One of the prestigious moments for an athlete, victory ceremony is the heart and soul of Olympic Games. Marking the fruitful result of an athlete's hard work, this ceremony is what keeps spirits high.
London Olympic Games Victory Ceremony
Victory ceremonies are the most prestigious and proud moments of Olympic Games. It is a golden minute for the athlete who commemorates their success and enables their national flag fly high. It is the time when they taste success which is the result of loads of effort with millions watching the event from all over the globe. Through the ceremony, they are allowing their home country to be united in celebration while the national anthem is being played and national flag being raised. The intended purpose of victory ceremony of London Olympics, as any other Olympics is to generate a series of theatrical and exciting ceremonies. The most notable achievement of this is to ensure that the athlete and their achievements sit at the heart of the games. The event witnesses around 805 victory ceremonies in various venues around United Kingdom during London Olympic and Paralympic games. The entire events are watched by thousands of spectators in venues and all over the world.
- A victory ceremony usually takes place immediately after the completion of the medal event.
- The summer games would witness the ceremonies just after the event at their particular venues, while the winter editions would conduct the same as a nightly victory ceremony at the medal plaza.
- A three-tiered rostrum is constructed for the victorious athletes, with the gold medallist ascending to the highest platform in the centre.
- Following this, the names of the victorious athletes are called out by the official with the gold medal going to the winner, silver for the first runner-up and bronze for the second runner-up.
- The athletes come to the podium with the second and third standing on either sides of the gold medallist.
- The medals are awarded by an IOC official and then the national flags of all three winners are raised. This is done such that the gold-medallist’s country flag is in the middle—raised highest—with the silver-medallist’s flag on the left and the bronze-medallist’s on the right, both slightly lower than the winner’s flag.
- Once the flags are raised, the national anthem of the gold medallist’ country is played. The authorities of the host country help the officials in presenting the medals and act as flag bearers.
The athletes have to follow strict rules of conduct during the victory ceremony. For e.g., in case of outfits, the athletes can wear only those outfits which pre-approved the Olympic team. The athletes must not show any kind of political association and must detract from making any political statements while standing at the podium. Any violation of these rules might lead to the athlete's and even the country's expulsion from the events.
Victory Ceremony Preparations
- For the approximately 4700 medals required for the 805 Victory ceremonies scheduled for London 2012 Olympics, a highly skilled team of Royal Mint designers, technicians and craftsmen has been put together to ensure that the minting process and the medals meet all the desired specifications of the IOC.
- Some chief components of the victory ceremonies, like the main podium and all the required costumes, have been designed by the postgraduate students of the Royal College of Art.
- The responsibility of tailoring the costumes for athlete escorts, medal bearers, etc., has been allocated to Next— a British retailer of clothing, footwear, accessories and home products. Along with the costumes, Next is also the official supplier of Homeware for London 2012 Olympics.
- Recordings of the national anthems of the 205 participating nations for the London 2012 Victory and Team Welcome Ceremonies have been done by the London Philharmonic Orchestra, in association with Univer Music and with the help of Philip Shepard.
- The National Youth Theatre has been allocated the responsibility of writing, creating, staging and performing the ceremonies.
- It has also been common knowledge that the personnel of Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force would be the ones raising and bearing the flags at the London 2012 Welcome and Victory Ceremonies.
Attending a victory ceremony is a dream come true for any athlete coming from any part of the world. It is that prestigious moment when the world looks up to you and your country with an unparalleled awe. These ceremonies not only reward one's excellence in one's sport, but also highlight the sheer competence, passion and devotion that go into making an athlete worthy enough to be considered the best in the world of any sport.