London 2012 ends with singalong party

The London 2012 Games bade farewell Sunday with a giant singalong party, bringing the curtain down in spectacular style on an Olympics that has radiated the feelgood factor throughout.

The closing ceremony, entitled "A Symphony of British Music", was a celebration of Britain's pop prowess, with Queen, Take That and the Spice Girls getting the Olympic Stadium rocking underneath a blaze of fireworks.

Thousands of athletes who have entertained the world during the London Games craned to take pictures of George Michael and Fatboy Slim performing at the centre of a giant stage in the shape of Britain's Union Jack flag.

Meanwhile the pumped-up 80,000-strong crowd got into the party atmosphere, singing along in full voice as waves of colour swept around the bowl on the pixel screens in front of each seat.

The Olympic flame was slowly extinguished with tangible sadness in the stadium, but the feeling lasted only seconds before legendary rockers The Who blasted the blues away with a final salvo of thunderous hard rock and dazzling pyrotechnics.

"After 16 days of competition, we wanted to host a celebration of all that's good about London, British people, our music and our culture," Kim Gavin, the show's artistic director, said beforehand.

More than 300 million people would be watching around the world, the audience were told.

The three-hour spectacle began with New Year-style Big Ben chimes counting down to 9:00pm (2000 GMT).

In his biggest role to date, 27-year-old Prince Harry, third in line to the throne, represented Queen Elizabeth II at the show.

1980s band Madness kicked off the mass singalong with their hit "Our House", before The Kinks' frontman Ray Davies then played his London love song "Waterloo Sunset" with the crowd on backing vocals.

While a chosen athlete carried each national flag into the stadium, the competitors streamed in as one, some wearing their medals and others taking souvenir pictures as they formed the wedges in the Union Jack.

There was one final well-respected medal ceremony -- that for Sunday's men's marathon, won by Uganda's Stephen Kiprotich.

A hallmark of the London Games has been the enthusiastic warmth shown to athletes regardless of nationality.

Annie Lennox appeared as the figurehead of a ghost galleon, while DJ Fatboy Slim performing on a psychadelic camper van that turned into a blow-up octopus.

Next the Spice Girls sang a medley of their hits while riding around the stadium on top of London black cabs, before Oasis star Liam Gallagher had the crowd waving their arms with the 1990s classic "Wonderwall".

After seemingly failing as a human cannonball, Monty Python comedian Eric Idle performed "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life".

The late Queen singer Freddie Mercury then appeared on the screens to conduct the crowd, before the band emerged, getting the stadium thumping to "We Will Rock You".

As the 2012 Games came to a close, London Mayor Boris Johnson handed over the Olympic flag to Eduardo Paes, the mayor of 2016 hosts Rio de Janeiro.

Led by football legend Pele, the Brazilian city then gave a taste of the carnival the world can expect in four years' time.

"When our time came -- Britain, we did it right," said London Games organiser Sebastian Coe. "The spirit of these Olympics will inspire a generation."

International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge added: "These were happy and glorious Games," before saying: "I declare the Games of the 30th Olympiad closed."

As a phoenix rose above the cauldron, which opened like a flower, Take That performed "Rule the World" beneath a cascade of fireworks.

It was finally extinguished with a sad "ah" from the crowd, before The Who rounded off the night.

Spectator Jonathan Mann, 51, said: "I have been absolutely blown away by the whole of the Olympics. The whole spirit of the country has been fantastic. It's been absolutely incredible."

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Philippine leader says 'worst airport' now looking much better
    Philippine leader says 'worst airport' now looking much better

    President Benigno Aquino Wednesday hailed renovations to the Philippines' main international airport, expressing optimism it would soon shake off its ranking on one website as the world's worst airport. Almost a year after he personally apologised for the failure of air-conditioning at Terminal 1 of Manila's international airport, Aquino said the facility appeared to be completely different. "It is like I have entered a completely different airport," he told reporters as he inspected the …

  • Volkswagen opens new showroom along Quezon Avenue
    Volkswagen opens new showroom along Quezon Avenue

    Volkswagen opened a new showroom along Quezon Avenue, which is now the automotive row of Northern Metro Manila.At the Innauguration was Chief Operating Adviser Klaus Schadewald, Branch Manager Bob Anthony Palanca, Volkswagen Philippines: President and CEO John Philip Orbeta and General Manager Nemesio Solomon, Jr. This new showroom has the latest Volkswagen Interactive Showroom applications. ... …

  • The Race to Global Greatness - YGP6
    The Race to Global Greatness - YGP6

    Yamaha Motor Philippines (YMPH) recently held the first leg of the Yamaha Grand Prix 6 at the SM Sta. Rosa compound in Laguna. The racing categories for this year are the following: Automatic Inter-Club RaceUnderbone Inter-Club Race115 Superstock ATVega Force i SuperstockSniper 150 Open UB130 Open UBMio 125 MX i …

  • Volkswagen opens new showroom along Quezon AvenueVolkswagen opened a new showroom along Quezon Avenue, …
    Volkswagen opens new showroom along Quezon AvenueVolkswagen opened a new showroom along Quezon Avenue, …

    Volkswagen opened a new showroom along Quezon Avenue, which is now the automotive row of Northern Metro Manila.At the Innauguration was Chief Operating Adviser Klaus Schadewald, Branch Manager Bob Anthony Palanca, Volkswagen Philippines: President and CEO John Philip Orbeta and General Manager Nemesio Solomon, Jr. This new showroom has the latest Volkswagen Interactive Showroom applications. ... …

  • Nissan launches its “Virtual to Reality” GT Academy here in the Philippines
    Nissan launches its “Virtual to Reality” GT Academy here in the Philippines

    The Filipino Gran Turismo gamer just became eligible to become a Pro Race Car driver as Nissan Philippines Inc. launched its GT Academy here in the Philippines. The object is to find the best Grand Turismo players in both the online qualification process and participating in the live events after which they’ll compete with each other in National Finals to see who gets to attend the 3 month Race camp.  The winner gets to stay in the UK near Silverstone and will take part in UK national and club …

  • Osmeña wants electricity exempted from VAT
    Osmeña wants electricity exempted from VAT

    Sen. Sergio Osmeña III wants electricity to be exempted from value added tax under a proposed measure that will amend the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997 and the Reformed VAT Law. He said the move aims to ease the burden of the public in paying high electricity rates in the country. “VAT on electricity is another burden on the already over-taxed shoulders of our people, especially those whose incomes are barely enough to cover their basic needs. Osmeña, chairman of the Senate …

  • No lotto draws starting tomorrow until Easter Sunday
    No lotto draws starting tomorrow until Easter Sunday

    No lotto tickets will be sold and no lotto draws made starting tomorrow, Maundy Thursday, up to Easter Sunday in observance of Holy Week. In a statement, Jose Ferdinand Rojas II, acting Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) chairman and general manager, said the selling of lotto tickets and lotto draws will resume on April 6,  Monday. “We thank all Lotto players for your trust and confidence in the PCSO games, and we count on your continued support of our efforts to raise funds for …

  • Quake rocks C. Visayas
    Quake rocks C. Visayas

    A magnitude-3.2 earthquake rocked parts of Central Visayas yesterday. State seismologists said the quake was an aftershock of a powerful tremor that hit the region in 2013. The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said the quake occurred at 7:54 a.m. Its epicenter was located 10 kilometers  southeast of Buenavista, Bohol. Phivolcs director Renato Solidum said the quake was an aftershock of the magnitude-7.2 earthquake that hit Bohol on Oct. 15, 2013. …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options