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      Paralympics 2012

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      HeighwayToHeaven
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      Re: Paralympics 2012
      Reply #100: Sep 07, 2012 10:59:14 pm
      Paralympics 2012: GB's Josie Pearson wins gold at her sixth attempt
      Pearson wins F51/52/53 discuss after trying five other sports

      Andy Bull at the Olympic Stadium
      guardian.co.uk, Friday 7 September 2012 22.06 BST

      At long last, Josie Pearson has her gold medal. Pearson won it in the F51/52/53 discus, the sixth event she has competed at in her career, and the first in which she has been so successful. In her time Pearson, 26, has been a showjumper, a dressage rider, a wheelchair rugby player, a wheelchair racer, and a club thrower.

      "I think," she said with a touch of relief, "I have found my niche." Pearson broke the world record in the F51 class with each of her first three throws, of 6.38m, 6.54m and, finally, 6.58m. That was good enough to win her the gold by the huge margin of 242 points, ahead of Ireland's Catherine O'Neill. "This," Pearson said, "has been the most amazing experience of my life."

      Only nine years ago, Pearson broke her back in a car crash when she was driving back home to Hay-on-Wye after a bank holiday spent ten pin bowling in Newport. Her boyfriend, Daniel Evans, died in the accident. After the collision, Pearson was able to move her arms, but nothing more than that. Next to what had happened to Evans, it still felt like a blessing. Paralympic stories come in all forms. Pearson's is a testament to the role sport can play in rehabilitation. She resolved to finish her A-levels and carry on with her life. "You are either someone who copes or doesn't," she has said. "And we all did."

      Pearson had been an excellent horse rider as a teenager, and for a time she tried to continue with it. She competed in a dressage event, but she just could not bear the fact that she was not as good as she had once been. The contrast between the before and after was simply too stark. Not long after she met a man named Alan Ash, a fellow patient at the Oswestry Spinal Unit. Ash was a wheelchair rugby player and he persuaded her to have a go at that. Soon she was playing for the South Wales Pirates. It is a mixed sport, but she was the only woman on the pitch. She would have to get used to it. In November 2006, she attended national trials and was selected, along with Ash, for the Great Britain squad. She was the only woman on the team at the Beijing Games too, the first, in fact, to compete for the country.

      The Great British team finished fourth in those Games. So Pearson decided to turn to athletics. She says it took her a year to pluck up the courage to switch. But when she did, she was a natural. She was selected in four events for the World Championships in New Zealand, and said that she expected to win medals in all of them. In the end she was disqualified in the 200m and 400m, and finished fifth in the 100m and 800m.

      Worse still, it turned out that the heavy training regime was doing serious damage to her neck. She had to quit, not least because the new injuries meant she was reclassified from T54 to the more severe T51, and the Paralympics do not include any races for that group. This time last year, she was saying that she wanted to win four golds on the track. All of a sudden she would not even be able to compete.

      "I have always been very determined," Pearson said. "I know what I want in life and I have always wanted to be the best in my sport." So, at last, she came to throwing events. In the club throw, she could only finish sixth. "I used to get such an adrenaline rush from riding that I thought it would be impossible to find that in another sport," Pearson has said. Safe to say she found something a lot better at the Olympic Stadium, with 80,000 roaring her on. "I can't emphasise enough how beneficial sport has been. It has given me back my independence, which you think you're never going to get when you're lying in hospital."

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2012/sep/07/paralympics-2012-josie-pearson-gold?CMP=twt_gu

      Great story of guts and determination.
      whyohwhyohwhy
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      Re: Paralympics 2012
      Reply #101: Sep 08, 2012 05:24:27 pm
      Great story of guts and determination.

      She won't quit will she, what a fantastic story!  I went home yesterday as my sister was going into hospital for an operation and they had Josie Pearson's story on the radio.  They only talked about the paralympic sports though.  Drove back down to London today so I've missed most of the last two days action.

