2012 – More than Just Numbers

2012 has been more than just an Olympic Year for British Sport and there are many moments that can be pinpointed by times and numbers.

Obviously the highlight came in the three weeks of the London 2012 Olympic Games, but it has been the best collective sporting achievement Britain has ever seen.

Bradley Wiggins became the first British man to win the Tour De France in July and then ten days later took Olympic time trial gold to win a unique double.

His year was rounded off by winning the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year Award but not before he had been hit by a car on a bike ride and suffered two broken ribs.

Jessica Ennis also set about number crunching in 2012 as she broke the Heptathlon world record in Gotziz with a huge total of 6906, before smashing that again at the Olympic Games with 6955 to take the Olympic Gold.

It had been four years coming for the Sheffield athlete after missing the Beijing Games in 2008 with a foot injury that in turn changed her jumping foot in the multi-discipline event.

Elsewhere, Mo Farah took a long distance double at the Games and put himself up with the greatest ever distance runners, and Katherine Grainger finally took a Gold in her fourth attempt in the Rowing.

Sir Chris Hoy bowed out of Olympic Competition with a Gold in the track cycling and in total Team GB took a total of 65 medals, 29 of which were gold.

Not to be out done, Paralympian legends David Weir, Sarah Storey and Ellie Simmonds dominated in the Paralympics, all coming away with multiple medals.

Storey equaled the record set by Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson with an amazing 11th Gold medal at the Games, to become the equal  greatest modern Paralympic athlete.

David Weir took an unprecedented four gold medals in the wheelchair events, getting the name Weirwolf for his fantastic achievements and Ellie Simmonds at still only 17 returned to the pool to take another two goals, a silver and a bronze.

However, even though the year was dominated by the Olympics, other sports had their fair share of number busting throughout the year.

The Premier League was settled in the 90+3 minute when Sergio Aguero scored a dramatic winner to give Manchester City their first title in 57 years.

It was the first time in the Premier League era the title had been settled on goal difference with City taking the crown having an eight goal advantage over their fiercest rivals.

In golfs Ryder Cup, Europe won in dramatic fashion turning a 10-4 deficit into a 14.5-13.5 victory, gaining the last 8.5 points on offer.

Rugby Union witnessed a huge shock and England beat an unbeaten New Zealand side, the current World Champions, 38-21 at Twickenham in the Autumn Internationals.

Finally, in Cricket, Alistair Cook hit his twenty-third test century to become England’s best test centurion.

After an indifferent series for the Whites, it once again showed dominance in the sport, and proved that on their day, England can destroy anyone.

Andy Murray finally ended the 76 years of hurt as he won a Grand Slam, taking the US Open in a nail-biting encounter with Novak Djokovic. Earlier he had lost in the Wimbledon final, his fourth Grand Slam final defeat, but also taken gold in the London Olympics.

There were many other minutes of madness and euphoria during the year, but 2012 will go down in history as the 365 days that put Britain back on the sporting map.

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