In 2012 the world was set alight by the brilliance of the London Olympics. As a result we have a review post just for the 10 moments that set the London Olympics ablaze for us. So here are my ten favourite moments of the London Games.
10. Mo Farah double gold
Mo Farah was born in Somalia but now turns out for Great Britain. Although Mo was a favourite for the 5000m, but it was his 10 000m win that really rocked the crowds. It was Great Britains first ever 10 000m gold medal. His celebration with Usain Bolt was priceless as well.
9. Bridgitte Hartley surprise bronze
South Africa had an outstanding Olympics on / in water and that continued on National Womens day when relative unknown Bridgitte Hartley had one of the finest races of her career and stormed home to take the bronze medal. Bridgitte has since become a household name and we had the chance to chat to her earlier in the year.
8. Michael Phelps Record haul
Well many may debate who is the greatest Olympian of all time, Phelps made London 2012 won of the most memorable. His haul at London of 4 golds and 2 silvers took him to a total of 22 Olympic medals, the most in history. His gold medal haul of 18 medals is double the second highest total in Olympics.
7. Caster Semenya Silver
I think I was a little disappointed at Caster getting a silver as I banked on her being a gold. But putting my own expectations aside, the Limpopo darling has risen against the most difficult of hurdles in her career. From the gender jokes and the lack of direction from Athletics South Africa, Semenya still emerged as a serious contender and took home the silver medal in London.
6. Cameron van der Burgh Gold
Cameron was really our first shot at gold for South Africa in London and although many thought that he could go on and win it, he managed to deal with the nerves and give South Africa the golden start they needed. It is no coincidence that when South African swimmers do well at the Olympics, the nation does well and so Cameron had a lot of pressure on him, but still succeeded. The fact that he is a Gooner doesnt hurt either.
5. Oscar Pistorius competing in the Olympics
The standout memory of the London Games was the blade runner lining up in the 400m able-bodied race. The South African star captured the imagination, hearts when qualifying for the London games. The fact that he made the semi-final just topped it off in incredible fashion. Forget the drama of Dias in the Paralympics, Oscar Pistorius was the star of London.
4. Natalie du Toit finishing in a golden flutter
In the 2012 London Paralympic Games, South Africa’s golden girl once again captured gold. 3 golds in fact coupled with 1 silver. This took her total medal tally to 13 gold medals and 2 silver medals. Making her one of the 20 most successful Summer Paralympians of all time. The South African star has only garnered great interest and is probably one of the most respected athletes in the world. Sport will be a poorer place without her competing.
3. Oarsome Foursome with the surprise gold
Even the commentator couldnt believe it as he was cheering Australia on to their gold medal. Problem for him was that it was the South Africans that were winning not the Aussies. It was the best surprise for South Africans who thought we had an outside chance for winning a medal, but we won gold thanks to the most incredible race of the games. James Thompson, John Smith, Sizwe Ndlovu and Matthew Brittain were incredible in their display.
2. Usain Bolt Triple gold
There is no doubt in my mind that Usain Bolt is the greatest entertainer that the Athletics world has ever seen. In 6 Olympic events the brilliant Jamaican has won 6 gold medals. He became the first man in history to double defend the 100 and 200 m and he did this in the face of Yohann Blake, his training partner, closing the gap in incredible fashion. The lightning Bolt struck three times in the same place.
1. Chad le Clos beating Phelps
Few moments in the London games will be as emotional as the raw moment that Chad le Clos triumphed over his childhood hero Michael Phelps in one of the tightest races ever. His dad Bert says it best when he says “Unbelievable”. It was an incredible display of raw emotion and when Chad received his medal there would be very few dry eyes in South African eyes. That is why Chad is my moment of the Olympic in 2012.