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Musical finish to London Olympic Games

2012-08-12 23:04:37 GMT2012-08-13 07:04:37(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

Fireworks explode over the stadium during the Closing Ceremony at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Sunday, Aug. 12, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

Fireworks explode over the stadium during the Closing Ceremony on Day 16 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 12, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Singer George Michael performs during the closing ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium Aug 12, 2012. [Photo/Agencies]

Photo taken on August 12, 2012 shows Spice Girls performing at the Closing Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium in London, Britain. (Xinhua/Shen Bohan)

By Sportswriter Paul Giblin

LONDON, Aug. 12 (Xinhua) -- The 30th Olympic Games drew to a close this Sunday evening with a ceremony of sight, sound and above all of music containing over 4,000 performers.

Like the opening ceremony 16 days earlier, the closing ceremony again focused on British achievements, but this time looked at the stunning musical heritage, especially pop and rock and roll, which have perhaps characterized the islands over the past 50 years.

What it may have lacked in scale in comparison to Danny Boyle's masterpiece, it made up for with pace and energy.

Artistic Designer, Kim Gavin, called on British musical legends such as Ray Davis of the Kinks and the Who, in a show that was more focused on London than the opening ceremony. Indeed the opening segment showed a 'typical' day on Waterloo Bridge, but between the opening song and Ray Davis' emotive 'Waterloo Sunset': one of the most evocative pieces of rock music ever written, there was dance, movement and action with everything from gymnasts, an exploding three-wheel car (from the immensely popular TV show 'Only Fool and Horses') to the London Symphony Orchestra, the Household Cavalry, Madness and the Pet Shop Boys.

The Flags and Athletes of all the nations to have competed in London then paraded into the stadium and were treated to a montage of highlights from the past 16 days, which have placed London at the center of World attention.

There then followed a 'Symphony of British Music', a celebration of just that and also of British fashion as a series of catwalk in the shape of a Union Jack were filled with a parade of supermodels. The fact the segment also contained tight-walking businessmen, complete of course with bowler hats and umbrellas, a ghost galleon and 50 mods on their scooters, before referencing other works such as Willy Wonka's chocolate factory, the Beatles and a giant octopus.

If that all sounds frantic, that was before the entry of the Spice Girls, reformed for one night and dancing on taxis, Morris Dancers, rugby players, Roman legionaries, skating nuns and an opera singer, before rock band Muse performed their Olympic song survival.

It was then time for the traditional handover of the Olympic Flag and the mood changed with the playing of the Greek national anthem and the lowering of the flag, which was presented to Jacques Rogge, the president of the IOC, by the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson. In turn the flag was presented to the Mayor of Rio, Eduardo Paes and the flag of Brazil was raised.

That was the start of the party and we were given a taste of what to expect in four years with a segment dedicated to Brazilian music, culture and dance.

All that was left to do then was make the closing speeches and extinguish the Olympic flame a moment to reflect on all we have seen these past days, before the Who blasted out the opening chords of their song "Baba O Riley" as a montage of faces flashed across the stadium screens as if to highlight the unity created by the Olympic spirit.

The last song of the night 'My Generation,' ended as a homage to everyone who has been part of the London Olympics. 16 days ago they began with a night of wonder they ended with a blast. If we see their like again, we will all be blessed.


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