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These were Britain's Games. Before the Olympics began, there were only worries: about security, about how the Lacoste Gazon Slip On Mens

Well, they did. This was a brilliant Olympics, in almost every way: wonderful crowds, marvelous volunteers, logistical coherence, a galvanizing performance by the home side. Britain won 29 gold medals, behind only the United States and China; Farah's first win came on Super Saturday, midway through the Games, where Britain won three gold medals in 48 minutes, each building on the other. The next day, Andy Murray crushed Roger Federer at Wimbledon. Britain's gold rush cascaded, one after another, and you could feel the country rise with each one.

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Hartle was a doctor who treated victims on 7/7, and as he told the Daily Telegraph, "It was really important to me that the Olympics worked, that London could demonstrate that it was about something other than 7/7. That we could deliver something brilliant, to be proud of. We don't do pride very often, and I think we should."

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 Palladium Waterproof Black

The nation's poet laureate, Carol Ann Duffy, wrote a poem for the Games the other day, and while it lacked a certain elegance, it ended well. "We sense new weather. We are on our marks. We are all in this together." Mo Farah's version, when asked if he would have preferred to compete for Somalia, was "Look, mate, this is my country. This is where I grew up, this is where I started life. This is my country."

Has Britain changed? Well, they have committed to more investment in sport, but after that, who can say? But the Olympics were different, as they always are. Beforehand Chinese dissident, artist Ralph Lauren Trainers White Mens and architect Ai Weiwei wrote in The Guardian that "My memory of the Beijing Olympics has not changed. It is a fake smile, an elaborate costume party with the sole intention of glorifying the country . . . It was a real smile, genuine friendliness, an open society albeit one steeped in public surveillance and it seemed to bring joy and happiness to its people. The one year anniversary of last year's English riots passed during these Games, too. It felt very far away.

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Rule Britannia

many floral tributes were laid in remembrance of those who suffered in the London bombings, July 7th, 2005." Next to it were the remains of a wreath with red and blue ribbons around the outside, and "Underground" written across the middle. One of the three subway cars bombed on 7/7 was headed to Russell Square. It never got there.

and South Korean flags. Buses occasionally went missing, and trains were occasionally delayed.

Ralph Lauren Trainers White Mens

Ralph Lauren Trainers White Mens

For some Britons, this closed another circle, too. On the second to last day here I walked around Russell Square, which was the epicentre for media transportation during the Games every day thousands of journalists boarded buses to go to rowing, to equestrian, to gymnastics, to anywhere, to transmit the Games to the world. Few of us had time to enjoy the square itself.

Ralph Lauren Trainers White Mens

He emigrated here from Mogadishu when he was eight, and now he was running in a pack in the 5,000 metres after already having won the 10,000, and as the race circled the track, the sound travelled with it. The crowd stood as the runners approached, then sat back down, undulating with the race: a wave, rather than The Wave. As Farah flew down the stretch, out kicking the field, everybody stood and it sounded like an ocean, roaring and vast.

It was a long time ago, but there was a real worry that with the Olympics in London, it could happen again. It didn't. Russell Square was an epicentre for something very different, this time. During these Games, organizing committee head Sebastian Coe was on the tube and shook hands with a volunteer named Andrew Hartle, who said thank you, then told him why.

Ralph Lauren Trainers White Mens

Ralph Lauren Trainers White Mens

Ralph Lauren Trainers White Mens

transportation network would stand up, about the weather. The feral newspaper pack whinged and howled as the army had to be called in to patch the hole created when a private security company could not deliver; the question everywhere was whether Britain could pull this off.

It was, in other words, the Olympics, if with a British sensibility. After cyclist Bradley Wiggins won the men's time trial, his seventh career medal, there was talk of a knighthood, and the man they called Wiggo shrugged. "As great an honour as it would be, I'd put it in a drawer I guess," he said. "I'll always just be Brad . . . You train the whole year for the physical aspects, and I don't know what comes next. You just want to go back to normal life. The external perception might change, but you're still the same person."

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But next to a young tree in the square was a small steel plaque, and it read, "This Oak Tree marks the site where so Prada Sneakers For Sale Online

Ralph Lauren Trainers White Mens

But there is always a fraying, and the whole held together. The sports were brilliant; Michael Phelps left the pool as a legend, and Usain Bolt was the most electric athlete on earth again. Missy Franklin became a star for the United States, and David Rudisha ran one of the great races of all time, setting a world record in the 800. Athletes were thrown out for doping, for racist tweets, for leaving the village to visit their wife and kids, and in the case of women's badminton, for losing a match on purpose. Women's boxing made its debut, and Ireland's Katie Taylor carried a country. Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Brunei sent women for the first time, even if just for show. Progress, however incremental, was made.

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