London 2012 wins gold medal for best Olympics ever
DESPITE worries about transport, security, weather and a host of other concerns, the London Games was a national triumph. Here Telegraph Sport takes a look at what newspapers around the world have to say about London's efforts to host the world's largest sporting event.
The Australian, Peter Wilson: British take gold as best Olympics Games hosts
"It is one thing for the British to thrash Australia in the medals table of the London Olympics. But now the Games are over, it is just as clear they have knocked Sydney off its pedestal as the best host of a modern Olympic Games. As awful as it is to admit, London 2012 was bigger, slicker, almost as friendly and more thoughtfully planned than Sydney in terms of the legacy it will leave the host city... It is, I'm afraid to say, bronze for Barcelona, silver for Sydney, and gold for London."
The Age, Australia, Greg Baum: It's been a right bang-up job
"London, you didn't half do a decent job. These Olympics had Sydney's vibrancy, Athens's panache, Beijing's efficiency, and added British know-how and drollery. With apologies to Sydney, they might just represent a new PB for the Olympics. The Games were preceded by the usual fatalistic anticipation of a cock-up. It proved groundless. Moving masses of people around a mazy city was expected to be a nightmare but London made it look effortless. Security was plentiful but low key. The army, called in to meet a shortfall, proved to be Britain's finest ambassadors."
"The host country truly was Great Britain. London delivered a rousing Olympics. I wasn’t in Beijing, but the consensus is these were the most organized, enthralling and enjoyable Games since Sydney in 2000."
"One of the great stories of these Olympics was the effect they had on England itself. Triumphalism does not come naturally to this country, where the cultural stock in trade has long been dignity in defeat. This, let’s not forget, is a nation where one of the most beloved poems is Tennyson’s “Charge of the Light Brigade,” which valorizes a military rout at the hands of the Russians. The Games have hit this country like an extra-strength dose of a mood-enhancing drug."
"On a patch of land scarred black by the industrial revolution, bombed flat by Hitler and denuded by decades of poverty and neglect, a country with little money and less self-confidence held the world’s most expensive and difficult sporting event. And when it ended in a spectacle of pomp-free pop and quintessentially East London polyglot pageantry, there was a very surprising national sense of elation."
National Post, Canada, Bruce Arthur: Britain pulls off an Olympics to remember
"This was a brilliant Olympics, in almost every way: wonderful crowds, marvellous volunteers, logistical coherence, a galvanizing performance by the home side. There were some goof-ups, sure. London mayor Boris Johnson got stuck on a zip line, and compared women’s beach volleyball players to glistening wet otters; the cops lost the keys to Wembley Stadium; early on, someone mixed up the North and South Korean flags. Buses occasionally went missing, and trains were occasionally delayed. But there is always a fraying, and the whole held together."
New Zealand Herald, David Leggat: Three cheers for a job well done
"Hats off to the Lord Coe and his Locog planning chums. They can put their feet up knowing London did itself, and the Olympics, proud...What was out of whack was the hugely lopsided work of the BBC. They didn't just drop their cloak of impartiality; they biffed it over the bridge. Interviewers wore Team GB shirts and chatted to sixth or seventh-place finishers while races were still on. "We" was everywhere. It was cringeworthy, and unworthy of the organisation."
China Daily: Grand finale brings Games to an end
"Despite concerns about the creaky transport system and a shortfall of private security guards, which forced the government to call in thousands of extra troops to help screen visitors, the Games have so far passed by fairly trouble-free. "A furore over empty seats at several Olympic venues blew over, especially once the track and field showcase kicked in and drew capacity crowds for virtually every session.Even the weather improved as the Games wore on. Bright sunshine has graced the closing weekend of a festival that has helped to lift spirits in Britain."
Corriere della Sera, Beppe Severgnini: Thank you London: a lesson for the pessimists
"This Olympics was a success for Great Britain...the capital had wanted to throw a party for the world. And when we're talking about parties, ceremonies and festivals, the English are unrivalled...The Olympics was a moveable feast, more Hemingway than Dickens. I have to say to my English friends, when they have recovered from the festivities (I can't say in what condition), it's only been two weeks from 'Gosh we'll never make it!' to 'Wow, we made it!'. And this, if you like, is the news. Once, confronted by a difficult task, the English would be worried...today they are not hiding any more...Congratulations, and thank you for a fantastic party."