“When our time came — Britain we did it right. Thank you!”, said chairman of the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games, Lord Sebastian Coe. Indeed, it did. The closing ceremony was a celebration of Britain’s best.
With high voltage performances by the past, present and future from the world of music, London bid goodbye to the Olympics with a stylish yet informal closing ceremony.
For three hours, the Olympic stadium was turned into a giant jukebox with some of the most talented musicians of the world on the stage, performing for athletes, officials and spectators. The five-strong girl-band ‘The Spice Girls’ reformed for the evening and were seen whizzing around the stadium on the top of black London taxis, belting out one of their hits. The most surreal moment of a truly mad evening was the appearance of Monty Python star Eric Idle singing Always Look on the Bright Side of Life — often sung by defeated sports fans to cheer themselves up— complete with roller-skating nuns, morris dancers, dancing Roman centurions, frantic Indian Bhangra dancers and a kilted-bagpipe band. In addition, The Who, One Direction, Fatboy Slim, George Michael, Brian May of Queen and a whole lot of others regaled the crowd with their performances.
In the more formal, and more sane, parts of the evening Jacques Rogge, president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) took possession of the Olympic flag from London Mayor Boris Johnson to then hand it over to Rio’s Mayor Eduardo Paes. In a final speech, Chairman Lord Sebastian Coe said: “Today sees the closing of a wonderful Games in a wonderful city. We lit the flame and we lit up the world, for the third time in its history London was granted the trust of the Olympic movement and once again we have shown ourselves worthy of that trust.”