A year ago, London was in flames. Now it is basking in the glow of the Olympic cauldron.
The games' host city paused yesterday to reflect on riots that erupted in a north London neighbourhood on August 6, 2011, and sparked four nights of looting, arson and mayhem across England.
Britain's worst street violence for decades left five people dead, several thousand arrested, a nation shocked and raised questions about whether London would be able to successfully host the Olympic Games.
A year later, that question has been answered. The city is celebrating a Games that have, so far, gone more smoothly than organisers dared hope.
Organising committee chief Sebastian Coe said yesterday that last August, the world "saw a London I didn't recognise".
"What I am seeing at the moment is a London that I do recognise," he said.
The rioting was triggered by the police shooting, in disputed circumstances, of a 29-year-old man in the Tottenham area of north London. A protest outside the local police station erupted into violence, and soon arson and looting spread across the city and beyond.