From July 27 until August 12, the Olympics consumed the world. Although it started with a Beatle and ended with the Spice Girls, no musical performance could match what millions witnessed for 15 days. Here are some of the best highlights from the 2012 Olympic Games.

The Women 

For the first time in Olympic history, every country that participated had a female athlete. Although for some countries it was just one, this remains one of the greatest facts about these games. Another great fact: the women of the United States won 29 gold medals, the same amount as all the gold won by Great Britain. The US women’s soccer team took home their third gold, along with Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh. Gabby Douglas and Aly Raisman both won two. The water polo and basketball teams… Missy Franklin… Allyson Felix… and so many more made their country proud.

The US women’s soccer team celebrate their gold medal

Michael Phelps & Usain Bolt

The fastest man in the water and the fastest on land, once again.

Oscar Pistorius

The South African athlete inspired the world when he competed in the 400m and 4x400m events. Although he did not go home with a medal, millions will remember his name.

Pistorius is known as “The Blade Runner”

P&G and Visa Commercials

They made us emotional and they made us remember. The “Thank you, Mom” campaign by P&G couldn’t have been more fitting during the Olympic Games. They not only sold the company as a family-oriented brand, they also sold the athletes as relatable, mom-loving kids. This partnership was truly an equal one.

Ashton Eaton hugs his mom after winning gold in the decathlon

But P&G wasn’t the only partner to sell both themselves and the Olympics. Morgan Freeman’s “One one hundredth of a second” commercial echoed in the minds of millions and made us all remember Michael Phelps’ epic win in 2008. (Showing his mom at the end didn’t hurt either.)

London

Although the opening and closing ceremonies may have been too ‘British’ for some, the rich beauty and history of the city were not lost. London did not let Great Britain, or any other country, down. And, of course, it was always exciting to spot the Duchess of Cambridge and Princes William & Harry at the events.

A beautiful moment was captured as the moon rose beneath the Olympic Rings

The 2012 London Games will be remembered for many years to come for many reasons. Now we must simply wait until August 5, 2016, when the world comes together again to experience 15 days of excellence.

What were your favorite parts of the games? Who are you hoping to see again in Rio?

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