MB’s Games: London 2012 – the greatest you’ll ever see from Team GB
Beijing was a special effort by Great Britain's athletes – so much so, any improvement four years later was going to be a tough aim to achieve.
Indeed, I spoke to Team GB members headed for London 2012 who raised eyebrows at medal targets being bandied about, and even past Olympic legends who thought getting anywhere near the total of 47 medals and 19 golds secured in 2008 – and matching the remarkable fourth in the medal table – would be out of reach. Even on home soil.
So at this point it's worth taking a step back and just digesting what Team GB have achieved at the 2012 Olympics. Their Olympics.
An incredible 65 medals, 29 of them gold. Only the United States and China have more.
For as well as Team GB does away from home between now and whenever the Olympics return, such a performance will never be repeated. Certainly such an experience.
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Given the highs and unparalleled sporting success, it seems worth sharing some of the brilliant Team GB achievements we have seen over the last 16 days of excellence. Enjoy…
• Helen Glover and Heather Stanning became the first women to win Olympic gold in rowing for GB, in what was the country's most successful Olympic rowing regatta – including a fourth successive men's coxless four title.
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• Tim Baillie and Etienne Scott's gold was GB's first in white water canoeing.
• Ben Ainslie became most successful sailor from any nation with his fourth gold – don't forget his previous silver either.
• A first gold followed in the triathlon as the Brownlee brothers became the first brothers to win medals in an individual event in more than 108 years.
• The first Olympic women's boxing title went to Nicola Adams.
• A first team showjumping gold arrived since 1952, in the first Games that all three equestrian disciplines have yielded medals. Every rider stood on the podium at some point.
• We have our first taekwondo Olympic champion on Jade Jones, while Laura Trott is the first woman cyclist to win two golds at one Games for GB.
• Chris Hoy is the only GB Olympian to win six golds, while Andy Murray is first GB male to win an Olympic tennis singles gold since 1908, with Beth Tweddle the first woman gymnast to win an individual medal for GB.
And that is officially that. Inspiring a generation. The performance of a lifetime. What an effort…