much Wenlock Olympian Games.
4Britain was the first country to stage a Paralympic games. The events took place on the opening day of the 1948 London Olympics and were known as the Stoke Mandeville Games. Competitors were disabled war veterans. The name Paralympic comes from Parallel Olympic.
5Hiroshi Hoketsu (71) was the oldest male competitor at the London games competingin Japan's horse-riding team. Hoketsu's Olympic debut was at the 1964 Tokyo games, a remarkable 48 years ago.
689 animals took part in the Opening Ceremony and were carefully looked after by 34 handlers. This ensemble included: 2 goats, various sheep, 3 cows, 3 sheep dogs, 9 geese, 10 chickens, 10 ducks and 12 horses.
7Nur Suryani Mohamed Taibi was the only Olympic athlete expecting a child. The Malaysian athlete was eight months pregnant when she competed in the rifle-shooting event.
8Even though Adidas was the official apparel sponsor of the games, Nike also featured in a big way ... not Nike the brand, but rather the Greek goddess of victory. The goddess was on the front of every medal given out during the games.
9Although women first competed at the 1900 Paris Games, the London Games was the first time that all 204 participating countries included women in their teams. Three Muslim countries (Qatar, Brunei, and Saudi Arabia) had never sent a female athlete.
10The five interlocking rings of the Olympic flag symbolize the five continents of the world: Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, and the Americas. Olympics founder, Pierre de Coubertin, said that at least one of the rings' colors (blue, yellow, black, green, and red) is found in every country's national flag.
11At the 1908 London Games the organizers of the Marathon discovered that the British Royal Box was 385 yards (352 m) further down the route than the 26 mile finishing mark. The officials extended the route to finish exactly in front of King Edward VII. And ever since then, the marathon has been 26 miles and 385 yards (41.195 kms).
12At the 1904 Paris Games the winners were given paintings instead of medals as the French organizers believed that the paintings would be more valuable.
13The last time that solid gold medals were awarded to Olympic champions was at the 1912 Stockholm Games. Only 90 were presented.
14Some of the events that have been dropped from the Olympic Games over the years include cricket, tug-of-war, polo and the shooting of live pigeons.
15In 1924, American Robert LeGendre shattered the world long jump record with a leap of 7m 72cm, but did not receive a gold medal. LeGendre was taking part in the pentathlon competition andfinished in third place. The actual long jump competition was won with a jump of 7m 44cm.
16The continents of Africa and South America have never held an Olympic Games even though they represent two of the five rings in the Olympic Logo. This will change in 2016 when the event is held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. This means that Africa will be the last continent to stage the games at some time in the future.
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