Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 28 December 2014

Editor's Viewpoint: Olympic memories will live forever

Fireworks during the closing ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic games, London PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday August 12, 2012. See PA story OLYMPICS Ceremony. Photo credit should read: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
RETRANSMITTED CORRECTING BYLINEA general view as the fireworks signal the end of the London 2012 Olympics at packed Olympic Stadium in Stratford east London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday August 12, 2012. Photo credit should read: John Stillwell/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Fireworks light up the sky over the Olympic Stadium and the Orbit during the closing ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics Games. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday August 12, 2012. See PA story OLYMPICS Ceremony. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
The Olympic Flame is extinguished during the London Olympic Games 2012 Closing Ceremony at the Olympic Stadium, London. RESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday August 12, 2012. See PA story Olympics . Photo credit should read: David Davies/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
The Olympic Stadium in London for the closing ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday August 12, 2012. See PA story OLYMPICS Ceremony. Photo credit should read: Julien Behal/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
The Olympic flame is lowered The London Olympic Games 2012 Closing Ceremony at the Olympic Stadium, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday 12 August 2012. See PA story OLYMPICS Ceremony. Photo credit should read: Nick Potts/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
The London Olympic Games 2012 Closing Ceremony at the Olympic Stadium, London. RESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday August 12, 2012. See PA story Olympics . Photo credit should read: David Davies/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
The Duchess of Cambridge with Prince Harry by her side the end of the London 2012 Olympics at packed Olympic Stadium in Stratford east London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday August 12, 2012. Photo credit should read: John Stillwell/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Fireworks over the Olympic Stadium and Orbit during the closing ceremony at the Olympic Park PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday August 12, 2012. See PA story OLYMPICS Ceremony. Photo credit should read: Mike Egerton/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
RETRANSMITTED CORRECTING BYLINEA general view as the fireworks during the closing ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics at packed Olympic Stadium in Stratford east London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday August 12, 2012. Photo credit should read: John Stillwell/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
A general view as the fireworks during the closing ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics at packed Olympic Stadium in Stratford east London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday August 12, 2012. Photo credit should read: Tim Ireland/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
The Olympic Flame is lowered during the London Olympic Games 2012 Closing Ceremony at the Olympic Stadium, London. RESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday August 12, 2012. See PA story Olympics . Photo credit should read: David Davies/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
The Olympic Flame is lowered during the London Olympic Games 2012 Closing Ceremony at the Olympic Stadium, London. RESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday August 12, 2012. See PA story Olympics . Photo credit should read: David Davies/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
The Olympic Flame is lowered during the London Olympic Games 2012 Closing Ceremony at the Olympic Stadium, London. RESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday August 12, 2012. See PA story Olympics . Photo credit should read: David Davies/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Fireworks during the closing ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic games, London PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday August 12, 2012. See PA story OLYMPICS Ceremony. Photo credit should read: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Fireworks light up the sky over the Olympic Stadium and the Orbit during the closing ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics Games. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday August 12, 2012. See PA story OLYMPICS Ceremony. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Dancers from Brazil perform during the London Olympic Games 2012 Closing Ceremony at the Olympic Stadium, London. RESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday August 12, 2012. See PA story Olympics . Photo credit should read: David Davies/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Dancers from Brazil perform during the London Olympic Games 2012 Closing Ceremony at the Olympic Stadium, London. RESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday August 12, 2012. See PA story Olympics . Photo credit should read: David Davies/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Dancers from Brazil perform during the London Olympic Games 2012 Closing Ceremony at the Olympic Stadium, London. RESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday August 12, 2012. See PA story Olympics . Photo credit should read: David Davies/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Dancing street sweeper Renato Sorriso of Brazil performs during the London Olympic Games 2012 Closing Ceremony at the Olympic Stadium, London. RESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday August 12, 2012. See PA story Olympics . Photo credit should read: David Davies/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Dancers from Brazil perform during the London Olympic Games 2012 Closing Ceremony at the Olympic Stadium, London. RESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday August 12, 2012. See PA story Olympics . Photo credit should read: David Davies/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
London Mayor Boris Johnson (left) hands the Olympic Flag to IOC President Jacques Rogge during the Olympic Games Closing Ceremony at the Olympic Stadium, London
Entertainment during the Olympic Games Closing Ceremony at the Olympic Stadium, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday August 12, 2012. See PA story OLYMPICS Ceremony. Photo credit should read: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
To mark the end of the London 2012 Olympic Games, EDF Energy have lit up the EDF Energy London Eye, County Hall and Shell Building on London's Southbank. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday August 12, 2012. There will continue to be a nightly lightshow on the EDF Energy London Eye throughout the Paralympics (29 August Ð 9 September 2012); powered by London 2012 tweets, the lightshow on the landmark reflects how positive the nation is feeling about the Paralympic Games www.edfenergyofthenation.com Photo credit should read: Matt Alexander/PA Wire
The closing ceremony for the London 2012 Olympics at the Olympic Stadium in London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday August 12, 2012. Photo credit should read: Tim Ireland/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
A general view the Spice Girls performing at the closing ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics at packed Olympic Stadium in Stratford east London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday August 12, 2012. Photo credit should read: John Stillwell/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 12: Musician Annie Lennox performs during the Closing Ceremony on Day 16 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 12, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 12: A general view of the Olympic Cauldron during the Closing Ceremony on Day 16 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 12, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 12: George Michael performs during the Closing Ceremony on Day 16 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 12, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 12: Band One Direction perform during the Closing Ceremony on Day 16 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 12, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 12: A general view of the stadium during the Closing Ceremony on Day 16 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 12, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 12: Suggs and Madness perform during the Closing Ceremony on Day 16 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 12, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 12: Dancers perform during the Closing Ceremony on Day 16 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 12, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 12: The flags of the competing nations are paraded through the stadium during the Closing Ceremony on Day 16 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 12, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 12: Lee Thompson of Madness performs during the Closing Ceremony on Day 16 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 12, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 12: A general view of the Victoria park and the BT observation wheel close to the Olympic park