Englanders David and Elizabeth Robinson, who live part-time in Lely Resort, and their daughter Amanda, 29, sent their thoughts about experiencing the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
David and Elizabeth live in Potton, Bedfordshire and Amanda in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, England.
Their remarks are insights into the games and pride of their country in holding them.
Amanda Robinson writes ...
Being a couple (Amanda and David Wood) passionate about sport it was probably not surprising that we were excited about the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games this summer, but Wow what a magnificent summer of sport we were privileged to have been part of.
Having already been to the gymnastics test event at the North Greenwich arena and the diving test event at the newly built aquatics centre we were thrilled to have tickets for the games. By entering for tickets in each window of opportunity on the 2012 website we were very fortunate to get tickets for boxing, volleyball and football at the Olympics and Goalball, wheelchair basketball, athletics, swimming and two-day passes — one for the Olympic Park and one for the Excel Centre for the Paralympics.
Goalball is a sport for visually impaired people. Three players are blindfolded on each team and they have to score a goal by throwing a ball, which has a bell in it.
We truly embraced the Olympic spirit, watching the opening ceremony on TV, surrounded by Union Jack bunting and Olympic flags.
With each of our Olympic tickets we received free travel cards for the underground so we took full advantage and traveled into London on the Jubilee Line. On our first journey to an Olympic event we shared our carriage with a family dressed from head to toe in Great Britain (GB) clothing, complete with rucksacks and caps. It was clear to see they were excited about the day of (field) hockey ahead of them, playing knowledge games themed on Olympic hockey. We were even asked if we wanted to join in. For people to talk to each other on the underground is unheard of in London.
The Olympic fever was building as the first week got under way and we found ourselves replicating the enthused train passengers, purchasing our own GB T-shirts and hoodies to show our support for the country we were cheering on.
At our next event we too were adorning the GB clothing and found the number of people that stopped to talk to us was incredible. The country was uniting through sport.
The gamesmakers (70,000 volunteers) were fantastic throughout the summer, asking how people were, singing songs, high-fiving spectators and providing a smiling face for any questions people may have. People (volunteers) of all ages were seen in the maroon, purple and beige uniforms at every corner of Olympic activity.
The atmosphere in every venue was electric. When GB was competing chants of G -B echoed across London.
The day passes were great value. A £10 ticket enabled us to see four different sports at the Paralympics — football, wheelchair tennis, Goalball and wheelchair basketball. What other events can say they provide this much activity for £10! ($16.25)
Not only were the sports and athletes amazing, the venues provided iconic sites for visitors and formed the backdrop of thousands of photos. Our seats in every venue were excellent and were never restricted or blocked.
Heroes and heroines were created at these games from across the world. For GB the likes of Mo Farah, Jessica Ennis, Jonny Peacock, Elie Simmonds, David Weir and Greg Rutherford became celebrities and truly inspired a generation. Other countries shone too with the likes of South African Oscar Pistorius, the USA's David Boudia and Jamaica's Usain Bolt.
It is now that the Olympic legacy really starts with all those inspired individuals taking up a sport and changing their lives. Already we have witnessed the number of young people who watched Tom Daley diving from the 10-metre platform and want to replicate his success with our local diving club doubling in its memberships. An extra hour of pool time has had to be booked to accommodate the enthusiasm and activity created by the most memorable and wonderful games ever.
The London 2012 Olympics has made people talk about sport rather than the truly British subject of the weather and long may it continue!
David Robinson writes ...
The London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games were a triumphal success for all; the participating able bodied and disabled athletes, for the organizers, for the 70,000 volunteers and for Great Britain. We had a wonderful summer of sport and of sporting achievements held against the backdrop of London and other venues around our country.
We attended two days of events. The first was the knockout stages of tennis at Wimbledon where we saw Andy Murray, Andy Roddick, Maria Sharapova, the Williams sisters and others. When GB was playing the cheers went up and when they weren't our support was for the USA. After all we have a house in Naples, so who else would we support other than the USA.
Our second event was the final evening of the Paralympics in the stadium. The atmosphere was remarkable, the stadium full to capacity with 80,000 supporters. The British weather was wonderful and the anticipation of Oscar Pistorius running in the 400-metre final all contributed to a magical evening. When Pistorius won the stadium erupted. It was humbling to see people with such disabilities achieve so much.
Throughout the games all competitors were supported by everyone. Whoever was on the podium receiving medals were applauded equally. OK, when Team GB won then the noise was slightly higher.
Sport transcends race, religion, colour, class, culture and beliefs. Both the able-bodied athletes and the disabled competed equally, their achievements were equal and were celebrated equally within GB. We sincerely hope that the Paralympic athletes in particular were recognized by their own nations as having achieved as much as their counterparts. After all that they have to overcome, their achievements are equal to any other. This is the legacy that we hope is carried forward from these games.
USA, be very proud of ALL your athletes, we are so proud of all of ours.