What has been the key image from the London 2012 Olympics?

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‘For all the brilliance of the games themselves, I have to go back to the opening ceremony. It’s been widely praised, but I still feel it’s been under-estimated if anything. Even the positive reviews patronisingly refer to its “wackiness”, as though celebrating Brunel, universal free healthcare, women’s rights, music, the worldwide web, children’s literature and those we have lost is somehow “bonkers”. As a words person, my image would have to be one that did the rounds on Twitter: the opening page of the ceremony programme, with an introduction by Danny Boyle explaining the thinking behind it. It has the feeling of a founding text – cultural historians will refer to it for decades. Over the next few weeks, it may feel like the status quo is reasserting itself, but the real impact of that night will reverberate for a long time.’

Nick Asbury, co-founder, Asbury & Asbury

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Danny Boyle’s introduction for the opening ceremony
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‘Gymnastics… I’d never really given it too much thought before. Just another one of those ‘non-sports’ used to pad out the graveyard slots on the box. How far from the mark could I have been! This has been a recurring theme over the last ten days, old prejudices turned on their head, new found admiration for sports and athletes I hadn’t considered before. What’s changed… me I guess, thank you Seb!’

Louie Sumpter, head of strategy, Start Judge Gill

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‘Mmmm…LOCOG’s logo is now emblazoned on my brain. And the mascots which resemble Teletubbies gone wrong won’t leave me any time soon either. But all the griping, all the empty seat angst fades away when you see these amazing people, the athletes, from all over the world, training together and competing together. That’s the real truth of the Olympics, and those images will stay with me long after 2012 is over.’

Lizzie Mary Cullen, illustrator

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