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From the moment the Queen of England jumped out of a helicopter with James Bond, it was clear that this was not going to be an ordinary Olympics. Broken records, newly appointed legends, and repeat victories for reigning champions defined the 2012 games. One thing is clear: the bar is being raised. Sports are constantly evolving, as the world's finest athletes have shown.
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With his protests against the UK Athlete tax making headlines like wildfire on the internet, Usain Bolt took gold in the 100m, 200m, and 4x100m relay, repeating his unprecedented achievements from the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Bolt certainly left a lasting impression, as he was anointed the best sprinter of all time.
Michael Phelps retained his reign as the best swimmer in the world and has achieved the status of the most decorated Olympian or all time, earning a total of 22 medals over his swimming career. It is now clear that both Bolt and Phelps' record breaking stints during the Beijing Olympics were far from flukes.
16 year old Gabby Douglas won two gold medals, the gymnastic team's first victory since 1996.
While there are numerous statistics to recount, it is the intoxicating spirit of the games which stands out above all else. Mo Farah's sentiment after becoming the first Briton to win both the 10,000m and 5,000m race speaks to the reason that Olympics exist.
Farah said, "I wanted a gold medal for each of my two girls on the way. They could come any day now!"
The Olympics is more than a sports event or a source of national pride, it exhibits the worth of the individual for the world to see. It's not what we compete for that matters, it's why we compete.