The curtain has been brought down on the London 2012 Paralympic Games, marking the end of the greatest summer of sport in Britain. Two months on from the incredible opening of the Olympic Games, we are left with indelible memories and high emotions. New heroes have been taken to our hearts and the billions who watched the sporting action from London have shared so many awe-inspiring moments and enjoyed countless unforgettable experiences.
The support for athletes competing in both the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games was tremendous. People came together in the spirit of fair competition to celebrate the power of human commitment and struggle to do their best, regardless of their medal hopes. Across the World, people got behind their teams, cheering them to victory, while military personnel and volunteer games makers ensured that the experience was a smooth for athletes and supporters alike.
A hero’s homecoming was awaiting Serbia’s athletes when they arrived back from the Olympic Games. In scenes reminiscent of Djokovic’s triumphant return as Wimbledon champion, tens of thousands of well-wishers filled Belgrade city centre to show their praise and respect for the athletes’ performance in London and to see the medals won there.
That so many people turned out to cheer their return went a long way to soften the blow of disappointment for Olympic boxer Aleksandar Drenovak. Hearts were filled with hope when the nation’s favourite young middleweight won his first fight against Ecuador’s Suarez Delgado, but those hopes were shattered when he was out-classed by Turkey’s Adem Kilicci.
“I must tell you, I am not satisfied with my result at the games,’ he told Wild Rooster. “I came thirteenth. I gave my best in the moment but I could have done better. I am better than that.
The London 2012 Olympic Games were a triumph. Nobody can dispute that London rose to the tremendous challenge and hosted a Games that was enjoyed as much by athletes in the Olympic Village as it was valued by the many millions who watched on screen. Memories that will endure beyond a generation were forged in the passion and determination displayed on track, field and pool.
All good things must end and, after more than two weeks of inspirational performances and countless displays of sporting excellence, the spectacular Olympic party is over. The decorations are coming down, the athletes have all gone home, and the big clean up has already started. Even the Olympic venues have been transformed to await the start of the Paralympic Games, next week, when even more new heroes will be made.
Serbia’s Olympic middleweight boxer Aleksandar Drenovak is holding his focus after having fought his way through to the final sixteen with a win against Ecuador’s Suarez Delgado, late on Saturday. Despite the narrow margin win, Aleksandar was clearly confident of his win, even before the result was announced. “The match was very close, but I believed that I did enough to win,’ Aleksandar told Wild Rooster after the match. “But it was still a great feeling when they lifted my arm.”
As well as the physical aspects of training, Aleksandar is a firm believer in the mental preparations required to succeed at such a level. “Our team psychologist Dr Ljubica was with us at the match,’ he said. “She made me very calm with some useful advice before the match and then supported me during the match. I want to thank her very much for that.”