Our favourite Olympic moments

Eurosport's team of writers have compiled their top moments from the Olympic Games. What was yours?

Eurosport

London 2012 gave us many memorable moments, among them glorious swansongs, the crowning of new champions and Britons that will remain household names forever more.

And of course there is more to the Games than such standout occasions, as our personal picks from a glorious fortnight of sporting endeavour also reflects.

Here is our list: leave yours at the bottom of the story and we will publish the best on Tuesday.

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Jonathan Symcox (@Symco_Eurosport): Jessica Ennis's 800m finish

Ennis had effectively won the heptathlon before the final 800m event, but gave the fans the dramatic finish they desired. Coming around the final bend, the Sheffield lass looked set to be passed for third but a sudden spurt took her away from that athlete and past the two leaders to cross the line, arms aloft, having set a UK record for the women’s multi-event. Amid acclaim from the stands, she then sank to her knees in relief and joy at the realisation of her dream of becoming Olympic champion.

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Tom Adams (@Tom_Eurosport): The emotional crescendo witnessed on Britain’s golden day

A couple of rowing golds set the tone perfectly in the morning and a victory for the women’s team pursuit in the velodrome maintained momentum in the afternoon. Then came the barely believable events of the evening in the Olympic Stadium, climaxing when Mo Farah – a Londoner no less, and a man with a strong emotional investment in the city and country - stormed down the home straight to conclude Britain’s greatest day in sport. It was almost too perfect.

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Mike Hytner: Katarina Johnson-Thompson's introduction

The promising 19-year-old heptathlete from Liverpool claimed the distinguished honour of becoming the first Briton to feature at the Olympic Stadium - and didn't the crowd receive her well. They may well have been waiting for the nation's poster girl Jess Ennis to take her bow, but the roar that greeted Johnson-Thompson's image on the big screen induced goosebumps. The teenager's reaction was equally memorable as a beaming smile broke upon her features and she uttered "oh my God!" The golden moment, both humble and genuine, provided an early taste of the awe-inspiring atmosphere that was to flood the stadium throughout the Games.

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Liam Happe (@liamhappe): Women's boxing finals

The inaugural female extension of an Olympic sport shrouded in controversy and self-doubt climaxed an unmitigated success. Beginning with Nicola Adams's dominant performance to win gold and continuing with the Irish reaction to flag bearer Katie Taylor's thrilling win before concluding with 17-year-old American Claressa Shields putting her underachieving male stablemates to shame, the girls more than justified plans to extend the programme to more than three weight classes for Rio 2016.

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Alex Chick (@alexchick81): Women's handball preliminary round

Brazil v Angola, Sunday, August 5, 11:15am. Not one of the Olympics' hottest tickets, yet the occasion that, to me, encapsulated the London 2012 fans' astonishing enthusiasm. The morning after 'Super Saturday', a packed Copper Box roared on two obscure teams, playing an obscure sport, with almost unfeasible passion and delight. Queueing for coffee at half-time, I stood behind a dad and his young son as the boy marvelled with boundless joy at the spectacle he was watching. It was quite wonderful. A nation of women's handball fans - that would be some Olympic legacy.

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Dan Quarrell (@Dan_Eurosport): David Rudisha, 'the greatest athlete everyone now knows'

Coming into the London Olympics, it seemed inconceivable how little attention was being given to a man who had already obliterated the world record in the 800m. It took the best middle-distance race of all time to make everyone sit up and take note of the 23-year-old Maasai, who became the first man to break the 1:41 barrier as he broke his own world record with splits that defied belief. In a race in which every athlete either set a new personal best, season’s best, national record or world record, the Kenyan won convincingly with what Lord Sebastian Coe described as the "most extraordinary piece of running I have probably ever seen". Rudisha won the race of the Games with the most imperious run of the Games.

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Mark Patterson (@Mark_Eurosport): The immortal, and human, Michael Phelps

This was his worst Olympics, statistically speaking – just the four more gold medals and two silvers. Phelps's achievements in Athens and Beijing had made him an Olympic great in a curiously impersonal way, personified as merely a winning machine. So it was poignant to see him lose his signature event, the 200m butterfly, to the up-and-coming Chad le Clos, with the South African just getting the touch a fraction of a second ahead of the man the 20-year-old described as his 'hero'. The elder statesman of the pool took defeat graciously, recalling the need for a similar stretch for the wall four years ago to keep alive his bid for eight golds. At the medal ceremony he played mentor to Le Clos, showing the new champion where to stand before he himself received the silver which brought him equal with record-holder Larissa Latynina on 18 Olympic medals. He was simultaneously human, beatable and immortal. Less than an hour later, Phelps the winning machine was back, anchoring the US freestyle relay team to gold to hold the medal record on his own - and added three more gold medals before swimming into the sunset.

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Reda Maher (@Reda_Eurosport): Mo Farah's double distance success

Maybe it’s because he’s a Londoner, but Farah’s exploits on the track captured the imagination of a nation. Not just because it was the first time a Briton had won the 5k/10k distance double, but because of the manner in which he did it and, in the case of the longer race, the quality of the field he beat. His success is testament to determination and hard work – ‘graft’, as he repeatedly put it after his second win – and also to the power of a home crowd, who appeared to roar him over the finish line when it seemed the quicker finishers may catch him. To break the Kenyan-Ethiopian duopoly on distance running is one thing, but to completely smash it such that the old guard were gasping for air and, in some cases, unable to finish the races was stunning to watch. Mo’s double gold puts him up there with the likes of Emil Zatopek, but his decision in moving to Oregon to train with the great Alberto Salazar highlights what it takes to be a world-class athlete: sacrifice.

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Toby Keel: A shooting/canoeing double bill

Watching the crowd roar Jess Ennis, Greg Rutherford and Mo Farah to gold was magical, but for me the Olympics is always at its very best when you are gripped by events you'd not even heard of a couple of weeks – or even a couple of hours - beforehand. That's why five minutes on the afternoon of Friday August 3 was so incredible to me: Peter Wilson winning gold in the double trap shotgun then Tim Baillie and Etienne Stott winning gold in a team canoeing event with David Florence and Richard Hounslow picking up silver right behind them. Unbelievable stuff: exciting, emotional, surprising and inspiring – in other words, five minutes of sport that is as good as it gets.

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Tony Mabert (@tony_mabert): Andy Murray's redemption

Tennis is one of the most widely-followed and lucrative sports in the world, and as such there is a justifiable argument that it should not even be at the Olympics. But Murray's resounding win over Roger Federer to win men's singles gold was as uplifting a victory as any at London 2012. Exactly four weeks to the day after he lost the Wimbledon final to his long-time nemesis, Murray thrashed the Swiss legend in straight sets to claim his first major title. Murray's win, coming the day after Team GB's six-gold Saturday, added to the growing belief that anything was possible for the hosts.

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Lee Walker (@Lee_Eurosport): The Flying Dutchman

Although the final lap of Mo Farah's races were genuine hairs-on-the-back-of-the-neck stuff, for a minute of pure Olympic hedonism I would go for the flamboyant, breath-taking routine of Epke Zonderland to snatch the horizontal bar title. Zonderland's routine was all-or-nothing as he included a back-to-back-to-back (that’s three) release combination. And he wowed the fans with a routine that was accompanied by a 13,000-strong chorus of "oohs" and "aahhs" from start to finish as he pulled off the 'Cassina' the 'Kovacs' and the 'Kolman'. His gamble was rewarded and he ended the Netherlands' 84-year wait for an Olympic gymnastics gold.

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