      The table is so close for the teams in 2nd to 6th.  It currently reads:

      RANK    COUNTRY    GOLD    SILVER    BRONZE    TOTAL

      1               China       85            67            60            212
      2               GB            33            41            42            116
      3               Russia      32            36            26            94
      4               Australia  30            20            27            77
      5               Ukraine    30            20            25            75
      6               USA          27            26            33            86

      Sor far, we got another gold today!  David Stone won his category road race at Brands Hatch!

      And a silver for David Smith in his Boccia final!

      Well in lads!  :clap:
      Frankly, Mr Shankly
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      Re: Paralympics 2012
      Reply #102: Sep 08, 2012 09:32:22 pm
      I hope we can hold on to second place. It's so close in the medal table and Ukraine cannot be ruled out.

      That's amazing by Josie Pearson.  :gt-happyup:

      Forgot to mention them. They've been on it since day 1 of these games and have been outstanding! Russia, UK, Ukraine and indeed the leaders China can really be proud of their incredible efforts at these games.
      HeighwayToHeaven
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      Re: Paralympics 2012
      Reply #103: Sep 09, 2012 05:42:16 pm


      Russia finally overtook GB at the death, but third place in the final medals table is still a great achievement.
      whyohwhyohwhy
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      Re: Paralympics 2012
      Reply #104: Sep 09, 2012 05:52:57 pm
      The actions over for another four years :(

      What a couple of weeks we have been treated to though!

      Congrats to Dave Weir on his GOLD medal and to Shelly Woods on her SILVER medal in their respective marathons earlier today!

      Congrats to China for an awesome games, they were so strong over so many different events, and congrats to Russia who pipped GB to second by two golds.  Congrats to GB, bloody brilliant in front of their home crowd!  And congratualtions to ALL the athletes involved, and a huge thank you for the pure joy you have brought to many of us!

      The final medal table looks like this:

      Top 20 countries from 2012 London Paralympics
      RANK   COUNTRY    GOLD    SILVER    BRONZE    TOTAL

      1         China              95            71           65            231
      2         Russia             36           38            28            102
      3         GB                   34           43            43            120
      4         Ukraine           32           24            28             84
      5         Australia         32           23            30             85
      6         USA                 31           29            38             98
      7         Brazil               21           14            8              43

      From the BBC (rest of the top twenty is here:

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/disability-sport/19083815

      Roll on RIO!

      Edit:  Can't believe I just spent ages typing that out HTH and you beat me to it with a much better-looking post!   :f_doh:
      HeighwayToHeaven
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      Re: Paralympics 2012
      Reply #105: Sep 09, 2012 06:26:50 pm
      The actions over for another four years :(

      What a couple of weeks we have been treated to though!

      Congrats to Dave Weir on his GOLD medal and to Shelly Woods on her SILVER medal in their respective marathons earlier today!

      Congrats to China for an awesome games, they were so strong over so many different events, and congrats to Russia who pipped GB to second by two golds.  Congrats to GB, bloody brilliant in front of their home crowd!  And congratualtions to ALL the athletes involved, and a huge thank you for the pure joy you have brought to many of us!

      The final medal table looks like this:

      Top 20 countries from 2012 London Paralympics
      RANK   COUNTRY    GOLD    SILVER    BRONZE    TOTAL

      1         China              95            71           65            231
      2         Russia             36           38            28            102
      3         GB                   34           43            43            120
      4         Ukraine           32           24            28             84
      5         Australia         32           23            30             85
      6         USA                 31           29            38             98
      7         Brazil               21           14            8              43

      From the BBC (rest of the top twenty is here:

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/disability-sport/19083815

      Roll on RIO!

      Edit:  Can't believe I just spent ages typing that out HTH and you beat me to it with a much better-looking post!   :f_doh:

      Oops sorry.  :angel:

      I couldn't agree more with your summary of how it went. Feeling a little sad that it's all over but proud that we staged both a fantastic Olympics and Paralympics.