during the closing ceremony of the 2012 London Olympic Games on August 12, 2012 in London, England. Athletes, heads of state and dignitaries from around the world have gathered in the Olympic Stadium for the closing ceremony of the 30th Olympiad. (Photo by Christof Koepsel/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 12: Athletes gather in the centre of the stadium during the Closing Ceremony on Day 16 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 12, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 12: The Olympic Cauldron burns in front of the Olympic rings during the Closing Ceremony on Day 16 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 12, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Feng Li/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 12: Actor Timothy Spall plays the part of Winston Churchill during the Closing Ceremony on Day 16 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 12, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 12: Model Lily Cole poses during the Closing Ceremony on Day 16 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 12, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 12: Victoria Beckham of the Spice Girls performs during the Closing Ceremony on Day 16 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 12, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 12: Geri Halliwell of Spice Girls performs during the Closing Ceremony on Day 16 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 12, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 12: Musician Jessie J performs during the Closing Ceremony on Day 16 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 12, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 12: Taio Cruz performs during the Closing Ceremony on Day 16 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 12, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 12: Russell Brand performs during the Closing Ceremony on Day 16 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 12, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 12: Jessie J performs during the Closing Ceremony on Day 16 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 12, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 12: Musician Annie Lennox performs during the Closing Ceremony on Day 16 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 12, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 12: A general view of the stadium during the Closing Ceremony on Day 16 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 12, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 12: The France team parade through the stadium during the Closing Ceremony on Day 16 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 12, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 12: British supermodel Lily Donaldson during the Closing Ceremony on Day 16 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 12, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 12: The France team parade throught he stadium during the Closing Ceremony on Day 16 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 12, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 12: Model Kate Moss performs during the Closing Ceremony on Day 16 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 12, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
The Spice Girls perform during the Olympic Games Closing Ceremony at the Olympic Stadium, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday August 12, 2012. See PA story OLYMPICS Ceremony. Photo credit should read: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
The Spice Girls perform during the closing ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic games, London PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday August 12, 2012. See PA story OLYMPICS Ceremony. Photo credit should read: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
The Closing Ceremony at the Olympic Stadium, on the final day of the London 2012 Olympics. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday August 12, 2012. Photo credit should read: Julien Behal/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Pet Shop Boys perform during The London Olympic Games 2012 Closing Ceremony at the Olympic Stadium, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday 12 August 2012. See PA story OLYMPICS Ceremony. Photo credit should read: Nick Potts/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Mods during the Closing Ceremony at the Olympic Stadium, on the final day of the London 2012 Olympics. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday August 12, 2012. Photo credit should read: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Norman Cook a.k.a. Fatboy Slim performs during the London Olympic Games 2012 Closing Ceremony at the Olympic Stadium, London. RESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday August 12, 2012. See PA story Olympics . Photo credit should read: David Davies/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
George Michael performs during the London Olympic Games 2012 Closing Ceremony at the Olympic Stadium, London. RESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday August 12, 2012. See PA story Olympics . Photo credit should read: David Davies/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 12: Eric Idle performs during the Closing Ceremony on Day 16 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 12, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 12: Norman Cook aka Fatboy Slim performs during the Closing Ceremony on Day 16 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 12, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 12: Norman Cook aka Fatboy Slim performs during the Closing Ceremony on Day 16 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 12, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 12: Melanie Chisholm of The Spice Girls performs during the Closing Ceremony on Day 16 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 12, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Hannah Johnston/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 12: Emma Bunton of The Spice Girls performs during the Closing Ceremony on Day 16 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 12, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Hannah Johnston/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 12: Melanie Brown of The Spice Girls during the Closing Ceremony on Day 16 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 12, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Hannah Johnston/Getty Images)
Flag bearers during the Closing Ceremony at the Olympic Stadium, on the final day of the London 2012 Olympics. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday August 12, 2012. Photo credit should read: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Victoria Beckham of The Spice Girls performs during the closing ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic games, London PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday August 12, 2012. See PA story OLYMPICS Ceremony. Photo credit should read: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Russell Brand performs during the London Olympic Games 2012 Closing Ceremony at the Olympic Stadium, London. RESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday August 12, 2012. See PA story Olympics . Photo credit should read: David Davies/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Liam Gallagher performs during the Olympic Games Closing Ceremony at the Olympic Stadium, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday August 12, 2012. See PA story OLYMPICS Ceremony. Photo credit should read: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Liam Gallagher performs during the Olympic Games Closing Ceremony at the Olympic Stadium, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday August 12, 2012. See PA story OLYMPICS Ceremony. Photo credit should read: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
A human cannonball performs during the closing ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic games, London PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday August 12, 2012. See PA story OLYMPICS Ceremony. Photo credit should read: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
**EDITORS PLEASE NOTE A TILT SHIFT LENS HAS BEEN USED** The Olympic Stadium in London for the closing ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday August 12, 2012. See PA story OLYMPICS Ceremony. Photo credit should read: Julien Behal/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Madness perform at The Olympic Stadium in London for the closing ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday August 12, 2012. See PA story OLYMPICS Ceremony. Photo credit should read: Julien Behal/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
The Pet Shop Boys perform The Olympic Stadium in London for the closing ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday August 12, 2012. See PA story OLYMPICS Ceremony. Photo credit should read: Julien Behal/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Geri Halliwell (right) and Victoria Beckham of the Spice Girls performs during the Olympic Games Closing Ceremony at the Olympic Stadium, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday August 12, 2012. See PA story OLYMPICS Ceremony. Photo credit should read: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
The Spice Girls perform during the closing ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic games, London PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday August 12, 2012. See PA story OLYMPICS Ceremony. Photo credit should read: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY

