Papers hail 'the greatest party in living memory'

A round-up of the front and back pages as Britain's wonderful summer of sport came to an end after the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Papers hail 'the greatest party in living memory'

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Paralympics back pages (image via @suttonnick on Twitter)


Editorial - 'Just the victory parade to go, and then Britain's summer of love will be over. London 2012, the capital's greatest party in living memory, is done. At the risk of using up the entire annual quota of Guardian editorial schmaltz in one go, this past month it feels as if most of us have been (as Boris Johnson would have it) cropdusted with serotonin, the happiness hormone. The Olympics held the country rapt but, against all expectations, the Paralympics made them feel like a mere warm-up act. '

The Times

Editorial - 'In the summer of 1942, American servicemen setting out across the Atlantic to join the war in Europe were issued with a carefully written booklet on Britain. The place, it said, "may look a little shopworn and grimy to you". The people "are anxious to have you know that you are not seeing the country at their best". Seventy years on, all things considered, Britain is looking good, and feeling pretty good as well.'

The Sun

Oliver Harvey - 'The words of the Coldplay anthem that Chris Martin belted out in the packed stadium captured the Paralympic spirit perfectly. Because these were truly the Games that put a smile on all our faces. And last night they ended with a closing ceremony filled with the qualities we have marvelled at in the past 11 days. Passion. Determination. Courage.'

Daily Mirror

Polly Hudson - 'It turned out that not liking sport didn’t matter. Because whether you watched every second of every event or just a bit of gymnastics and The Spice Girls, like me, you still couldn’t help getting infected with Olympic fever. Something was, quite literally, in the air, and you could feel it wherever you went. Joy. Optimism. Pride. Hope. All the things this country so desperately needed a booster shot of. The Olympic and Paralympic Games have lifted the entire country’s spirits, provided good news for the first time in ages and reminded us that a place that produced inspiring people like Mo Farah, Jessica Ennis, Ellie Simmonds, David Weir and Sarah Storey isn’t so bad. Plus, astonishingly, we actually managed to pull everything off brilliantly.'

The Daily Telegraph

Editorial - 'The Games were an organisational triumph magnified by the spectacular success of Britain’s athletes. And the Paralympics of the past 10 days have surpassed all expectations. Everyone involved in all these events deserves the highest praise. They achieved something that seemed impossible given the gloomiest summer for years and an economy that remains in the doldrums: they made the country feel good about itself once more.'

The Independent

Tom Peck - 'So what to make then, of this summer like no other? For seven years the Games loomed ever larger on the horizon. Now they are in the rear view mirror, and will vanish just as fast. It was only the other week that the gleaming venues, and the gleaming people in them, in their gleaming uniforms, were buzzing with anticipation of what was to come. Now, already, apparitions hang about them.'

Daily Express

David Pilditch - 'The Paralympic Agitos logo on Tower Bridge lit up in a dazzling display. And then London 2012 ended with a message of congratulations for the greatest Games of all time, as the Houses of Parliament lit up with the words: “Thank you London, thank you UK.”'

Daily Star

Steve Hughes - 'But the real stars of the show, named Festival Of The Flame, were the war heroes and Paralympians who lit up the stadium with their inspirational performances. Capt Luke Sinnott, who lost his legs in a bombing in Afghanistan in 2010, climbed a flagpole. As an 80,000 crowd fought back tears, the 32-year-old hoisted the Union Flag to the top of the pole before blind singer Lissa Hermans, 30, led the audience in singing the National Anthem to British Paralympic Association patron Prince Edward.'

Daily Mail

Rob Preece - 'The Closing Ceremony also marked the beginning of a major operation to transform the Olympic Park into a site including 257 acres of open space, 6.5km of waterways, nine direct rail links, five world-class sports venues and five new neighbourhoods. After the ceremony, work will begin to take down the temporary sports venues dotted about the Olympic Park, such as the Basketball Arena and the Riverside Arena, which hosted hockey matches. Having been radically transformed for the Games, the site in Stratford, East London, will undergo many other great changes over the next 18 months as it becomes the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.'

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