By Laura Maltby 17/08 Updated: 20/08 08:30
AT the closing ceremony to London 2012, Lord Sebastian Coe thanked the thousands of volunteers who helped make the London 2012 Games a success. Reporter Laura Maltby tells of her experience as a 'Games Maker'.
FOLLOWING 16 days of tremendous highs and devastating lows, the Games of the 30th Olympiad have finally drawn to a close.
London 2012 will live long in the memory of many be it thanks to Jessica Ennis' gold medal heptathlon triumph, rower Katherine Grainger's gold after three successive silvers or Mo Farah's incredible long distance double.
Everyone will have a stand-out moment that defined the Games for them.
On a personal note though, I will never forget the London 2012 Olympics because I can proudly say, I was part of it.
In July 2005 when Jacques Rogge, president of the International Olympic Committee, announced that we had beaten off our cross-channel rivals to host the greatest show on Earth, I knew I wanted to be involved.
And in January of this year, when I got the email from LOCOG (London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games) to inform me I was to be a 'Games Maker' I was ecstatic.
I had been chosen to be part of a team of 70,000 others who would give up their time to try and make our home games the best ever.
Seb Coe and his team wanted to 'inspire a generation' and as a volunteer, I can certainly say I have been inspired.
Having had the opportunity to work behind the scenes, meet people from all walks of life and from all four corners of the globe is something I will never forget.
People say the Olympics are a once-in-a-lifetime experience and having played a role, albeit a small one, in that experience, I truly believe that.
Perhaps we may be fortunate enough to host the Olympics in 50 years time but it will not be the same as London 2012.
The past two weeks have been incredible for me both as a volunteer and as a spectator and my memories will last a lifetime.
And for those of you who are already suffering withdrawal symptoms from not having access to sport 24 hours a day, don't worry, it's only 1449 days until the next Olympics.
Bring on Rio 2016. The countdown is on and I, for one, can't wait.
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