For two weeks the world stopped to watch the Olympic Games of 2012. Throughout 16 days of intense competition, passion, laughter, cheers and tears, thousands of athletes gathered in London, United Kingdom, hoping to achieve Olympic glory and go “Faster, Higher, Stronger[1].

We were left in awe as we witnessed Michael Phelps achieving his amazing record of 22 medals (even though some are questioning whether he will lose his London 2012 medals over an advertising row), amazed when Usain Bolt did it again (the first athlete ever to defend Olympic titles in 100m, 200m and 4x100m), impressed with the quality of the British athletes who clearly benefitted from the home games to score a decent amount of medals (among these Mo Farrah, Bradley Wiggins, Jessica Ennis and Chris Hoy as the most shining stars).

London was transformed into the biggest athletic grounds in the world and provided us with a great show where sports and sightseeing combined to provide us with the perfect scenery for greatness to be won, legends to be made, glory to be shared.

For many, the opening and closing ceremonies were the highlight of the fortnight. As we cruised past the recent British history, achievements and music, the games that belonged to everyone were also, above all, the UK games, boosting British pride to unprecedented levels.

These were also the games of paradox. Amidst a growing financial and economic crisis these were the most expensive games ever. Some are left wondering how the UK could host such an expensive event while poverty and unemployment is in the rise in the islands.

Above all, these were complete games, filled with controversy (like the exclusion in the badminton event), financial questions, sportive success, excessive security, the emergence of legends, new world and Olympic records, action for all tastes, and in the end a successful story of well-organized games that left us all dreaming of Rio 2016 as the flame went out on the 12th of August 2012.

However, London has not bid farewell to the Olympic flame and spirit yet. The Paralympic games are right around the corner, starting on the 29th August 2012, and promise to be as inspiring, successful and passionate as ever!

by João Salviano Carmo

[1] The Olympic motto

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