Olympic fever has arrived, striking pretty much everyone around the world. We’re now over half way through the Rio 2016 Games, so we thought we’d have a look back through all the Olympic Games. Which has been the best for Great Britain? Which has been the best in general? And which has produced the most inspiring results?
For Great Britain
Team GB has done fairly well at all the recent Olympic Games, finishing third four years ago in London 2012. However, the best Olympics for Great Britain was back in 1908, when London hosted the Games for the first time. This was the first, and only time (to date) that GB has won an Olympic Games.
They achieved an incredible total of 146 medals, including 56 golds, 51 silvers and 39 bronze. They took an astonishing 676 athletes to the Games; incredible considering that four years earlier in St. Louis they’d only had three competing athletes.
London 2012 was the second most successful Olympics for GB, over 100 years later. We finished third with 65 medals, 29 of them being gold. This year, we’re already on 38 medals, and are currently second in the league table, so if things keep going well this year could be even better!
Deciding which has been the best Olympics ever is a difficult question to answer. Naturally, each country believes the Olympics were best when they hosted them. However, if we look at world records set, and ground-breaking achievements, we can try to provide a non-biased answer.
In fact, it’s too hard to pick just one, so these are Mainline Menswear’s top three Olympic Games.
London is the only host city so far to be awarded the Olympics three times. First when Great Britain won in 1908, then in 1948 following the Second World War. However, 2012 was definitely the best year for London, and is regarded worldwide as one of the best Olympics ever.
The opening ceremony was a huge success, and the 2012 Olympics also had several firsts for the Games. It was the first year where every sport had female competitors, with the introduction of women’s boxing and Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Brunei entering female athletes for the first time.
During the Games, 32 world records were broken in eight different sports. Several Olympic records were also broken, including Usain Bolt in the 100m, finishing in 9.63 seconds. Notable world records for 2012 include David Rudisha of Kenya running 800m in 1.40.91; seven world records for Great Britain in the cycling and nine world records in the swimming events.
All things considered, London 2012 was definitely one of the best Olympics. Michael Phelps was incredible in the pool, and Super Saturday saw three gold medals for the host country in a matter of hours. Definitely a fortnight to remember.
During the Beijing Olympics, more than 130 Olympic records were broken. Michael Phelps won 8 gold medals and Usain Bolt emerged as the fastest man alive. A total of 10,094 athletes from 204 National Olympic Committees competed in 28 sports and 302 events.
Usain Bolt set three world records, winning the 100m, 200m and being part of the 4x100m relay team. However, this was shattered by Michael Phelps setting seven new world records in the pool – earning him the title of half man, half fish.
Other notable parts of the Beijing Olympics were the architecture and the venues built specifically for the Games. The Aquatics Centre was playfully nicknamed ‘the water cube’ and the 80,000 seat main stadium which held the opening and closing ceremonies was named ‘the birds nest.’
Although there were many worries about the pollution levels before the Olympics, Beijing managed to ensure the events were successful. Overall, it was due to the incredible performances by athletes which made this one of the best Olympics ever.
Sydney is recognised as one of the best Olympics due to the world class venues it provided. Back in 2000, Stadium Australia where the athletics took place was the largest outdoor sporting venue in the world. Sydney also made the games entirely environmentally friendly, reducing the waste of water and pollution levels.
Over the 28 sports, 300 events took place, and at the end of the Games the host nation secured fourth place. Finishing behind the USA, Russia and China. Although Sydney doesn’t go down in the record books for incredible world records or numbers of gold medals, it’s the venue that really triumphed in 2000.
Sydney was virtually free of controversy and the press for the Games was wholly positive. The weather massively contributed to everyone’s moral, and the designs of the stadium allowed for fans to enjoy the Australian sun, without overheating.
Rio 2016 could soon take its place on a list like this, with many of the big events including the men’s 100m and the tennis finals having already been completed. We are currently just over the halfway mark, and hundreds of medals have been won.
The USA is leading the table with 70 medals, 26 of them gold, followed by Great Britain in second with 38 medals (15 gold) and China in third on 45 medals (15 gold). Many events are still to come, including plenty of action in both the swimming and cycling.
Mainline Menswear will be watching, so make sure you are too!