London 2012: Olympic highs and lows

Ryan Giggs playing for Great Britain, (below) Rowan Atkinson performs during the London 2012 Opening Ceremony and (bottom) Great Britain's Mary King riding Imperial Cavalier.

Ryan Giggs playing for Great Britain, (below) Rowan Atkinson performs during the London 2012 Opening Ceremony and (bottom) Great Britain's Mary King riding Imperial Cavalier.

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The Gazette’s Steve Simpson summarises the ups and downs of the Olympics so far...

BIGGEST MYSTERY – Why skipper Ryan Giggs should fail to sing the national anthem prior to Team GBs matches.

Rowan Atkinson performs during the London 2012 Opening Ceremony.

Rowan Atkinson performs during the London 2012 Opening Ceremony.

Each to his own, of course, but then you would think he might since he once went to Buckingham Palace to receive an OBE.

A case of double standards?

QUOTE OF THE WEEK – “Good evening, Mr Bond.”

The Queen staggers everyone with her pluck – and sense of humour – as she makes an unexpected appearance with James Bond star Daniel Craig as part of the memorable, imaginative opening ceremony.

Great Britain's Mary King riding Imperial Cavalier.

Great Britain's Mary King riding Imperial Cavalier.

It is one of those moments that will stay in the memory longer than a lot of the sporting highlights of London 2012.

BEST COMMENTARY COMEBACK – By 74-year-old Barry Davies at the hockey, evoking memories of that famous line ‘Where were the Germans – and frankly who cares?’

Davies earned plenty of praise for his work at Wimbledon recently, prompting some viewers to request that he be returned to the BBC soccer roster.

He has suddenly found himself much in demand of late, and fronted a nostalgic look back on the 1948 London Olympic Games on BBC Radio 2 this week.

Handout photo issued by LOCOG of Oliver Golding holding the Olympic Flame in between the Olympic rings logo at Kew Gardens, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday July 24, 2012. See PA story OLYMPICS Torch. Photo credit should read: Joe Giddens/LOCOG/PA Wire''The Torchbearer's name is provided in good faith, however the Press Association has been unable to verify it independently.

Handout photo issued by LOCOG of Oliver Golding holding the Olympic Flame in between the Olympic rings logo at Kew Gardens, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday July 24, 2012. See PA story OLYMPICS Torch. Photo credit should read: Joe Giddens/LOCOG/PA Wire''The Torchbearer's name is provided in good faith, however the Press Association has been unable to verify it independently.

NOT SO JOLLY HOCKEY – The broken jaw suffered by the Great Britain women’s captain Kate Walsh during the 4-0 victory over Japan.

She needed an operation to insert a plate into the left side of her face.

I can sympathise with any hockey injury, having lost two teeth in my one – and only – game of hockey.

BIGGEST OWN GOAL – The ticketing policy that did nothing for the image of the Olympic movement, which left loads of empty spaces in the stands at a number of venues.

The British Olympic Association will raise the issue with International Olympic Committee in the post-Games inquest and when that happens the watchword has to be that everyone concerned should learn from past – crass – mistakes.

UNLIKELIEST HERO – Niger’s rower Djibo Issaka, who has earned hero status for finishing last, following in the tradition of Eric ‘The Eel’ Moussambani and before him ski-jumper Eddie ‘The Eagle’ Edwards.

In one race he was still around 300 yards from the line when the winner was finishing.

After finishing one heat in eight minutes and 25 seconds, Issaka crawled home in nine minutes and seven seconds.

GOLDEN OLDIE AWARD – To Mary King, who at 51 and still at the peak of her powers, was part of the Great Britain team that won silver in the three-day event.

One can only marvel at the skill and preparation that tests a horse and rider to the full, with three so different disciplines.

King was competing at her sixth successive Games and is arguably the best horse-woman this country has ever produced.

BIGGEST SOB STORY – That of South Korean fencer Shin Lam, who thought she had won through to the final of the women’s epee fencing when she wrongly thought that her fight was over.

There was a mistake on timing, and in the one second that was remaining, her rival scored a decisive do-or-die hit.

It was very much a touche subject...

FUNNIEST MOMENT – The appearance of Rowan Atkinson in the guise of Mr Bean, (right), at the spectacular opening ceremony, looking bored having to play the same note all the time to the Chariots Of Fire theme.

On the back of that cameo, Atkinson could make a further fortune out of the lucrative Mr Bean franchise.

It’s anything but a has Bean on this evidence.

TV AWARD – To Sky Sports News for making the best of a bad job – they do not have the rights to the Games (that honour goes to the BBC and will until 2020) but they are doing a fine job in ferreting out all the relevant news stories.

The programme is regularly on a repetitive loop but at times like these, and on occasions such as transfer deadline day or on a Saturday afternoon, the service comes into its own.

BIGGEST FALL GUYS – The blokes who have to clear the sand between matches during the beach volleyball at Horseguards Parade.

They come into the arena to the accompaniment of the catchy Benny Hill them Yakety Sax.

Hopefully, the novelty will wear off.

At Blackpool’s Waterloo Hotel for the final of the crown green bowling tournament there, the measurers are always serenaded when they come on to the green by the Dance Of The Cuckoos, aka the theme to the Laurel and Hardy movies.

What larks!

GEORGE BUSH FOOT IN THE MOUTH PRIZE – To United States presidential candidate Mitt Romney for his verdict on what could lie ahead at the Games: “It’s hard to know just how well it will turn out... There are a few things that were disconcerting.”

He quickly had to back-track on those opinions.

Talk about the wrong way to attract friends and influence people...

And it seems his gaffes are not confined to the Olympics

WORST CASE OF MATHEMATICAL GYMNASTICS – By the bean-counters who were involved in totting up the scores in the men’s gymnastics team event.

At one point the scoreboard erroneously showed that Britain had filled the silver medal spot until it was quickly altered and they had to settle for the bronze.

Thankfully, it didn’t cause any angst in the British ranks – they were merely overjoyed at the fact that they had helped the team to their first team medal since the bronze at the Stockholm Games in 1912, the year The Titanic sank.