Right to the very last day, the London 2012 Olympics continued to provide drama, passion, strong competition and the sporting excellence which have characterised one of the best - if not the best - Games for many decades.

The opening ceremony over two weeks ago set the tone with its brilliant creativity which led us all to hope that these would be particularly memorable Games, and so they have proved to be.

The sporting achievements have been outstanding, with world records beaten, and no quarter asked or given in a wide range of hard-fought but scrupulously fair contests.

There have been numerous unexpected triumphs, as well as stories of great personal disappointment and heartbreak. Iconic athletic figures such as Usain Bolt have once again demonstrated to a worldwide audience their unique and remarkable talents, while new champions such as Mo Farah, Jessica Ennis and others have now claimed their deserved place in sporting history.

Some nations were particularly successful, including Team GB with arguably its best performance, while Team Ireland is coming home with its greatest haul of medals since 1956.

However, the essence of the Olympic spirit should not be measured only in medals won or lost, but also by the honour of participating. Everyone who competed in the London Games has been an Olympian, and those who did manage to win medals as well can look back for a lifetime on their memorable individual achievements.

Despite the intense competition, it was heart-warming to witness the graciousness of the winners and losers, and also the deep emotions that drove everyone to give of their uttermost. The Olympians have much to teach other sports, and not least the cynical, greedy and egotistical world of professional football, which still has a great deal to learn about true sporting values.

The Olympic spirit was also embraced by the many others who helped to make the Games such a success. These included the organisers, the ever- cheerful volunteers, the servicemen and women who were drafted in at the last minute to help with security, and most importantly the huge audiences who demonstrated such enthusiasm and support.

It is also important to underline that the competitors from both parts of this island brought great honour to themselves.

The Northern Ireland contingent on Team GB and Team Ireland acquitted themselves well, and they deserve praise. A collective haul of five Olympic medals from five Northern Ireland individuals is no mean feat.

Nothing could be more fitting, therefore, than a joint parade through Belfast for all our Olympians, and there is no doubt that people from all backgrounds would turn out to support them in the true Olympic spirit of admiration for their personal and collective achievements. London 2012 has gone, but the memories will long live on.

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Latest News

Latest Sport

Latest Showbiz