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They were seven years in the making - and London's Olympic Games cost billions. There were arguments about funding, legacy about ticket sales.
There were fears about transport, security and protests.
But after two weeks, the talk is of success, pride, the 'best of British' and the 'best of London'.
Now, many shows can spark a stampede for the exits once they are over.
And London's Olympics are no different.
Around 200,000 people - athletes, officials and spectators from overseas - were expected to be heading home today.
Team GB won 29 Gold medals during London 2012, the last of them won in the boxing ring yesterday afternoon. It may have been pretty close, but after winning the super heavyweight gold, Anthony Joshua, from Watford, is Britain's newest Olympic Champion.
Workman begin to remove signs bearing the Olympic rings at the main entrance to the park in Stratford.
Boris Johnson told a press conference:
And Mr Johnson reminded people that the Games were not over, with the Paralympic Games due to start shortly.
He urged sports fans to look for tickets amid "massive demand" in the wake of the events of the past fortnight.
And the mayor said:
Latest ITV News reports
G4S should be the first outfit on a Government blacklist of high-risk firms that have failed to deliver, MPs have said.
Transport for London has created a new version of the tube map, to celebrate the success of Team GB at the London Olympics.