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Olympics2012Olympic Hot Sheet: Most memorable moments

Posted: Sunday, August 12, 2012 | 01:33 PM

Categories: Olympics2012

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In an instant, the Canadian 4x100m relay team went from one emotional extreme to the other. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press) In an instant, the Canadian 4x100m relay team went from one emotional extreme to the other. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)

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With the London Olympics in the books, here's a personal list of our standout moments from the Games.
With the London Olympics in the books, here's a personal list of our standout moments from the Games, in no order at all.

We've almost certainly forgotten some good ones (it's been a blur, you know?), so let us know your favourites in the comments section.

The good

Canadian judoka Antoine Valois-Fortier winning his bronze-medal match and dissolving into tears the second the final horn sounded.

Chinese hurdler Liu Xiang, his Olympics ruined by injury for the second time in a row, hopping down the track on his one good leg and kissing the final hurdle.

Mammoth discus champ Robert Harting of Germany celebrating by tearing off his shirt Hogan-style before leaping over all the hurdles placed for the women's 100m event (he only cleared them with one leg, but still).

The Canadian women's doubles badminton team of Alex Bruce and Michele Li getting one of the most unlikely shots at an Olympic medal we can remember after four of the world's top teams were kicked out of the tournament for trying to lose round-robin games in embarrassingly obvious fashion. Bruce and Li lost the bronze match, but it had to be a dream come true for them to even play for a medal.

High jumper Derek Drouin coming out of nowhere to win a high jump bronze near the end of what had looked to be Canada's third straight medal-less day. Canada won three more medals the next day, and you could almost hear sportswriters across the country crumpling up those hasty "What's wrong with Canada?" stories.

Canada's men's and women's 8 rowing crews both charging to silver - pretty much the best they could hope for against nearly unbeatable gold medallists.

Our bald brother Brent Hayden swimming to a surprise bronze in the 100 free, finally winning an elusive Olympic medal.

Usain Bolt pulling off the sprint triple (100, 200, 4x100 titles) for the second consecutive Games. The 200 final stands out, as there was a moment (maybe two seconds) on the final stretch when it appeared Yohan Blake had Bolt. But the champ dug deep to blow past his rival and prove once again that he's the best sprinter of all time.

Michael Phelps refusing to give up his title as the world's greatest swimmer. After Phelps lost to colourful rival Ryan Lochte in their first showdown of the Games in the 400 IM (an event Phelps had no business even competing in), the world press was quick to crown Lochte the new king of the pool. But Phelps won their other head-to-head matchup (the 200 IM) and bested Lochte in gold medals (4-2) and total medals (6-5) en route to becoming the most decorated Olympian of all time.

Great Britain's Mo Farah electrifying Olympic Stadium on the final day of track events by holding off Ethiopia's Dejen Gebremeskel with a mad dash in the final stretch to win the 5,000-metre race and his second gold of his home Games. Most recreational runners are familiar with the 5K, so check out Farah's time: 13:41.66. And then think about this: Farah ran the final lap (there were 12.5 in all) in 52 seconds.

The Canadian women's soccer team winning bronze in maybe the most dramatic fashion possible, on a 92nd-minute goal by Diana Matheson. Yeah, we complained about Canada's ratio of bronze to gold medals (12:1) but after the way the ladies rebounded from their heartbreaking near-upset of the U.S. in the semis, this one felt like gold.

The bad

Alex Despatie hitting the water horizontally on the final Olympic dive of his great career. Not the way he deserved to go out, especially after he bravely overcame a host of injuries this year just to make it to London.

Simon Whitfield crashing out of the men's triathlon and breaking his collarbone. The former champion (and winner of one of the most memorable silvers ever in 2008) also deserved better.

Paula Findlay finishing dead last - but finishing - the women's triathlon. It wasn't much longer than a year ago that Findlay was the best women's triathlete in the world, and an early favourite for Olympic gold. Then a hip injury cut her down. Had this been a non-Olympic year, she may have opted for season-ending surgery months ago. But she didn't want to miss the Olympics. In obvious pain in London, Findlay showed true grit.

The worst

The Canadian men's 4x100m relay team appearing to have won an improbable bronze medal, only to be stripped of it minutes later when officials ruled Jared Connaughton had taken one step onto a line marker. The guys had already wrapped themselves in Canadian flags and were boisterously celebrating their apparent medal when they got the heartbreaking news that reduced some of them to tears.

A terrible moment, but a riveting sight: how often can you witness the greatest moment in a person's life, followed immediately by the worst?

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