Harry hails 'extraordinary' Games

The London 2012 Olympics has been an "extraordinary" event which has touched people's hearts and captured their imaginations, Prince Harry has said.

In a guide to the closing ceremony, which he is attending as representative of the Queen, he said: "The London 2012 Olympic Games have been extraordinary. They will stay in the hearts and minds of people all over the world for a very long time to come."

All the competitors were praised for their skill and sportsmanship by Harry, who has been working as an ambassador for Team GB's athletes along with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

The royal trio have visited several competitions and athlete training bases to cheer on the team during the Games.

Harry said: "I congratulate all who have competed. They have shown us that there are few boundaries to human endeavour.

"Demonstrating great pride in representing their countries, these men and women have inspired everyone with their determination and their sportsmanship."

He also suggested that the spirit generated by the event could be "a magnificent force for positive change" as people from so many cultures and backgrounds had been brought together so successfully.

"You have captured the imagination of the world," he noted.

There was also praise for all the unsung backroom staff from the team preparation squads and coaches through to the volunteers for their "supreme" efforts in helping to stage the Games.

"They have not received medals but they assuredly share in the triumph of the London 2012 Olympic Games," Harry said.