It was a golden weekend in more ways than one for Britain’s athletes at the Beijing Olympics as they gained a staggering 17 medals, including 8 golds in just two days. Swimmer Rebecca Adlington was amongst them, taking her second Olympic victory with a new world record in the 800 metres freestyle on Saturday, whilst blonde sailing trio Sarah Ayton, Sarah Webb and Pippa Wilson battled the bad weather to win the Yngling race. Team GB’s successful weekend was described as, “the greatest in British Olympic history” and puts them in third place in the medals table. British Prime Minister Gordon Brown praised Britain’s Olympic athletes, saying, “We are immensely proud of what they have achieved and inspired by their performance”. Meanwhile the Queen recorded a personal message of congratulations to Team GB, saying that she had followed their endeavours with great interest and admiration. All of the athletes are great role models for Britain’s children and we can only hope that seeing Team GB winning will encourage them to take part in different kinds of sports.
The Beijing closing ceremony and official Olympic handover was watched by millions across the U.K. whilst London hosted its own free concert to celebrate the occasion. The Olympic flag was handed over to London Mayor Boris Johnson in preparation for London hosting the games in 2012.