They were the best Olympics. The people of Barcelona might disagree but nobody else would. Londoners? They'd be wrong.
But the Sydney games twenty years ago were nearly a walking disaster from go to woe.
Luckily for them and the honour of Australia, the buses of the nation drove to the rescue - Canberra's fleet of orange vehicles in the vanguard.
"Where is the sun?" "It's behind me." "Then turn round or you'll end up in Canberra."Driver to control during the Sydney Olympics
Driver Peter Sands still remembers the chaos.
He was paid $25 an hour - fabulous pay at the time and since. He got that for nearly two months of the Olympics and the Paralympics which followed. Money was no object when it came to saving the world's showcase games.
The organisers had only made the emergency call for buses two weeks before the start when it became obvious that the success of the games depended on getting millions of people to the right place at the right time.
Do it right, and the games would succeed. Get it wrong, and a planet laughs - and a lot of people want their money back.
With the games about to start, it looked like Sydney was doing it wrong - until vehicles of all shapes and sizes arrived.
And drivers of all shapes and sizes, some more used to rough country driving than rough city driving.
"Some buses were rattle traps," Mr Sands said.
He said that one driver got lost and had to radio in. The Canberra driver overheard a conversation along the lines of:
"Where is the sun?"
"It's behind me."
"Then turn round or you'll end up in Canberra."
Mr Sands was allocated a bus to ferry around athletes big and small - from tiny gymnasts from the Czech republic to giant wrestlers from Russia.
In some ways, he felt part of the athletes' efforts. He felt involved.
He took the Australian 4x100 metres men's free-style swimming team to the pool "when they beat the Yanks for the first time," as he put it.
It was particularly sweet because the American team had bragged about the inevitability of victory. One of them had said, they would "smash (the Aussies) like guitars".
But Mr Sands witnessed the Australian determination not to be smashed. "The bus was very quiet as they got on. I just gave them a nod but they were in 'the zone'."
Other experiences weren't so great. He drove the Czech gymnastics team to an event and because it was hot, he opened all the windows.
A Czech official got on and starting shouting about germs and how germs were going to get in and infect the gymnasts.
"She was yelling but I felt sorry for the gymnasts - these girls, very small, 13 and 14 years old. I never saw a smile amongst them," Mr Sands said.
Others, he warmed to. He said the French gymnasts were the opposite, smiling all the time and enjoying Sydney and Australia.
"And the Russian men's wrestling team - I was scared to look. You wouldn't want to get in the ring with them."
Scandinavian sailors were fun. "They were just enjoying themselves and it was quite infectious. We all got caught up in it."
When the Cuban baseball team got on the bus, three NSW Police officers got on, too. Mr Sands asked them why and one said it was to make sure none of the athletes absconded.
Some athletes from former communist countries were amazed at how they could wander around Sydney in freedom.
Mr Sands thinks "it was the best Olympics ever." He still feels a great pride in it and in the country - and in his part in it all.
It was the atmosphere but also the weather was great. "It wasn't cold but it wasn't immensely hot, either," he said.
And there were amazing moments (not that Peter Sands witnessed them directly because he was confined to the bus while the passengers were in the stadium competing). His job was to wait and take.
Perhaps the greatest moment was when Cathy Freeman won the 400 metres final in front of 100,000 people in the stadium and countless millions - maybe billions - around the planet.
She was in third place on the final turn and then found something extra - and a nation erupted.
She had been involved in another magical moment - the opening ceremony which very nearly went wrong (like the bus transport).
There was a glitch because the torch got delayed so Cathy Freeman had to wait to receive it and light the actual cauldron itself. There were only 36 million viewers watching around the world.
But it did arrive (like the buses).
And so did Ian Thorpe, from behind to snatch the swim relay from the arrogant Americans.
For driver Peter Sands, it was all magical.
He was given a special outfit, including a jacket of many colours. He still has it in all its dark blue, light blue, purple, red, green and white glory.
And on the last day of the games, the whole bus gave him a special tie.
He may not have got to see the competitions but he still treasures the memory of festival which changed the way the world saw Australia.