Monday, 13 August 2012

A perfect end to a perfect Games

It seemed fitting that to mark the end of what has been 16 fantastic days of sporting achievement, patriotism and happiness in London and across Great Britain, the Olympics would go out with a bang. And what an almighty bang it was!

Over 24 million people in Great Britain watched the closing finale to what has been a fantastic games in London, with all the athletes, thousands of fans, Royals from across the world, hundreds of performers and even a handful of volunteers all descending on the Olympic Stadium to celebrate the end of London 2012.

The plans for the ceremony were kept under wraps from most of the media beforehand, but with the theme focusing on the British music industry, it was safe to say we were going to be treated to some of Britain’s most famous artists.

From Ray Davies of the Kinks to Jessie J, the crowd were in for a real treat as stars from across the decades joined together for arguably the biggest party London has and will ever see. Madness, Pet Shop Boys, Taio Cruz, Tinie Tempah and a miming One Direction also performed at the ceremony, which mixed spectacular dance and light elements with fantastic music to create a cheesy, disco atmosphere.

Stand out performances came from a reformed, one-night-only Spice Girls who arrived in style on top of their own black cabs. I admit that I am struggling to get the lyrics to Spice up your Life out of my head!

George Michael, who has just recovered from a near-fatal health scare, performed two songs at the ceremony, later followed by The Who and Take That. My heart went out to Gary Barlow, who performed at the Olympics despite his recent personal problems.

Besides dancing, the spectators were treated to a fabulous display of Britain’s best fashion designers, modelled by stars such as Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell. There were sing-along’s from Eric Idle, surprise appearances from Del Boy and Rodney and Timothy Spall (playing a rather convincing Winston Churchill) and a fantastic ballet display from new Strictly Come Dancing judge Darcey Bussell.

The traditional handover to Brazil also gave us a taste of what’s to come in four years time, as dancers and performers from Rio demonstrated the party atmosphere that Brazil is known for in a colourful, samba-enthused sketch.

But even Brazil looked in awe at the fantastic spectacle of London’s closing ceremony. With the cauldron burning for a final time, the fireworks lit up over London in a spectacular display that symbolised everything these Games have been; exciting, spectacular and full of surprises. With a tearful tribute going out to all the athletes, volunteers and the public, Lord Coe was not the only one who was wishing the whole two weeks of sporting legacy could happen again.

London will miss the Olympics, but the legacy has been laid and in true British fashion, the closing ceremony certainly showed the world that we Brits know how to throw a good send off party!

Compare the closing ceremony with my review of the opening ceremony.

Pictures courtesy of Wikipedia

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