To get the thrills there have to be spills and for several Olympians the London Games experience has delivered a whole heap of pain.
The crowd was left gasping at the Olympic hockey stadium as New Zealand player Katie Glynn was tended by a team medic, a blood-soaked cloth held firmly against a head wound following a collision with an opposition stick.
In the trauma-prone sport of weight lifting, German athlete Matthias Steiner produced arguably the greatest sphincter-clenching moment of the Games when he dropped 196kgs on the back of his head, forcing him unceremoniously into a struggling crouch as officials rushed to his aid.
When American runner Manteo Mitchell's leg broke with an audible snap during a heat of the 4x400m relay, he said he did "what almost any person would've done in that situation" ... he kept running.
Still on the track, Chinese hurdler Liu Xiang earned praise from a capacity crowd when, after crashing out of his 110m heat with an achilles injury, he hopped the length of the course to congratulate fellow athletes before being taken away in a wheelchair.
Uncertainty remains about whether the agony or embarrassment was worse for German diver Stephen Feck when his forward three-and-a-half somersault pike came unravelled, leading to a loud back-slapping pool entry and string of zero scores from judges.
With countless bruises, cuts and split lips among the athletes of high-risk sports like boxing, judo, and taekwondo, a global range of ailments have brought face-writhing moments to competitors in almost every Olympic discipline.
No doubt Australian eventing team horse Taurus was gritting his teeth with discomfort as vets confirmed a leg injury would rule him out of competition before the Games had even begun.