      As you say, roll on Rio!
      HeighwayToHeaven
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      Re: Paralympics 2012
      Reply #106: Sep 09, 2012 06:37:52 pm
      This video sums up the spirit of this special Summer:

      Party @ Olympic Park
      Frankly, Mr Shankly
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      Re: Paralympics 2012
      Reply #107: Sep 09, 2012 07:11:10 pm
      The actions over for another four years :(

      What a couple of weeks we have been treated to though!

      Congrats to Dave Weir on his GOLD medal and to Shelly Woods on her SILVER medal in their respective marathons earlier today!

      Congrats to China for an awesome games, they were so strong over so many different events, and congrats to Russia who pipped GB to second by two golds.  Congrats to GB, bloody brilliant in front of their home crowd!  And congratualtions to ALL the athletes involved, and a huge thank you for the pure joy you have brought to many of us!

      The final medal table looks like this:

      Top 20 countries from 2012 London Paralympics
      RANK   COUNTRY    GOLD    SILVER    BRONZE    TOTAL

      1         China              95            71           65            231
      2         Russia             36           38            28            102
      3         GB                   34           43            43            120
      4         Ukraine           32           24            28             84
      5         Australia         32           23            30             85
      6         USA                 31           29            38             98
      7         Brazil               21           14            8              43

      From the BBC (rest of the top twenty is here:

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/disability-sport/19083815

      Roll on RIO!

      Edit:  Can't believe I just spent ages typing that out HTH and you beat me to it with a much better-looking post!   :f_doh:

      Awesome. Just one last ceremony to go!
      whyohwhyohwhy
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      Re: Paralympics 2012
      Reply #108: Sep 09, 2012 08:43:24 pm


      Russia finally overtook GB at the death, but third place in the final medals table is still a great achievement.

      Re your last post, haha!  No worries, you little monkey angel ;)

      An interesting comparison, the 2008 medal table from wiki:

      List of medal-winning NPCs, showing the number of gold, silver, and bronze medals won
      Rank    NPC    Gold   Silver   Bronze   Total
      1*    CHN  89   70   52   211
      2    GBR   42   29   31   102
      3    USA   36   35   28   99
      4    UKR   24   18   32   74
      5    AUS   23   29   27   79
      6    RSA   21   3   6   30
      7    CAN   19   10   21   50
      8    RUS   18   23   22   63
      9    BRA   16   14   17   47
      10    ESP   15   21   22   58
      11    GER   14   25   20   59

      China aside, it's good to see a lot of the other nations being more competitive.  GB might not of got so many golds as last time but we medalled in so many different sports.  Previous gold medalists weren't able to defend their titles, so we have up-and-coming youngsters, as do Russia, Ukraine, Australia, USA and China.  AND Ireland!  What a games they had!  Some of the best ever paralympic performances ever!

      Ah well, all good things come to an end, got the closing ceremony on now, looking forward to the paraorchestra!
      12    FRA   12   21   19   52
      13    KOR   10   8   13   31
      14    MEX 10   3   7   20
      15    TUN   9   9   3   21
      16    CZE   6   3   18   27
      17    JAP   5   14   8   27
      18    POL 5   12   13   30
      19    NED   5   10   7   22
      20    GRE   5   9   10   24
      Frankly, Mr Shankly
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      Re: Paralympics 2012
      Reply #109: Sep 09, 2012 09:48:23 pm
      Very colourful closing ceremony!
      HeighwayToHeaven
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      Re: Paralympics 2012
      Reply #110: Sep 10, 2012 01:37:12 am
      Goodbye to Britain's golden summer
      Sunday night saw the end of London's extraordinary Games. It was a time in which Britain was forced to look in the mirror – and saw something it rather liked, writes Jonathan Freedland


       
      Fireworks light up the stadium during the closing ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

      The fire is out. The flame that lit up London for the best part of six golden weeks has flickered its last, extinguished in a closing ceremony that brought an end to the Paralympic Games and so to Britain's Olympic summer. Sunday night marked the end of a season of wonder that seemed to surprise the hosts as much as the guests, a period where we looked in the mirror and were met by an unexpected reflection – one we rather liked.

