Twenty Golden Moments Of The 2012 Games
Michael Phelps leaves the pool after competing in the Men's 4x100m Medley Relay Final (Ronald Martinez/Getty Images / August 12, 2012)
LONDON (Reuters) - The London Olympics were packed with sporting highlights, personal dramas and emotional highs and lows. Here are 20 golden moments from the Games.
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Michael Phelps bows out with a record medal haul
With a lop-sided smile of satisfaction, the greatest of swimmers and possibly the greatest Olympian of all time, said farewell with one last immense performance for the U.S. relay team in the men's 4x100m medley. Final tally: 18 career golds, 22 medals. He had done everything he set out to achieve. The world of swimming has lost a titan of the pool.
Usain Bolt wins (and wins and wins)
The world's fastest man and his Jamaica relay team mates provided three of the enduring moments of the Games. The showman opened his campaign with a Games record in the 100 meters, followed up by becoming the first man to retain his titles in the 100 and 200m - where Jamaica finished 1-2-3 - and then anchored the 4x100 relay to a world record time.
The moment where Bolt and Yohan Blake caught each others' eyes as they crossed the finish line in the 200, with the winner putting his finger to his lips to silence the young pretender, was a classic moment of theatre.
Andy Murray winning tennis gold at Wimbledon
Murray had been reduced to tears when he lost the Wimbledon men's singles final to Roger Federer in July but he took his revenge by thrashing the Swiss on Centre Court in an astonishing performance from a man who has yet to win a grand slam tournament. The memory of the Scot leaping into the crowd to celebrate with his nearest and dearest will linger long.
Mo Farah wins 5,000 and 10,000 meters gold
Even Bolt was moved to do the 'Mobot', the M-shaped hands-on-head gesture after Farah's 5,000m win. Mogadishu-born but proudly British, Farah's feat was hailed as the greatest in the country's athletic history. The first Briton to win a long-distance gold, he was only the seventh man to do the Olympic 5,000/10,000 double. A golden memory will be the spine-tingling roar of the crowd and the sight of Farah, flag around his shoulders, embracing his daughter after winning.
U.S. women win 4x100 meters relay gold
The last three Olympics had been a comedy of errors for the women's team, with botched baton exchanges keeping them off the top of the podium track, but they got their act together in style this time. Their record, a sizzling 40.82 seconds, smashed the world mark of 41.37 set by the old East Germany in 1985.
Saudi Arabia's first female athlete