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Seb Coe ‘Made In Britain’ Speech, In Full – 9 September 2012

The curtain fell on London 2012 tonight, as the Paralympic Games came to a tremendous end with their own Closing Ceremony. Lord Seb Coe delivered a fabulous and universally well-received speech, in which he thanked all those who’d made the Games so successful.

ROUSING SPEECH: Seb Coe delivered a closing speech that delighted the 80,000-strong crowd in the Stadium.

ROUSING SPEECH: Seb Coe delivered a closing speech that delighted the 80,000-strong crowd in the Stadium.

“Your royal Highness, Sir Philip, distinguished guests, ladies, and gentlemen.

Together these past few weeks, we’ve shared some wonderful days, haven’t we?

Days when incredible people have performed feats we hardly thought possible. Days in the Paralympic Games when our minds opened to what people can do, to what they can achieve by sheer talent and determination.

And I want to share with you two stories from these days. Everyone will have their own tales to tell, but these are mine.

I was travelling on the Tube when I met someone wearing the familiar purple uniform and a pass marked ‘Medic’. A Games-Maker. And the Games-Makers stand among the heroes of London 2012. We began talking. His name was Andrew, and he told me he was a doctor at St Mary’s Hospital, on his way to helping out at Boxing. But when I tried to thank him, he wouldn’t let me. He said he was the one who wanted to do the thanking. And as we did a very British dance over who should thank whom, he suddenly cut through all the politeness and said: ‘I was on duty on 7/7, that awful day. For me, this is closure. I wasn’t sure I should come, or whether I could face it. I’m so glad I did, for I’ve seen the worst of mankind, and now I’ve seen the best of mankind.’

Just a few days later, I met Emily, a Games-Maker at the Paralympic Games. She talked of what the Games meant for her, and what participating in Wheelchair Basketball means for her. ‘It has lifted a cloud of limitation’, she said. So Andrew and Emily, I’m going to have the last word: thank you. Thank you to you and all the volunteers.

The Paralympic Games have set new records every day: sporting records, records for crowds, the television audiences, for unbridled spirit. In this country, we will never think of sport the same way, and we will never think of disability the same way.

And Emily, yes: the Paralympics have lifted the ‘cloud of limitation’.

Finally, there are some famous words you can find stamped on the bottom of a product. Words that, when you read them, you know mean high quality, mean skill, mean creativity. We’ve stamped those words on the Olympic and Paralympic Games of London 2012. London 2012 – ‘made in Britain’.”

— Lord Coe, LOCOG Chairman, speech at London 2012 Paralympics Closing Ceremony, 9 September 2012

LEND ME YOUR EARS: Seb Coe appeared relaxed as he delivered his fourth and final Games Ceremony speech, at the closing of the Paralympics.

LEND ME YOUR EARS: Seb Coe appeared relaxed as he delivered his fourth and final Games Ceremony speech, at the closing of the Paralympics.

Don’t miss my poignant reflections on the end of London 2012, and read Boris Johnson’s ‘Olympomania’ speech that started the sporting festival over six weeks ago.

London 2012: 24 Hours To Go – 26 July 2012

In precisely 24 hours, the Olympic Opening Ceremony is due to get under way, as the world’s eyes (an expected 4.8 billion people will watch) turn to London to see our capital city stage these 2012 Games.

THE FINAL COUNTDOWN: The final countdown to the Olympics is on, as the Omega clock turned to t-minus 1 day last night. (IMG_9657)

For so many involved with the Games so far, it will in fact very much mark the end of their ‘Olympic journey’: the architects have long-since closed the files on the brilliant designs for the stadia, most of the builders have hung up their high-vis jackets and safety hats, while the final temporary signs are being tie-wrapped to lamp-posts and fences.

ZIL LANES: 30 miles of Olympic-family lanes went live yesterday. (IMG_9214)Now, E20 (the fictional EastEnders postcode officially issued to the Olympic Park by Royal Mail), along with all of the other venues, is ready. It’s now up to the athletes to do their very best. Team GB are already smiling: Andy Murray, of course, performed brilliantly on the lawns of Wimbledon just a few weeks ago, and last Sunday a Briton won the gruelling Tour de France competition.

THE SAVIOUR OF BRITISH DIVING: Tom Daley has a waxwork at Madame Tussaud's. (IMG_5635)Tom Daley, who was the subject of a truly excellent documentary that went out on Monday night, was eleven years old when Jacques Rogge announced the word ‘London’ (to the great delight of the thousands that had gathered in front of a big screen in Trafalgar Square) on 6 July 2005. Daley is now a man. Olympic organiser Seb Coe is now also seven years older and, unlike Tom, seven years greyer. But, despite all the headline-making “cock-ups” (not least last night’s Korean flag mix-up) and extreme costs of the Olympics, Seb and his team have done a great job.

EUPHORIA: The moment in Trafalgar Square after the announcement of London's successful Olympic bid was made.

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Boris Johnson ‘Olympomania’ Speech – 26 July 2012

As the Olympic flame reached Hyde Park this evening for tonight’s massive evening celebration event in Hyde Park, Mayor of London Boris Johnson gave a grand, rousing speech (over chants of ‘Bor-is, Bor-is, Bor-is…’) to the 80,000 people that had gathered in the park.

LIGHT MY FIRE: 19-year-old Tyler Rix had the honour of lighting the cauldron in front of the 80,000-strong Hyde Park crowd.

CROWD OF THOUSANDS: 80,000 people had gathered in Hyde Park for tonight’s Torch Relay reception.

YOUNG AND OLD: Today’s final torchbearer, 19-year-old Tyler Rix, lit the cauldron before Boris Johnson made his seemingly impromptu, but brilliant, speech to the masses.

ALL EYES ON LONDON: On the eve of the Olympics Opening Ceremony, Mayor of London Boris Johnson delivered a rousing speech to the Hyde Park crowd.

VIEW FROM BEHIND: Boris Johnson tonight tweeted this photograph from backstage at the event.

“I’ve never seen anything quite like this in all my life. The excitement is growing so much, I think the Geiger counter of Olympomania is going to go zoink – off the scale.

“People are coming from around the world, and they’re seeing us, and they’re seeing the greatest city on Earth, aren’t they?

“There are some people who are coming from around the world who don’t yet know about all the preparations we’ve done to get London ready in the last seven years, and I hear there’s a guy called Mitt Romney who wants to know whether we’re ready. […] Yes, we are. The venues are ready. The Stadium is ready. The Aquatics Centre is ready. The Velodrome is ready. The security is ready. The police are ready. The transport system is ready. And our Team GB athletes are ready, aren’t they?

“There’s going to be more gold, silver, bronze medals than you’d need to bail out Greece and Spain together. Let me ask you in conclusion: can we, final question, […] can we put on the greatest Olympic games that has ever been held? […] Are we worried about the weather? We’re not worried about the weather!

“Can we beat France? Yes we can! Can we beat Australia? Yes we can! Can we beat Germany? I think we can.

“Thank you very much everybody. Have a wonderful, wonderful London 2012. Thank you for all your support.”

— Boris Johnson (Mayor of London), speaking at Torch Relay Day 69 evening celebration event in Hyde Park, 26 July 2012

To have been in the crowd, like my friend Tess Warn was, would have been a wonderful way to spend Olympics eve. But people across the internet have been able to enjoy Boris’s ‘Olympomania’ speech, with one Twitter user

comparing the term to something that Twenty Twelve Head of Brand Siobhan Sharpe (played brilliantly by Jessica Hynes) may say.

Don’t miss my full report of the day the Torch went through Maidenhead, and check out my 24 Hours To Go post from earlier.