London2012 was a triumph in so many ways; an event that reconnected me with what I love about this unique and glorious nation and its people, and made me feel prouder than ever to be British – and to be a true-born Londoner.

For two weeks, this nation was reminded why it is great, and why so much of the world has been shaped by its people and heritage – from the language and literature that has defined modern culture, through to the music that has dominated the charts for decades.

There is so much to recognise and celebrate:

  • The enormous success of TeamGB, demonstrating Britain’s great sporting traditions
  • The effortlessly multi-ethnic make-up of our team, with its gentle echoes back to the days British Empire
  • London once again affirming its claim to the title of ‘world capital’, providing the most stunning of backdrops
  • The slick, faultless organisation of the events, universally recognised as contributing to one of the best organised games ever
  • The armies of volunteers who did their nation proud by helping to make visitors’ time in London even more special with their courtesy, good humour and boundless energy
  • Last, but not least, the fantastic performance of our armed forces, many of whom had to give up holiday in order to provide security for the Games

Who can have failed to be moved by the performances of Sir Chris Hoy, Jessica Ennis and Mo Farah? Each from very different backgrounds, but proudly British.

To see the nation united in celebration and admiration, cheering on British athletes from all walks of life and all backgrounds reminded me that this little island is home to a truly amazing and special people, with unrivalled creativity, passion and energy, who continue to punch above their weight in shaping the world.

This BBC video captures beautifully some of the finest moments from the London2012 Olympics, but the greatest memories will be those I carry with me in my heart and which I will remember every time I walk through the streets of London and recall those cheering crowds and powerful athletes; it is set to John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’, sung by Emili Sandé

Here’s to living in the world’s greatest city, capital of a great nation!