A Britain run along the lines of the Olympics would not be the traditional worker’s paradise. In fact, it would be more akin to a totalitarian corporate state.

Hugo Rifkind wonders whether unions boss Brendan Barber really wants to rescue the economy with an “Olympics-style national crusade”

Enjoyed our Olympics front covers? Want to know more about how they came into being? Then hit ‘play’ for a look behind the scenes at The Times.

You can also check out the covers photosets here and here.

Symptoms of Olympics withdrawal

  • You praise a work colleague’s idea by telling him: “Dave, that strategy could definitely podium”
  • You say everything twice; first time in French
  • Your CV classes your exam grades as your PB
  • When your boss asks why you now persistently walk directly in front of him, you explain that you are acting as pacemaker to spare him having to shoulder the wind resistance for the ensuing pack

See today’s editorial for eight more

104 US Olympic medals x £100 = £10,400 for Kids Company…

…and Team USA’s generous donation has been welcomed by the charity’s founder, Camila Batmanghelidjh (pictured). But she says in The Times today that Britain remains bottom of the league of the wealthy world for the wellbeing of children:

Waiting for politicians to discover their own heroic spirits is Isabella, who was raped, aged 10, by her father; terror propelled her from the family home into the arms of paedophiles. She is a member of an ever-growing British team, girls whose average entry age into prostitution is 12. Isabella sits opposite me wearily describing how the deadness of her spirit helped her endure sex with more than 200 men in grotty brothels before she had reached the age of 13. While the Prime Minister promises that the outcome of the Olympics should be competitive sports in all schools, might he consider bequeathing an honourable legacy to another group of children? Abused children cannot pay lobbyists nor add a splash of glamour to a sponsor’s posters. But imagine Team GB’s catchphrase inspiring the protection of children: ‘Better Never Stops’.

(You can make a £5 donation to Kids Company on a UK mobile phone by texting KIDS HELP to 70700)

This is not an easy thing for an Australian to write. But it is now clear that the Brits have gone farther than merely thrashing Australia on the medals table. As awful as it is to admit, London has knocked Sydney off its pedestal as the best host of a modern Olympic Games.

The Europe correspondent of The AustralianPeter Wilson, who has covered the Olympics in Seoul, Barcelona, Atlanta, Sydney and Athens, pays homage to London 2012

The last seven days of Olympic action in front covers

Click here for the first set

Olympians who finished fourth

Daniele Greco (Italy), men’s triple jump, August 9, 2012

More Olympians who finished fourth

Olympians who finished fourth

Keri-Anne Payne (Great Britain), women’s 10km swim, August 9, 2012

More Olympians who finished fourth

Wild card entrant storms men’s BMX semis

Olympians who finished fourth

Matthew Centrowitz (USA), men’s 1,500m, August 7, 2012

More Olympians who finished fourth

Olympians who finished fourth

Teun Mulder (Netherlands), men’s keirin, August 7, 2012

Well, he was fourth for about six minutes

Officials decided later that he had, in fact, tied for bronze. Aww.

More Olympians who finished fourth

Olympians who finished fourth

Alexei Klimov (Russia), men’s 25m rapid fire pistol final, August 3, 2012

More Olympians who finished fourth

GREAT BRITAIN REACH 19 GOLD MEDALS, EQUALLING THEIR TOTAL FROM BEIJING 2008! And that’s with five and a half days to go this time round…

Alistair Brownlee has just won the men’s triathlon, adding  gold to the two won by Team GB yesterday in the team showjumping and men’s cycling sprint.

Follow The Times's Olympics coverage here

Olympians who finished fourth

Dai Greene (Great Britain), men’s 400m final, August 6, 2012

More Olympians who finished fourth

American TV audiences suffer almost seamless ads with only minor interruptions for content. But the Olympics, with its ‘sponsorship partner’ requirements, takes the lunacy to a new level. It’s hard to catch more than a few minutes’ action between the car, finance, flight and food ads. And from the snippets I have seen, I’ve learnt that, in the main, the Olympics are held in the pool and that most competitors are called Phelps.

Times journalist Charlie Cox watches the Olympics in the U S of A - and ends up craving a little (ad-less) BBC

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