Let’s say goodbye 2012 London Olympics…Hello Rio De Janeiro 2016!
Rio de Janeiro mayor Eduardo Paes waving the Olympic flag after receiving it from London mayor Boris Johnson. Rio will host 2016 Games.
Rio de Janeiro mayor waving flag
Legendary track star and chairman of the London Organizing Committee Sebastian Coe congratulated his fellow Britons for a “glorious” Olympic Games on Sunday night. Photo: Sebastian Coe
“When our time came, Britain, we did it right,” Coe told the 80,000 gathered at Olympic Stadium for the closing ceremony. Coe said these “two glorious weeks” would “inspire a generation.”
“These were happy and glorious Games,” he said. “The legacy of the Games of the 30th Olympiad will become clear in many ways. Concrete improvements in infrastructure will benefit the host nation for years to come. The human legacy will reach every region of the world. Many young people will be inspired to take up a sport or to pursue their dreams.”
This was right before the International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Jacques Rogge declared the London Games officially over. Photo: Jacques Rogge
Brazilian artist’ performing
As the Games came to a close, the United States led the medal count with 104 overall, 46 of them gold. China finished second, with 87 medals, with Russia third with 82. Great Britain finished with 65, its best total since 1908.
A uniquely British Show closes the Olympics…
With a gaudy three-hour farewell that mashed up theater, acrobatics, fashion and a few generations of musical idols, London extinguished the Olympic torch on Sunday night, capping a fortnight of athletic achievements with a jukebox collection of songs and a marathon display of endearing stagecraft.
Taking turns on stage were The Who, Annie Lennox, George Michael, Queen, The Spice Girls, Fatboy Slim, Jessie J, Ray Davies, Russell Brand and Eric Idle, who led the crowd in a version of “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life,” while surrounded by skating nuns.
Fireworks are seen over the Olympic 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 Robert Gaultier/LA Times)
Spectators fill the seats on Day 16 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 12, 2012 in London, England.
The closing ceremony was an opportunity for Britain to showcase the country’s pop culture.
The tenuous connection to the Olympics came courtesy of a few hundred athletes, who were assembled in the middle of stadium and were either entertained or dumbfounded by the proceedings. Americans are seen wearing white hats…
These competitors were given cameos Sunday night, but they provided so many remarkable performances in the last few weeks that picking a single standout is a challenge.
The most obvious choice, perhaps, is Michael Phelps, who became the most garlanded Olympian in history, after winning four golds and two silvers here, running his career tally to 22 medals, 18 of them gold. In the end, he was given a special trophy, which looked like a piece of pewter shrapnel stuck to a base, that read “Greatest Olympic Athlete of All Time.”
But somehow, Phelps seemed eclipsed here by Usain Bolt, the irrepressible Jamaican sprinter who became the first man to win gold in the 100 and 200 meters at two Olympics. Measured by sheer quantity of bling, Bolt has a fraction of Phelps’s medals. But perhaps because the designation “fastest man on earth” speaks to such an elemental physical feat, or because this guy celebrates with unequaled brio.
Bolt might have made the deepest and most lasting impression here. At minimum, he joined the pantheon of great athletes, like Ali and Pele, famous enough to be known by one name.
Others will argue for singular performances, like the 800-meter race won by Kenya’s David Rudisha, who set a world record in the event. “Bolt was good, but this guy was just magnificent,” said Sebastian Coe, a former Olympic middle-distance runner and chairman of the London 2012 organizing committee. “From a different planet that night.”
Or the American women’s 4×100 relay team, which shaved a half-second from the world record set in 1985 by the East German team during the height of its state-sponsored doping program.
London will be remembered for these athletes and for some larger themes as well. Women were a major story of this Olympics, with London marking the first time that every country had at least one female athlete. A 16-year-old track runner from Saudi Arabia became the first women from her country to compete in the Olympics, which she did while wearing a variation of traditional Muslim head garb.
A blue belt with little experience, Wojdan Shaherkani lost her match in just 92 seconds, and as courageous as this barrier-busting performance was, it hardly seems like Saudi Arabia — as well as Qatar and Brunei, two other countries that sent women for the first time — are about to aggressively rethink the role of women in sport.
George Michael performing…
Annie Lennox singing ‘Little Birds’
Annie Lennox singing ‘Little Birds’
80,000 people are clapping along to “We Will Rock You” as Queen’s Brian May plays guitar so loud it’s shaking the place while Jessie J sings.
