Note that the following list is in simple alphabetical order:
Alistair and Jonny Brownlee - Triathlon, Team GB (Gold and Bronze)
2 Yorkshiremen, brothers even! seemingly came from nowhere to bag Gold and Bronze in the Triathlon - held in Hyde Park - in and around the Serpentine etc.. I always thought this was a solo event, but Team GB worked together with 3rd GB athlete Stuart Hayes helping to set the pace on the bikes and stretch out the participants - to give the Brownlee brothers a home advantage - they still had to make it over the line of course - nice to keep it in the family, next time they will no doubt try for a 1-2.
Andy Murray - Tennis, Team GB (Gold)
After the pain of losing to Roger Federer just 29 days before, Andy had the opportunity for salvation - with exactly the same match-up at the same venue - Wimbledon. He was like a man possessed on this occasion, could not be broken down - and won it convincingly in 3 straight sets. We’re just not used to watching such a confident display at Tennis, victory this time was never really in doubt!
Ben Ainslie - Sailing, Finn Class, Team GB (Gold)
Ben becomes the first sailor to win medals in 5 consecutive Olympics, bagging 4 Golds and a Silver in the process.
Bradley Wiggins- Road Cycling, Team GB (Gold)
After the disappointment of Team GB in the Road Race, it was heartening to see Wiggo recapture his Tour de France form to win the Time Trial. The support along the route was electric, and Wiggo helped create the atmosphere by winning it in style!
Charlotte Dujardin, Equestrian / Dressage, Team GB (2 x Gold)
Relative newcomer has an amazing affinity with her horse Valegro - they only started competing last year, and have already won 2 major championships. Charlotte picked up both Team and Individual Dressage Gold Medals, scoring a stratospheric 90.089%.
Chris Hoy, Track Cycling, Team GB (2 x Gold)
Team GB set a new world record to take Gold in the Team Sprint, Chris then brought his total Olympic Medal tally up to 6 (5 Gold, 1 Silver) by winning the Men’s Keirin.
David Rudisha, 800m, Team Kenya (Gold)
In World Championships and at Diamond Athletics events you typically have a Pacemaker to help achieve the fast speeds - they are absent for the Olympics. That David then broke the World Record to become the first man to run 800m sub 1:41 (1:40.91) is doubly special. He led from the start and did not let up - sustaining an unbelievably fast pace around the 2 circuits - to win the event with style.
Ed McKeever, 200m Canoe Sprint, Team GB (Gold)
Jamaica has the fastest man on land in Usain Bolt, GB has the fastest man on water in Ed McKeever. He broke the Olympic Record in the heats, clocking at 35.087 seconds, and brought home the Gold in the final.
Evgeniya Kanaeva, Rhythm Gymnastics, Team Russian Federation (2 x Gold)
I’m normally transfixed by the Artistic Gymnastics, but this year it’s all been about the wonderfully talented Russian Rhythm Gymnasts who combine agility, poise, precision, elegance and the most amazing hand-to-eye co-ordination witnessed in human endeavour. This is like Cirque du Soleil on steroids! Most talented of them all is Evgeniya Kanaeva who brought home the Gold this year with some style.
Greg Rutherford, Long Jump, Team GB (Gold)
This was one of the Tripe delights on Super Saturday - alongside Mo’s 10,000 meter win and Jessica Ennis’s Heptathlon win. No one saw this coming - the commentators seemed as surprised as the audience when Greg took up the lead and then managed to hold off all challengers to clinch the Gold.
Jade Jones, Taekwondo 57kg Class, Team GB (Gold)
The Welsh high-kicking teenage wonder took out the top seeds in the competition to score the first Taekwondo Gold for GB. Jade is a relentless powder keg of kinetic activity - she was wonderful to watch in every bout, brimming with confidence with rapier sharp, super-fast technique - this is one woman who certainly know how to handle herself - pity the boyfriend who gets on her wrong side!
