Review of 2012 - we pick out the best quotes from the Olympics and Paralympics

By Emma Bird.   Last Updated: 18/12/12 3:01pm

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In a year when the focus was very much on the world's athletes, the ears as well as eyes of the world were on the London Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Everyone had something to say - sportsmen and women of course, but also officials and even athletes' parents. Some were joyous; others were full of despair.

We take a look back at the best quotes from London's summer of sport...

"These were happy and glorious Games." -Jacques Rogge, the IOC president, praises the London 2012 Games at the closing ceremony.

"It was an amazing moment after all the things I've been through. All the hard work and all the things I've done... along with my dad. I wish he was there to see it but I know he'd be proud of what I've done." -Team GB's Tom Daley celebrates his diving bronze medal in the 10 metre event.

"To go out there today and put a performance like that together nine days after the Tour and win another Olympic title in another event, it is never, ever going to get any better than that." -Cyclist Bradley Wiggins realises the significance of his 2012 achievements after adding the time-trial gold medal to his Tour de France title.

"I'm now a living legend." Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt takes success in his stride!

"I've been trying and working for an Olympic medal for four years and now I lost it in one second. It's just impossible to accept."- Things didn't always go smoothly though, with South Korean fencer Shin A-lam holding a sit-down protest after losing her epee semi-final.

"I love you mum." -Gemma Gibbons' poignant gesture to her late mother after she claimed judo silver.

"There are semi-naked women playing beach volleyball in the middle of the Horse Guards Parade immortalised by Canaletto. They are glistening like wet otters and the water is splashing off the brims of the spectators' sou'westers." -Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, speaking about the beach volleyball!

"They've made me angry and you don't want to make me angry." -Ben Ainslie, bidding for his fourth Olympic gold, sends a message to his rivals.

"My mother used to tell us in the mornings, 'Carl put on your shoes, Oscar you put on your prosthetic legs... So I grew up not really thinking I had a disability. I grew up thinking I had different shoes." -South African runner Oscar Pistorius, aka the 'Blade Runner'.

"However hard today is, finally closing the door on that dream, at least I can know that I truly have tried absolutely everything." -Paula Radcliffe expresses her pain as she is forced to withdraw from the Olympic Games due to injury.

"It has made people realise that athletes are athletes and people are people. It doesn't matter if you're Usain Bolt or in a wheelchair, we're all people. And everyone just wants to talk about the sport now, so that's good."- Great Britain sitting volleyball player Charles Walker is pleased with how the Paralympics helped change people's attitudes.

"It was the greatest day of sport I have ever witnessed. I dreamt that we would have a night like that but not in my wildest dreams did I think that it would actually unfold in the way that it did."- Seb Coe is ecstatic after the incredible scenes on Super Saturday.

"It is just a bike race, but it is probably the most important bike race I have ever raced in. No-one's died it just feels like they have." -Jody Cundy expressed his heartbreak after being denied a restart in the 1km time trial event.

"I've died and gone to heaven. He's a beautiful boy."-South African Chad Le Clos' father Bert, after his son beat Michael Phelps in the 200m butterfly final.

"You should not chase pipedreams but, if you have a horizon to look into, happiness is just around the corner." -Alex Zanardi after winning Paralympic gold in the H4 handcycling time trial.

BBC presenter to Beth Tweddle's parents: "Just tell me what you've been going through this past week." Mr Tweddle: "I've been laying a patio." Priceless!

"There was a lot of pressure on me and I could feel the expectation, but I've had an amazing four years of training and I have trusted my coach Billy Pye all the way." -Ellie Simmonds after her success in the Aquatics Centre.

"I am just so happy. I want to thank everyone who has supported me, they have been amazing. I am so thankful that everyone has helped me all this way. I just had to give it everything at the end. I just wanted to make sure I gave them something and brought it all home." -Heptathlete gold medallist Jessica Ennis was overwhelmed as she absorbed her victory.

"I had to be in super-human shape to win four and I've done it." -David Weir took the Paralympic Games by storm as he secured four wins from four events.

"It's tough to put into words right now, but I finished my career how I wanted to." - Michael Phelps after he bowed out of the sport with a record 18th gold and 22nd Olympic medal.

"It's an honour to represent my country both on the front line and now at the Paralympics. Going into the stadium and performing in front of 80,000 people, I'm just humbled by the route that I've taken, not giving up and then taking up Paralympic sport."- Derek Derenalagi, who lost both his legs to a bomb in Afghanistan, was a true inspiration at the Paralympic Games.

"I hope that this medal inspires the kids at home to put down guns and knives and pick up a pair of trainers instead. If they do that, I will be the happiest guy in the world." - Erick Barrondo, winner of Guatemala's first-ever Olympic medal with silver in the men's 20-kilometre race walk.

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