      The end came in an extravaganza of fire and light that deployed the now-familiar London 2012 combination of the surreal and the spectacular. The athletes paraded and a member of the royal family made a grand entrance – Prince Edward this time – but so too did a motorcade of steampunk vehicles that were part Terry Gilliam, part Heath Robinson, interspersed with dancers in gorgeous costumes and performers doing wild stunts, all backed by the reliable stadium-rock of Coldplay. The audience may not have divined a clear storyline, but it hardly mattered. They wanted to drink in the spirit of London 2012 while they still could, as if they were catching the last rays of a summer sun that had warmed them so well.

      And so concluded what was surely the most successful Paralympic Games since the first such competition – an archery contest among 16 disabled war veterans staged at Stoke Mandeville hospital on 28 July 1948, the opening day of the last London Olympics. This time, 64 years later, athletes competed in venues that were uniformly packed, stadiums as full as those at the Olympics a fortnight earlier thanks to a record-smashing advance sale of more than 2.4m tickets.

      The result was what the sociologists call an "educable moment" for the people of this country on a topic that for many has been barely visible and rarely discussed. The subject is disability, more complicated than anything thrown up by the Olympics, but revealed in a new light by the events of the past 10 days.

      The Paralympic purists would rather we didn't labour the point, preferring our focus to be on the Games as elite sport, no more and no less. The media manual from the British Paralympic Association instructed journalists: "Anything specifically relating to, or focusing on, an elite athlete's impairment is generally considered unnecessary."

      Plenty of those who got hooked would agree, noting that after an initial adjustment, spectators and TV viewers did indeed start watching the Paralympics the way they watched any other sport, rooting for the home team, willing them to victory.

      Those who made the stadium roar on Thursday night for David Weir, Hannah Cockroft and Jonnie Peacock were cheering the way they had for Mo Farah, Jessica Ennis and Greg Rutherford on that super Saturday night in August: for supreme athletes of strength, power and grace. But there was more to it than that, a fact acknowledged night after night by Channel 4's much-admired The Last Leg, fronted by Adam Hills, an Australian comic with a prosthetic limb.

      In his closing show he recalled how the production team had regularly downed tools to marvel at, say, a one-legged athlete doing the long jump. The fact the competitor had only one leg was central to the wonder of the feat.

      The serially decorated equestrian Lee Pearson said as much when, ahead of these Games, he called on his fellow Paralympians and Games organisers to be less reticent about their impairments. "Let's be interested in that," he said. "If I watch disabled sport, you're intrigued about who is disabled, what's wrong with them and how it affects them in their sport and in their daily lives."

      If the choice is between emphasis on sport or on disability, perhaps the breathtaking sights on display over the last week and a half suggest an answer: both. For integral to all sport is the notion of physical endeavour within specific constraints, either of time or under the rules: what can a gymnast do on a wooden beam only 10cm thick, how many goals can a team score in 90 minutes? In Paralympic sports there are all the usual constraints and then an extra one: how fast can a man or woman run with this or that impairment? But the principle – maximum effort within fixed parameters – is the same.

      What many millions now know is that this produces not a lesser form of sport but, in many cases, sport of a more intense kind. If part of the appeal of watching rugby is witnessing the physical courage of players ready to throw their bodies in front of danger, then how much more thrilling is wheelchair rugby, a game that relies on the aggression and recklessness of athletes ready to slam deliberately into an opponent, even though that might mean one or both of them tipping out of a wheelchair? The stakes are higher.

