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Olympic Glory

LIVE EVENT: Paralympics 2012 Athletics
LIVE EVENT: Paralympics 2012 Athletics

Last night, I attended the evening Athletics session at the Olympic Stadium to see the climax of what was aptly named 'Thriller Thursday'. Before I had even arrived at the Olympic Park there was already an incredible buzz surrounding the events that would take place that night and especially the T44 100m final. A few weeks ago, when I purchased my ticket for this session, I'll admit that I was excited to see Oscar Pistorius win a gold medal at London 2012. It wasn't to be. Instead, Thursday evening gave the British public a night to remember. Our three protagonists, Hannah Cockroft, David Weir and Jonnie Peacock all took gold and sent the 80 000 strong crowd into a frenzy. First, it was the turn of Hannah Cockroft, the 20-year old from Halifax. As she was poised at the start for the T34 200m final, the crowd were expectant. She had dominated in the heats, was the outright favourite and the race did not disappoint. Cockroft lead from the start and as the crowd stood in admiration, she stretched out way ahead of her competitors before crossing the finishing line. Her performance was both spectacular and imperious and stands on its own as one of the sporting moments of these games. Yet, this special night had only just begun.   There is not much more that David Weir can do to become a national hero after these Paralympics. He secured his third Paralympic gold of London 2012 in style. Staying close behind Zhang Lixin for much of the race, the 'Weir Wolf' was spurred on by the wall of noise from eager spectators as he came into the home straight. At this point, the crowd had reached full voice and the British star managed to take the lead and grit his teeth up to the finish line. His image in victory will surely be one of the most iconic of London 2012. So, two GB athletes had already thrilled the British fans but there was still one race to come, the T44 men's 100m final. With Bolt, Blake and Gay out of sight it was time for Jonnie Peacock to battle against the dominant Oscar Pistorius and the American Richard Browne. After a false start from the 200m champion Alan Oliveira, whose win caused the now infamous outburst from Pistorius a few days ago, the whole stadium was heard chanting Peacock's name. The starting gun fired and he burst through the field in 10.9 seconds, a new Paralympic record. Pistorius missed out on a medal as he finished in fourth and it seemed that Britain had found a worthy successor.   For those who were in the stadium, it was unforgettable. I think that last night typified the Paralympic spirit that we have seen from spectators at London 2012. The positive atmosphere was what I had expected, as the audience clearly respected the achievement of each and every athlete that competed in that stadium. ...

London 2012: Olympic moments
London 2012: Olympic moments

It is hard to believe that London 2012 has already had two full days of Olympic competition and the special memories are already being made. Here are my personal favourites so far: Archery The Italian men's team recorded a dramatic victory against the United States in the final of the Archery on Saturday afternoon. Their first day triumph ended in dramatic fashion as the result came down to the final shot. Having lead by four points for most of the final, the Italians' advantage was narrowed by a determined American team who finished on 219 points. With a four second countdown until the end of the match Michele Frangilli knew that ten points were needed from their last arrow. Looking calm and composed in his unconventional pose he released the final arrow. It landed on the line, but that did not matter as Italy had won the Olympic gold medal. The match winner Frangilli showed nerves of steel throughout but the emotions of the whole team bubbled over once victory was decided. It was a bitterly disappointing result for the USA team, who had great hopes coming into these games. Yet, a silver medal can not be seen as a major failure. ...

Olympic Glory: Abebe Bikila
Olympic Glory: Abebe Bikila

Friday 27th July 2012. A date to remember. It has been a fifty-four year wait for London and now the Olympic opening ceremony is only hours away; the world waits in anticipation for the greatest sporting spectacle of all. If you are one of the many fans hoping for time to pass quickly so that the ceremony can begin, here's a story to inspire you all. When I sat down to watch The Athlete (2009), a film that depicts the life of the Ethiopian marathon runner Abebe Bikila, I knew that the two-time Olympic gold medalist would have an incredible sporting story to tell but his remarkable personal tale should inspire us all. ...

The men’s 100m at London 2012
The men’s 100m at London 2012

Usain Bolt's failure to win both the 100m and 200m finals at the Jamaican Olympic trials last week has become a major talking point in world athletics. The hero of the 2008 Beijing Olympics was completely outclassed by his Jamaican teammate Yohan Blake, who was the victor in both events. The prospect of an Olympic upset is being discussed among fans and critics alike. Alarm bells are ringing. However, the regular followers of Bolt will know that he likes to save his best form for the biggest stage. The 100m world record holder will be looking to run significantly faster than 9.86 seconds when he lines up to start in London. There is no doubt that Bolt's attempts to break the world record again will be grabbing all of the headlines before the start of the games. However, with Yohan Blake recording a time of 9.75, the fastest time this year, the 100m final could be the most closely contested and fastest final ever seen at a major championships. At 22 years of age, Blake looks ready to stamp his authority amongst the sprinting elite. His rise to the top would not surprise those who have followed him closely. Now the fourth fastest man ever, he still holds the record as the youngest sprinter to run under 10 seconds, which he completed at 19 years and 196 days. ...

Countdown to London 2012: 100 days to go
Countdown to London 2012: 100 days to go

With only 100 days to go until the Olympic games begin Play with Flair is celebrating this milestone by looking back 100 years to the Olympic games in Stockholm 1912. This was the first Olympic games where competitors from all five continents were represented but this was not the only new inclusion there. Stockholm also introduced much of the techonology that we now take for granted including the first use of the photo finish. ...