As well as knocking it out of the park on the medals table, for which Team GB secured their best performance for more than 100 years (have they mentioned that yet?), London and the host nation have been awarded a gold medal by many nations for the Olympics as a whole, which has been universally received as one of the finest modern Olympics.
“London 2012 was bigger, slicker, almost as friendly and more thoughtfully planned than Sydney in terms of the legacy it will leave the host city,” Peter Wilson says in The Australian.
With pre-games worries over transport, security and the fact that the Brits have a track record for dropping the ball, none of these fears came to fruition, with Greg Baum at The Age commenting that: “They might just represent a new PB for the Olympics.”
Beppe Severgnini wrote in the Corriere Della Sera that: “These Olympics have been a success for Great Britain. Bolt, Boyle, Bond, Brenda, and Mr Bean: all the champions took to the field, no one disappointed.”
Even the Yanks, normally as keen as the Brits themselves to revel in their failure, if not more so, managed to admit that London 2012 was actually petty darn good. “Urged on by massive home crowds and a cheerleading press that defied predictions of Olympic cynicism, British athletes ran, cycled, and rowed their way to their highest medal count since Britannia ruled the seas in 1908… This country of 62 million people, roughly the size of Michigan, reminded itself of its uncanny ability to punch above its weight,” said Anthony Faiola of the Washington Post.
There were a few hiccups along the way, though. The furore over the empty seats will no doubt be addressed in weeks to come, although to reorganising to ensure hundreds of thousands of tickets went on sale during the last two weeks swiftly rectified this error.
Chief balls up of the Games has to be London mayor Boris getting stuck on a zip wire, but then, if someone was going to, it was always going to be him, wasn’t it? You can hardly imagine Seb Coe getting stuck on a waterslide while brandishing a Union Jack for the world’s cameras.
Somehow, though, even Boris managed to pull this embarrassing episode off with panache. It seems, though, that while the world, as a whole, went nuts for London’s Games, not everyone was as ecstatic.
“The Olympic park was established foolishly,” said Deniz Goke of Turkish newspaper Aksam. “ I think Sydney and Beijing were more successful in their organisation of the Olympics.” You can’t please everyone all of the time, it would seem.