Relive the Games - a weekly look back at some of London 2012's most iconic momentsSubscribe
Grace Cullen 29 November 2012
Gibbons' emotional tribute
Relatively unknown before the London Olympic Games, judoka Gemma Gibbons captured everyone's attention on Thursday 2 August 2012.
British Judo had not won an Olympic medal since Sydney 2000, and when local girl Gibbons took to the mat in London, the pressure was on.
Battling through the early rounds, despite breaking her thumb in three places in her second bout, Gibbons set up a semi-final clash with French world champion Audrey Tcheuméo.
A tense match ensued, with Gibbons forcing the contest to golden score.
The capacity crowd at ExCeL was willing the 25-year-old to victory, while her coach, Britain’s last Olympic Judo medallist, Kate Howey, watched nervously matside.
What followed was one of the most dramatic moments of London 2012, as in one last effort, an exhausted Gibbons gave everything she had, flipping Tcheuméo onto to her back to win the silver medal by ippon.
The crowd erupted, but for Gibbons the victory was dedicated to one person alone. As she sobbed into her hands, unable to contain the visible emotion she felt, Gibbons turned to the sky, mouthing ‘I love you mum’, a tribute to her late mother that the nation will never forget.