Jessie J entering the stadium
The Pet Shop Boys performing ‘West End Girls’ led by a bicycle procession.
Freddie Mercury is on the big screens leading the crowd in a raucous, modified version of Day-O. Footage from 1986 concert at Wembley Stadium.
Eric Idle of Monty Python is singing “Look on the Bright Side of Life.”
5 rings on the Olympics flag, 5 Spice Girls singing atop black taxis.
The stands are shaking now as people are stomping feet and dancing to the Spice Girls, who have come together for this night only.
Victoria Beckham glides on top of a taxi as she performs with fellow Spice Girls…
Melanie Brown performs
Geri Hallwell performs
Victoria Beckham performs
Melanie C performs
Emily Bunton performs
Saxophonist from Madness is lifted into the air…
Ballerina Darcy Bussell enters the stage as a flaming phoenix
Ballerina Darcy Bussell
Jessie J, Tinie Tempah and Taio Cruz are singing Bee Gees’ “You Should be Dancing.” Touching that they are bringing generations together.
Tinie Tempah performs
Taio Cruz is rocking “Dynamite” as he rides in a Rolls around the arena.
RickyWilson of the Kaiser Chiefs performs
Fatboy Slim popped out of the mystery bus and is spinning for us now. “Right Here, Right Now” and “Funk Soul Brother.
Russell Brand is atop a magical mystery tour bus singing “I am the Walrus.” Did Mo Farah’s Mobot and Usain Bolt’s lightning bolt. Huge cheer…
Dancers performing during the closing ceremony.
Dancers performing during the closing ceremony
Singer Marisa Monte performing
Performers rush off stage during the Olympic closing ceremony
(L-R) British supermodels Lily Cole, Karen Elson, Kate Moss, Stella Tennant, Naomi Campbell and Jourdan Dunn during the Closing Ceremony
Supermodels walk the catwalk during the Closing Ceremony
Sir Chris Hoy attend the closing ceremony
Mo Farrah attends the closing ceremony
Silver medalist Abel Kirui of Kenya, gold medalist Stephen Kiprotich of Uganda and bronze medalist Wilson Kipsang Kiprotich of Kenya pose on the podium during the medal ceremony
Prince Harry, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and LOCOG chairman Lord Sebastian Coe attend the Closing Ceremony
Artist’ performing the MoBot
Ed Milliband, David Cameron and Samatha Cameron watch on
The Late John Lennon displayed on screen
Yoko Ono and her son Sean Ono-Lennon were emotional at Sunday night’s tribute to John Lennon at the Olympic Closing Ceremony. Ono tweeted:
“Last night, I was with my son, Sean, for the Closing Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics. Nobody ever took a photo of two of us from the back. So I’m looking and I’m impressed. It seems that the thing that was in my tummy grew up to be a human being with broad shoulders. Is this real? Or is this a nightmare of a pregnant woman sitting in her kitchen and dreaming of what could happen to you? Yes, it happened. It happened. And it’s not so bad… yoko at London 2012 Olympic Park”
Check out the video below:
Imagine was a perfect song choice for a multicultural event such as the Olympic Games which brings the world together.
Actor Timothy Spall performing as Winston Churchill during the Closing Ceremony
These Games marked the first time that women outnumbered men on the United States team — and the first time that American women outperformed the men, too. U.S. women will bring home roughly 65 percent of the country’s gold medals.
For fans, athletes and the news media, visiting the Olympic Park was like arriving at LaGuardia during peak flying times.
Fireworks light up the Olympic Stadium
Fact: At the Seoul Games in 1988, 26 percent of participants were women; in London, 44 percent were.
The Olympics also will be remembered for what did not happen here. There were no security scares, despite handwringing about how vulnerable London might be to acts of terrorism.
The serenity came at a steep price, one that could be measured in dollars — roughly $1.5 billion was spent on jets, choppers, snipers and surface-to-air missiles — as well as time.
- Details on Rio 2016 Games Emerge (theepochtimes.com)
- Olympic flag arrives in Rio de Janeiro, host of 2016 Games (panarmenian.net)
- You: Lolo Jones Has No Plans to Retire, Eyes 2016 Olympic Games in Rio (bleacherreport.com)
- Lord Coe to be Olympic Legacy Ambassador (itv.com)
Image Credits: LATimes/Getty Images