Every Olympic Games has its winners and losers - not just among the athletes and competing nations - who stand out from the crowd and take praise or punishment as the host city steps into the limelight.
Gabby Douglas arrived at the 'Twitter Olympics' with a handful of followers, a cute nickname and a bubbly personality to go with her megawatt smile.
Faced with a Chinese diving team who hardly seem to put a pointed toe wrong and who regard anything less than 100 percent gold as failure, rivals at the London Olympics responded by upping the difficulty of their dives.
In the fierce competition of sport, young age can be a great advantage, but some older athletes can also make legendary records.
For the tens of thousands of athletes, who had shed tears and sweat to get to London, the Olympic Games are over and now it's time to party.
Success is not always measured by gold. Tibetan Cheyang Sigya's obvious joy as she claims the bronze medal in the women's 20km walk was one such example, as was the synchronized swimmers claiming silver.
Atheletes at london olympics closing ceremony.
Gold medal moments: Day 16
The closing ceremony of the London Olympic Games was awash with nods to Britain's vibrant worlds of art, music and fashion, heavy on references to the cultural explosion of the 1960s but also celebrating more modern celebrities.
China swept aside their challengers to take all four golds in London, just as they did on home soil four years ago.
The rise and fall of steel-loaded barbells on the London Olympic weightlifting platform decided 15 gold medals, rewrote eight world records and revealed a challenge to China's dominance.
Many accidents and unexpected moments take place during the London Olympic Games.