In the Media

London 2012: what a difference a year makes – from riots to gold medals in 12 months

PUBLISHED August 11, 2012

The contrast between the events of early August 2011 and 2012 in London and other cities around the country could not be greater.

Here we compare the Telegraph's take on the news of the seven days London burned with the events of the Capital's golden week.

August 2011 - Friday the 8th

The Daily Telegraph runs a small item on page two reporting that a "gunman was shot dead in a police operation in north London". One officer is hurt in the incident. The man, who we now know to be Mark Duggan, 29, is not named.

August 2012 - Friday the 3rd

A special souvenir edition of the Daily Telegraph shows the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge embracing as Sir Chris Hoy collects his fifth Olympic gold. Britain lies fifth in the medal table and the gold rush has begun.

August 2011 - Saturday the 6th and Sunday the 7th

In a sign of the unexpected nature of the events to come, The Telegraph makes no mention of the Duggan incident or the protest march made by his family on Saturday, from Broadwater Farm estate to Tottenham Police Station. Later that night, missiles are thrown and two police cars set on fire. The main stories in the Telegraph over the weekend include the death of an Eton schoolboy at the hands of a polar bear in the Arctic.

August 2012 - Saturday the 4th and Sunday the 5th

"Queen Victoria" proclaims the front page of the Telegraph on Saturday, as Victoria Pendleton takes gold in the keiran. In what will prove to be one of a series of good days for Britain's women, Katherine Grainger and Anna Watkins take gold in the double skulls. And the best was yet to come as the Sunday Telegraph tells the story of "Super Saturday". Jessica Ennis's "sensational" victory in the Heptathlon crowns a magic hour for British athletics, with Mo Farah winning the 10,000 metres and Greg Rutherford the long jump. There are two rowing golds and another victory in the velodrome.

August 2011 - Monday the 8th

The riots are now quite definitely front page news. The Telegraph splashes on Carry on Looting, showing pictures of crowds raiding shops in "broad daylight" in Tottenham, as police stand by in order to "concentrate on violent disorder". Dramatic photographs show blazing buildings as London is turned into a "war zone". Commentator Andrew Gilligan is among the first to suggest that rioters are driven by thrill-seeking and greed rather than grievance and injustice.

August 2012 - Monday the 6th

The golden glory continues as the Telegraph reports Andy Murray's triumph at Wimbledon. Ben Ainslie becomes the greatest Olympian in the history of sailing with victory in Weymouth. Usain Bolt sets the world alight in the 100 metres.

August 2011 - Tuesday the 9th

The riots are escalating, and the Telegraph's front page headline reads: "Rule of the Mob." The Prime Minister and Boris Johnson break off their holidays to tackle the crisis, as we report that the police are losing control of the Ccapital. Violence has now broken out across London, with riots in Tottenham, Brixton, Streatham, Walthamstow, Edmonton, Enfield, Oxford Circus, Islington, Hackney, Clapton, East Ham, Lewisham, Clapham Junction, Peckham and Croydon.

August 2012 - Tuesday the 7th

Nick Skelton becomes the nation's favourite "golden oldie" as he leads Britain to showjumping team gold in the fabulous surroundings of Greenwich Park. Cyclist Jason Kenny secures his second gold of the Games in the individual sprint, taking Team GB to 18 golds.

August 2011 - Wednesday the 10th

"Anarchy Spreads" is the grim news from the Telegraph, as riots break out in Manchester and Birmingham. A middle-aged man is left fighting for his life after being beaten by a gang of youths who he tried to remonstrate with in Ealing, one of several innocent passers-by who are attacked by the mob. David Cameron sends 16,000 police officers on to the streets of London.

August 2012 - Wednesday the 8th

Sir Chris Hoy is now the most successful Olympian in British history, with six gold medals. The Brownlee brothers capture the hearts of the nation in the triathlon, with Alistair winning gold and younger sibling Johnny bronze. The GB dressage team and cyclist Laura Trott also win. Britain has now beaten the record gold haul of 19 medals won at Beijing.

August 2011 - Thursday the 11th

The first rioters begin to appear in court. Among those in the dock are a boy of 11, a grammar schoolgirl and a teaching assistant, leading to national soul searching about the reasons why such people would riot. Two brothers are killed in Birmingham, mown down by a car as they try to prevent their shop being looted.

August 2012 - Thursday the 9th

The nation is now so accustomed to the taste of victory that it is almost a disappointment to wake up to the news that Britain has not improved its tally of golds. The Telegraph launches the Keep the Flame Alive campaign, calling for the country to seize the legacy offered by the Games to achieve decades of sporting achievement and good health.

August 2011 - Friday the 12th

As the riots ease, thoughts turn to the severity of the punishments given to the perpetrators. Meanwhile, we report that an "Olympics ambassador," 18-year-old Chelsea Ives, was among those who threw bricks at a police car in Enfield.

August 2012 - Friday the 10th

More girl power and more historic events: Nicola Adams becomes the first winner of a women's boxing gold, dressage rider Charlotte Dujardin joins an elite group of British female double gold Olympians by winning the individual event and Jade Jones secures the country's first taekwondo gold. Meanwhile, Jamaica's Usain Bolt also assures his place in history by becoming the first man to successfully defend both the 100m and 200m Olympic titles. Britain luxuriates in 25 medals, withd the potential for more to come.