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It all looked like it was going south with the G4S fiasco and then when they mixed up the North and South Korean flags in the women's football but in the end I thought they were absolutely fantastic. The opening ceremony was awesome (the closing ceremony, in my opinion, perhaps not so much); the sport was thrilling, and Team GB's performance was phenomenal.
My personal highlights were Mo Farah's second gold, the woman's team annhiliating the Americans in the final of the team pursuit in the velodrome, Laura Trott in the omnium, and beating the Dutch in the jump off of the team show-jumping (never would have thought beforehand that show-jumping is such a tense and engaging sport) - and not to forget when Jess Ennis got her gold.
Always proud to be British, but especially at the moment. Just sad they're finished (I turned on BBC One this afternoon and Doctors was on - ugh)!
Also found I cried more than once, I'm not ashamed to say.
So, Great Britain and Northern Ireland third on the table for golds and fourth on numbers of medals in toto: will that every happen again in our lifetime? (Well, maybe, if you're under 10 I suppose. I myself was born in the August when the Games were last held in London, but sadly I was too late to witness any of it...)
I thought the BBC coverage was wonderful and enjoyed most of the punditry and commentating, as well. I loved Clare Balding's relaxed and excited style. I also thought the athletes interviewed well - most were modest and unassuming and had a conversation with the interviewer rather than churning out clichés and soundbites and, given that they must spend most of their lives training, still seemed part of the same world that the rest of us inhabit, unlike some professional 'celebrity' sportspeople.
Phooey, Julie, you're only half a dozen years older than me but that's no excuse for being so curmudgeonly over the final ceremony! This was as much a party for the competitors (who were mostly young) as for the global audience, and was a snapshot of popular music from approximately the last London Olympics (which you may remember!) to the present.
In fact the vast majority was music from the 60s to the 80s (so you've little excuse!) and even the youngsters were singing along. (And I'm a trained classical musician, so I might theoretically have an excuse for being sniffy about the music.) Anyway, I don't think viewers will have wanted to miss George Michael's dancing...
As for the fireworks, yes, that is a lot of money, but in the overall spend a drop in the ocean and I'm sure it was appreciated as much as expected. And as fireworks are a given in any major event I'd have thought that any locals would have kept their pets indoors, as per Bonfire Night.
(PS, it's lasers, not lazers.)
The volunteers were terrific - all smiles and helpful with it. The army on security and the police did aq grand job. The only mistake was rolling out some aging singers in the opening and closing ceremonies - they should let Paul Macartney retire gracefully - ditto Ray Davies, George Michael, Annie Lennox and Brian May (OK, he didn't sing).
Rio will have to work hard to beat these Games.
Not sure who the 'they' are but I'm one person who would be very happy to let him do that if only he'd take the hint.
#11 - I agree! Great to see Ray Davies there.
And let's have a quick word for the guts it must have taken for Gary Barlow to appear. I know I couldn't have done it in his situation and it seemed to me a fine tribute to the real courage shown by many of the athletes over the past two weeks that he didn't want to let anyone down.
I'm another non-sports fan who has enjoyed the Games a huge amount (though I'm also rather glad they are over; you can only watch a bunch of people you don't know running very fast so many times).
It was odd to walk around the eating areas in the Park - many stalls selling different 'World food', Mexican, Spanish, Crepes, Wok food, Sushi, etc., etc. - with the only brand visible being Coca-Cola which dominated all the menus. You could buy Heineken beer if you noticed the tiny printing. We avoided the enormous Macdonald's all on its own near the souvenir shop.
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