      When Belgium took on Sweden on Wednesday, I gasped along with the rest of the spectators as a player was sprung from his chair and left sprawling on the ground. I assumed paramedics, or at least a couple of physios, would rush on to the indoor court to help him up. But there was no rush. Two officials conferred, debating not the player's wellbeing but whether his team had earned a penalty. The issue was sport, not disability. No wonder they call it murderball.

      Similarly defining of elite sport is the display of awesome skill. No one could watch Brazil versus Argentina in the five-a-side blind football without dropping their jaw at the players' close control of the ball, precise and delicate. Such control was outstanding in itself, but in those who could not see it was little short of incredible.

      And if team sports show off the human capacity for co-operation, then that's true of the Paralympics writ large. Plenty of people loved the sight of Katherine Grainger and Anna Watkins rowing in tandem to win Olympic gold.

      But it was deeply, unexpectedly moving to witness blind runners circling the track, each one linked to a guide, who matched them stride for stride; to see goalball teams, each player blind, emerging into the arena in single file, their hands touching the shoulder of the athlete in front; to see those Brazilian and Argentinian footballers, forced to resolve their deadlocked match by a penalty shootout, helped by a coach first tapping on each goalpost, the sound guiding them towards the target. This was humanity at its best, working together to achieve what would be impossible alone.

      The world records might not be the same as those of their non-disabled fellow athletes, the times they run not as fast. But if sport is often a blend of courage, skill and teamwork then the Paralympics are sport all right – only more so. The name Paralympics hardly does the event justice: they are not to the Olympics what a paralegal is to a lawyer. In some ways, they are a more extreme version: they are the ultra-Olympics. But they are also the antidote to that Leni Riefenstahl strain of Olympianism, the cult of the body perfect which reached its climax in the 1936 Berlin Games. How appropriate that those first Stoke Mandeville Games were invented by Dr Ludwig Guttmann, a German-Jewish refugee from Nazism and its pursuit of a world free of both Jews and disabled people. For the Paralympics are the cult of the body imperfect, an insistence that even a flawed body can be glorious.

      All of this has been an education for the host nation. Irene Oldham, 72 and using a wheelchair to get around the Olympic Park, told me she had grown used to people's embarrassment around disability. But the past 10 days had been different. "It's been an eye-opener, even for children. They're saying 'I can't believe they're doing this. They can do better than we can'."

      Nearby was the Nicholl family, including 10-year-old Jake, who admitted he was "a bit freaked out at first" by the sight of athletes missing an arm or a leg, but who now found the sport even more exciting than the Olympics.

      The shift was noticeable in the Park. If, say, an amputee in team colours went by in a wheelchair, heads would turn. Not because they were gawping at someone with a disability, but in case they'd spotted a Paralympic celebrity. They didn't want to stare; they wanted an autograph. Disabled people have long reported being ignored, mocked or even abused in the streets, talked down to or just not seen – but for 10 days, when Cockroft or Weir raced in speed wheelchairs that gleamed like ancient chariots, 80,000 people hailed them as heroes. As Sebastian Coe said in a short, pitch-perfect speech last night: "We will never think of disability the same way."

      And this has not all been reverence of the familiar, triumph-over-tragedy variety (though there has been some of that). Instead these disabled athletes have been revealed in the same multiple shades as any other group of hyper-competitive super-achievers. Whether it was cyclist Jody Cundy turning the air blue with rage after he was disqualified or Oscar Pistorius being a sore loser in the 200m T44 race, it confirmed that Paralympian is not a synonym for saint – that a disabled person is also capable, as the Last Leg put it, of "being a n*b."

      If patriotism is self-congratulation on a collective scale, then Britain has good reason to feel patriotic. For we embraced these Paralympic Games as no other nation has. The venues were packed, that 2.4m figure five times as large as the 480,000 advance tickets sold in Beijing in 2008. The difference in treatment has been visible in media coverage too. In Britain it's been wall-to-wall on Channel 4 and with big, poster-style front pages on many of the newspapers. In the US the rights-holding network NBC has not covered the Paralympics at all, save for an hour or two on a niche cable station and a planned 90-minute "special" to be aired next weekend.

