Troy Rawhiti-Forbes: Grand effort as London delivers on its promises

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Crowds of spectators the London 2012 Olympic Games. Photo / Mark Mitchell
Crowds of spectators the London 2012 Olympic Games. Photo / Mark Mitchell

Remove the bunting, pull down the signs, and shut off the lights. The Olympic Games are over. The biggest party on earth will give way to one almighty, but very happy hangover.

It is hard to choose stand-out moments; there has been no shortage of them, and the ones that will last the longest for me aren't necessarily the ones tinged with gold.

After the men's 4x100m relay final, the Trinidad & Tobago team walked past the media perch, subdued after their fourth placing. Three members made their way up the stands, Ade Alleyne-Forte lagged behind.

Then came the drama. The official results were fed into the stadium display, and third-placed Canada had been disqualified. Alleyne-Forte, still standing in the gangway, glanced over his shoulder and realised the truth.

Jumping, shouting, and pointing at the big screen, the sprinter called for the attention of his teammates, each of them an unwitting bronze medallist.

They came down in a rush and gathered on the track to pray as the Canadians, victims of lane violations, struggled to contain their emotions.

Sarah Walker, New Zealand's BMX silver medallist, was mobbed when she visited a local shopping mall only hours after claiming her prize. People had little idea of who she was or what she did, but the medal drew them in like children to an icecream truck. The young biker from Kawerau had gotten a taste of the public's respect for Olympic medallists, and realised the opportunity she had to use her success to inspire others.

Then there are those mighty Black Sticks. The Kiwi hockey women will leave London without a medal, but after holding the dominant Dutch to a penalty shootout, they have given their international rivals something to think about. They never really recovered from the fatigue of that match, and they did well to hold off the British for as long as they did before penalties undid their bronze medal aspirations.

An investigation into what happened to Valerie Adams behind the scenes has taken away the consoling thought that on her best day, she could not have beaten Nadzeya Ostapchuk's gold medal throw. The taste that leaves is bitter.

So best to have something sweet: British pride and the long days of sunshine; Kiwi gold on the water at Eton Dorney; Mark Todd, the action hero.

The openness of these Games, with so many athletes being accessible online, has inspired more than a few people to consider taking up, or reconnecting with sport. Some dreams will fail to take form, and some will be carried all the way to the podium.

This city gleefully delivered on the good promises and calmly ignored the bad. The predicted transport chaos lasted only hours, and I would sooner take the tube than any other public commuter service I've ever used.

London has done well. Over to you, Rio.

TWEET OF THE DAY
Gold medallist and Olympic champion representing New Zealand ... That never gets old.

@beekaynz

- NZ Herald

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