By Emma Bird. Last Updated: 13/08/12 8:24am
Shauna Mullin and Zara Dampney: Pleased with how their sport has been received in London
The word 'legacy' has never before been used as frequently as it has over the past seven years. Nor has it ever meant what it does now.
Since 2003 and the raw seedlings of the Olympic bid, the London Olympic Games have been strongly focused on the power, inspiration and unity of sport.
With the 2012 extravaganza slowly drawing to a triumphant close, it is clearly evident to see the physical legacy of the Games. Yet this was visible well before the opening ceremony, with stunning venues and the backdrop of a transformed east London. It is the intangible legacy though that is now of utmost importance, as the Games leave London and head to Rio.
With Team GB enjoying dominant performances in the velodrome, on the Eton Dorney waters and on the track, the London Games have enthralled, motivated and captivated the British public.
London 2012 chairman, Seb Coe, has always made it clear though that his role was to deliver the Games yet it is the next generation who have the tough task of ensuring that a positive legacy comes from the 2012 showcase.
With programmes and initiatives to create sustainable legacies, not just in sport but in social and economic fields too, the axis of concentration will be on heightening the popularity of Olympic sports and increasing participation rates.
Having just competed in his fourth Olympic Games, canoeist Tim Brabants is confident that the London Games have done more than enough to ensure the legacy lives on after they have come to an end.
He told Sky Sports: "I think there will be a positive legacy for canoeing. The slalom events have been based at Lee Valley and that has already shown huge legacy potential, with lots of corporate events taking place and the public having been able to go down it in the last year or so. That will continue after the Games.
"Eton Dorney is a venue that was built years ago and we have been using it non-stop ever since it was still being dug out pretty much and that will continue to have races on there, whether that be rowing or canoeing or triathlon - all sorts happens down there."
The sportsman, who is a doctor when he is not on the water, added: "The legacy value we are looking for is participation within the sport. The success at these Games is only going to help showcase our sport, increase the profile and hopefully try to attract more people into it.
"It is incredibly easy to get into canoeing; there are clubs all over the country. Canoeing is such a diverse sport.
"I have seen how the sport has grown and how the attention within our sport has grown, and that has been as a result of success.
"It's been great when the crowd come to see you and take photos, kids are inspired by what you're trying to do and say they want to take up canoeing and I think that's going to be the same across all sports."
Another sport which has shown colossal potential due to the Games has been beach volleyball.
The British duo, Shauna Mullin and Zara Dampney, have known for a long time the attraction of their sport and are delighted that their country has now been able to see the fascination.
They told Sky Sports: "To showcase what we can do in the UK was really great for us, in front of a home crowd, and having our friends and family there to support us was really nice.
"The Olympics was always going to show how great beach volleyball is - it is a very popular sport everywhere else in the world and all it needed was for the UK to see it at its highest level and just to understand the game.
"With the sand that's been used all over Horse Guards Parade, they are distributing that all around the country. The main thing before was that we didn't have any sand for people to train on but now with the use of the Olympic sand going into facilities around the country, it is only going to make it more accessible to everyone who wants to play."
With the Team GB duo having first begun their sporting careers playing indoor volleyball, they know how important this access to top-level facilities will be.
They added: "There will be the courts, and people running coaching sessions and these will develop into clubs.
"People have got in contact with us saying that we have inspired them to play volleyball and they are going to go and find a club so that is a massive thing that we wanted to be able to do - to get people involved.
"To showcase what we can do in the UK was really great for us. "
Shauna Mullin and Zara Dampney Quotes of the week
"For Rio, we won't have the host nations spot so we will have to qualify in our own right and we know what that entails. Hopefully there will be more depth (with more people coming through) and that's really healthy so it will be really great if we have a lot of competition for the British spots."
The closing ceremony is set to wave goodbye to the London Games, with hype, fireworks and celebrations. Yet Lord Coe and the rest of the organising committee will be hoping that when the Olympic Flame is extinguished, the 2012 legacy is kept alight for many years.
Zara Dampney, Shauna Mullin and Tim Brabants are part of the BMW London 2012 Performance Team. BMW is Official Automotive Partner of London 2012, for more information please visit london2012.bmw.co.uk.
DOB: 17/5/1956 Event: Boxing Medals: 1 gold Flag: USA
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