      Campaigners will say we should not pat ourselves on the back too warmly. Discrimination against the disabled is real and has not gone away deepened by benefits cuts; access in parts of London is still awful; there is even a risk that people might judge those disabled people not capable of swimming like Ellie Simmonds or cycling like Sarah Storey even more harshly, castigating them for not pushing themselves harder.

      All that is true. And yet if staging a global event such as the Olympics and Paralympics is a test for a nation, then it is one Britain can justly consider itself to have passed and passed with distinction. These Games were efficient and well-run, lifted by 70,000 dedicated, welcoming volunteers. They showed a nation ready to cherish all its citizens, black and white, male and female, born here or born elsewhere and – we now know – disabled and not. For so long, it has been said that Britain is a conservative country. Well, the last six weeks, which began with an opening ceremony celebrating Britain as a place of social revolution, say otherwise.

      Of course we're not perfect. But if the Paralympic Games have taught us anything, it is that perfect is not everything. Leonard Cohen did not perform in the ceremony, though as it happens he was in concert in London at the very same time.

      One of his songs would have fitted neatly as an anthem for the Paralympic ideal, for it is a hymn to imperfection. "Forget your perfect offering," he sings. "There is a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in."

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2012/sep/09/britain-paralympics?CMP=twt_gu

      Brilliant piece.  :gt-happyup:
      Frankly, Mr Shankly
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      Re: Paralympics 2012
      Reply #111: Sep 10, 2012 10:20:37 pm
      Olympics 2012 parade: One last hurrah and then, like the summer, it was all over too soon

      One last hurrah echoed through the capital and the nation, then, like that great British summer of sport, it was all over too soon .

      By Bryony Gordon




      And so, for one last time, the wall of noise that has come to define these Games swept through London.

      It started at Mansion House, the 30-deep crowd erupting as soon as they glimpsed the Mobot on the first of 21 floats packed with Olympians and Paralympians. It carried on past St Paul’s, where spectators swooned at Jessica Ennis and David Weir, and it flowed down Fleet Street, cheers ringing out every time Ellie Simmonds smiled.

      Onwards the roar went, past the Royal Courts of Justice and along a Strand swollen with families and gamesmakers and office workers who had popped out for sandwiches and instead encountered Sarah Storey. Even tourists had joined in the celebration.

      Near Trafalgar Square, where the wall of noise originated just over seven years ago on that historic day that it was announced that the 2012 Games were ours, all ours, it came full circle. The clock that counted down the agonisingly long months and weeks until the start of the London Olympics now simply – sadly – told us the time and the date, the whole thing over too soon.

      The great British public swarmed around the plinths and Nelson’s Column and watched as almost 800 members of our greatest team passed through Admiralty Arch and on to The Mall, where 14,000 volunteers and schoolchildren, specially invited by the Mayor’s office, whooped with delight as the likes of Greg Rutherford and Tom Daley held up handwritten signs that proclaimed: “No, thank YOU!”

      The sound wasn’t as fast as it was in the Velodrome, or as urgent as it was in the Olympic Stadium – it took over an hour and a half for the 21-float procession to travel the three miles of the Victory Parade, which is slow, even by London rush hour standards – but it was far more poignant.

      Because, as the athletes disembarked from their floats and on to the Queen Victoria Memorial, we heard that now familiar roar for the final time. London may have seen celebrations before – in the last 18 months alone we have been treated to the royal wedding and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee – but it has never experienced one quite like this.

       David Cameron described it as “a great British summer that will be remembered for hundreds of years to come”, and even if the Prime Minister is relegated to the footnotes of the history books, at least these words might stand a chance of being repeated by generation after generation, when they speak of the great London Olympics of 2012.

