Published 12 August 2012

As the 2012 London Olympic Games come to a close, I offer my congratulations to the athletes of Great Britain and the Commonwealth, whose efforts across the range of Olympic disciplines have truly captured the public's imagination and earned their admiration.

The outstanding performance of Team GB, in achieving the greatest Olympic success since 1908, will, I am sure, have inspired a new generation of Olympians and reminded us all how sport unifies communities and nations.

I congratulate, too, the organisers of the Games, as well as the thousands of volunteers who have epitomized the Olympic spirit through the warm welcome they have shown to the sporting teams and spectators from all around the world.

As a nation, we now look forward to the Paralympic Games and wish all athletes every success.

ELIZABETH R