Closing Ceremony of London 2012 Olympic Games
After fantastic two weeks, London 2012 came to end with the traditional Closing Ceremony – and what a ceremony it was! The night’s spectacle was led by Prince Harry, who was tasked with the role of Her Majesty’s official representative; other British and foreign royals, including the Duchess of Cambridge, Princess Anne, Prince Albert of Monaco, were present as well.
The magnificent ceremony satisfied even the most demanding, providing a fitting ending to Britain’ most successful Olympic Games in over a century. Team GB earned 65 medals, including 29 gold, and finished on 3rd spot in Team Rankings – the highest result since 1908. The Closing Ceremony had a lighter mood than the equally fantastic Opening Ceremony, and resembled a party – one for both the athletes and all the spectators.
As a country which has given the world some of its most famous and beloved musicians, it was only appropriate the ceremony was by and large a tribute to British music. Famed British acts from the last couple of decades performed, from the likes of Queen, John Lennon, the Beatles, Pink Floyd and Oasis, to Annie Lennox, Madness, Take That, George Michael, Pet Shop Boys and Spice Girls.
One of the biggest highlights was the appearance of Queen: a video of the late Freddie Mercury singing Bohemian Rhapsody was shown to loud cheers from the crowd. Then Brian May took the stage for an extended and fabulous jam session. That was followed by one of the Queen classics – “We Will Rock You”, sung by Jessie J.
Another highlight was the hilarious performance of Monty Python star Eric Idle who sang his famous “Always Look on the Bright side of Life”, with enthusiastic crowds joining in a sing-along. He was joined on stage by Morris Dancers, skating nuns, and a choir of rugby players.
A choir from Liverpool sung a touching rendition of John Lennon’s “Imagine”, Spice Girls entertained the crowds with their hits “Wannabe” and “Spice Up Your Life”, Beady Eye performed Oasis’s 1990s hit “WonderWall”, then Muse took to the stage with their song “Survival”, written for London 2012. George Michael sang his old classic “Freedom 90”, while Annie Lennox emerged from a ghost galleon to perform “Little Bird”.
As Ed Sheeran, joined by Pink Floyd’s Nick Mason, The Feeling’s Richard Jones and Genesis’ Mike Rutherford, performed Pink Floyd’s hit “Wish You Were Here”, two men in business suits walked a tightrope before shaking hands and bursting into flames – a recreation of the album cover of the song. The show was wrapped up by The Who performing some of their rock classics.
The evening reached its conclusion when London’s mayor Boris Johnson passed the Olympic flag to Jacques Rogge, who in turn presented it to Rio de Janeiro Mayor Eduardo Paes, signalling the transition from London 2012 to Rio 2016. Rio de Janeiro is the first South American city to host the Olympic Games and now faces the task of matching the splendour, warmth and success of the London Games.
Then the Brazilian segment of the show began, giving us a taste of what to expect from Rio 2016. From a street cleaner practising Samba steps and Brazilian pop singer Marisa Monte entrance in a giant gown representing water goddess Yemanja to Capoeira, to samba dancers and an appearance from the legendary Pele – Rio 2016 promised to put a spectacle rivalling London’s.
This was followed by speeches from Lord Sebastian Coe and IOC President Jacques Rogge. Coe said in his speech: “We lit the flame and we lit up the world. Once again we have shown ourselves worthy. For that I want to say thank you. Thank you to the people of this country. When our time came, Britain, we did it right.” Rogge called the Games “unforgettable”, adding “These were happy and glorious Games. The legacy of the Games of the XXX Olympiad will become clear in many ways.”
At the very end came arguably the most emotional part – extinguishing the flames in the Olympic cauldron, signalling the Games were now well and truly over. As the dying flame flickered in the cauldron, a new flame emerged in the form of a phoenix suspended above the audience. It was highly symbolic since the flame extinguished yesterday in London will be “reborn” in Rio in four years’ time. The night wrapped up with a truly spectacular fireworks display that lit up the stadium.
To read more about the Closing Ceremony, visit this thread – The Closing Ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics. To share your impressions of the games, visit this thread – Lasting impressions of the London Olympics. To read about different aspects of London 2012, including the royals in attendance, athletes, Opening Ceremony, visit this forum – London Olympics 2012.Filed under The United Kingdom
Tagged Albert II of Monaco, London 2012, Music, Olympic Games, Prince Harry of Wales, Rio 2016, Sport, The Duchess of Cambridge, The Princess Royal.