Jessica Ennis, Heptathlon, Team GB (Gold)
Golden Girl Jessica certainly did not let down the hopes of a nation. Seldom has so much pressure been piled onto an Olympic Athlete. The nation expected victory, and boy did Jessica deliver in style. She led from the first event to the last pretty much, and came home in style by refusing to let anyone get close to her in the 800m final.
Laura Trott, Track Cycling, Team GB (2 x Gold)
We need not be sad that Vicki Pendleton is retiring as here is her heir! At just 20 years old, Laura picked up Gold for Women’s Team Pursuit, and added an individual Gold for the Women’s Omnium. She is definitely someone to look out for in the Rio Olympics.
Michael Phelps, Swimming, Team USA (4 x Gold, 2 x Silver)
The world’s greatest Olympian adds another 6 medals to his haul, bringing his grand total to 22 (18 Gold, 2 Silver, 2 Bronze). Not much can be said about Michael Phelps which has not been said already. He’s led the medal tables in 3 Olympics, and it will take a truly incredible athlete to ever equal this commendable feat.
Mo Farah, 10,000m and 5,000m, Team GB (2 x Gold)
Now firmly entrenched in the British Psyche - we now have the ’Mobot’ signature move to compete with Usain’s ’Lightning Bolt’ action. To win 2 long-distance Gold Medals in the same games is quite some feat, and has never been accomplished by a GB athlete before. The 5,000m was a little closer run, but how Mo managed to get out in the lead and maintain it for the duration of both races was quite extraordinary. With David Rudisha we have 2 athletes who go out strong and finish strong, which is quite different to the old strategy of biding your time and making a break for it on the last lap or last corner - a truly commendable effort.
Nicola Adams, Boxing, Flyweight Class, Team GB (Gold)
Women’s Boxing was new for these Olympics, and one of our very own brought in the first Gold. Nicola’s explosive style saw her leading from the first bell of every heat - right through to her defeat of Chinese world number 1 Ren Cancan in the final.
Russian Team, Rhythm Gymnastics, Team Russian Federation (Gold)
The most spectacular thing for me in this year’s Olympics was the amazing standard of the Rhythm Gymnasts, Gold-winning Russia in particular. Team consisted of Evgeniya Kanaeva, Daria Dmitrieva, Valeriya Tkachenko, Daria Kondakova, Nataliya Bulycheva, Eglantine Rochefort (Regular Aleksandra Merkulova was injured for these Games). The balletic poise and precision of the 2 routines - 5 Balls, and 3 Ribbons + 2 Hoops was simply breathtaking. Russia scored a 1-2 in the individuals too, and there is limitless talent in this team with plenty more to come through in the next Olympics - this is what the word ’spectacular’ was invented for.
Usain Bolt, Sprints, Team Jamaica (3 x Gold)
There had been much doubt about what kind of form Usain was in for these games, as he had been beaten a couple of times this year by running-mate Yohan Blake in the Jamaican qualifiers. We need not have worried though, as the world’s fasted man truly rose to the occasion once more - repeating his triple Gold win from the Beijing Games. He came from behind to win the 100, led pretty much from the front for the 200, and broke the World Record with his team-mates for the 4 x 100m - coming in in a time of 36.84 seconds - truly a legend!
Victoria Pendleton, Track Cycling, Team GB (1 Gold, 1 Silver)
Victoria’s grand finale was somewhat upset by a couple of disqualifications in the Team and Individual Sprint. We were all hoping to see off Victoria with a hat-trick of golds, but disqualification in the Team Sprint left GB out of the running, and a technical disqualification in the Individual seems to have affected Victoria’s confidence - allowing Australia’s Anna Meares to take the Gold. Nevertheless, records were set in qualifying, and Victoria came away with the Gold in the Keirin and a Silver in the Individual Sprint - not up to expectations for sure, but commendable nevertheless.
Ye Shiwen, Swimming, Team People’s Republic of China (2 x Gold)
16 year old Ye Shiwen caused a mini scandal in her very first race when she broke the World Record for the 400m Individual Medley - coming in with a time of 4:28.43 - shaving seconds of the existing record. She silenced her critics in her second race when she came from behind to win Gold in the 200m Individual Medley - her freestyle technique is really something to behold!