      Cameron and Boris Johnson waved as enthusiastically at the floats as everyone else. “You not only inspired a generation,” Boris would later tell the athletes, “but you probably helped create one as well.”

      On the Queen Victoria Memorial, where the athletes stood in bitter autumnal wind, the mayor acknowledged that they had been sporting in more ways than one. “You have been on floats all afternoon without being able to touch a drop of beer,” he said, to laughs. “You brought this country together. You routed the doubters and you scattered the gloomsters

      for the first time in living memory, you caused Tube passengers to break into spontaneous conversation about subjects other than their trod-on toes.”

      And though you might think that the athletes would be used to adoring crowds by now, they still seemed overwhelmed by all the attention from the million-strong assembly.

      Victoria Pendleton, retiring from cycling and soon to be seen on Strictly Come Dancing, said that the day had been “emotional”. “It makes me feel so proud to be British. We did such a good job of hosting the Games.”

      Sir Chris Hoy said he had taken “a whole battery’s worth of pictures on my iPhone … after the Beijing Olympics we had a pretty good reception, a pretty exceptional reception, but this is on a different scale. There are people hanging off the tops of roofs, out of windows and climbing lamp posts. It’s just a sea of red, white and blue. It’s incredible.”

      A flypast featured the Red Arrows who were led by Firefly, the gold BA airliner that had transported the Olympic flame to Britain all those months ago.

       Yesterday the words 'THANK YOU’ had been painted on its undercarriage, for all of London to see. And that was important to the athletes, who didn’t want this parade to simply be a celebration of their achievements, however wonderful they were. They wanted it to be a way of expressing gratitude to the public, from the thousands of gamesmakers lining the Mall to the office workers back at Mansion House.

      “We want to thank every single person of the UK,” said Sarah Storey, “Without your support, we wouldn’t have been able to bring back that bling.” Sir Chris Hoy said that the parade “isn’t about us – it’s about the public.” But it was Katherine Grainger, veteran of four Olympic games, who summed up the mood of our greatest team. “On days like today,” she smiled, “you realise you’re not simply celebrating the British team. You realise you are celebrating the whole nation.”

      On the Queen Victoria Memorial, performances were given by the Pet Shop Boys and the scottish singer Amy Macdonald. It was rumoured that Cheryl Cole was the standby should any of the artists pull out.

       But standing there, you wondered why any of them were needed in the first place. Given the magic of the opening and closing ceremonies, and the wonder of the last six weeks – the athletes, Paralympians, volunteers and public locked in an emotional embrace that no one wanted to end – it was unlikely anybody had turned up to the Victory parade to hear pop music.

      And yet the last words of the Olympics and Paralympics went to an indie band called the Noisettes, who performed on the memorial as streamers flew through the sky. And then the crowds drifted away, the wall of noise nothing but ringing in their ears.

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/olympics/news/9534440/Olympics-2012-parade-One-last-hurrah-and-then-like-the-summer-it-was-all-over-too-soon.html


      Posted this in the Olympics thread as well. Lovely article!
      HeighwayToHeaven
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      • Don't buy The Sun
      Re: Paralympics 2012
      Reply #112: Sep 10, 2012 11:56:26 pm
      ^^^ Great article.

      What a Summer it has been. I'll never forget it.
      gareth g
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      Re: Paralympics 2012
      Reply #113: Sep 11, 2012 12:02:21 am
      ^^^ Great article.

      What a Summer it has been. I'll never forget it.
      Must agree mate what a fantastic Olympics and Paralympics , well done team GB.
       
      Frankly, Mr Shankly
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      • YNWA
      Re: Paralympics 2012
      Reply #114: Sep 11, 2012 12:12:07 am
      Must agree mate what a fantastic Olympics and Paralympics , well done team GB.
       

      Agreed. It's almost as if the country had something of a relaunch and a facelift following these games. It's brilliant and the Union flag seems as significant as ever - all because of the efforts of the public and the sports people.

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