Gold medals aside, the London Olympic Games have produced some outstanding performances and they have not all been by winners.
Those who compete at the Olympics have the ability to turn up some magic moments, such as the performance by Australian equestrian team member Gillian Rolton at the 1996 Atlanta Games. During the cross country event she fell from her mount, Peppermint Grove, but continued on despite the pain of a broken collarbone and two broken ribs to ensure her team won Olympic gold.
And then there was the remarkable performance by British athlete Priscilla Welch who competed in the first women’s marathon at the Los Angeles Olympic Games in 1984.
At 40 years of age she finished sixth.
And in the same event, the remarkable determination of Gabriela Andersen-Schiess who, despite suffering exhaustion, was determined to finish. To do so she stumbled around the final lap, lurching from side to side and leaning to one side.
She finished 37th.
At the London Olympics there was the sight of 19-year-old Sarah Attar of Saudi Arabia finishing the 800 metres in last place, more than a half-minute slower than her nearest competitor. She received a standing ovation. She was the first woman from Saudi Arabia to complete in track and field at the Olympics.
The terrible run of bad luck which has robbed Chinese hurdling champion Liu Xiang of Olympic glory continued. In Beijing, despite being a hot medal favourite, he had to pull out of his heat because of injury.
Four years later at the London Games he crashed at the first hurdle and was out of the race. Despite being injured he continued on and when he got to the final hurdle, paused and kissed it and moved onto the finish line where he was greeted by two athletes who carried him to a wheelchair.
What is truly remarkable about the Olympics is not the medal tally, but the extraordinary people with amazing talent who make the world take notice.
All the athletes, regardless of where they finish, deserve our congratulations.