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.

  • Nonviolent disciplining of kids pushed

    Child rights advocates called on senators to pass and strongly endorse a law that will institutionalize positive and nonviolent methods of disciplining children.The Child Rights Network (CRN), Plan International Philippines (PIP), Philippine Legislators’ Committee on Population and Development (PLPCD), and Lihok Pilipinas Foundation led the call for the enactment of the Positive Discipline Bill.Several Quezon City Council members led by Majority Floor Leader Jesus Manuel Suntay, Victor Ferrer …

  • Method to their madness

    [caption id="attachment_256768" align="alignright" width="212"] Illustration by Rod Cañalita[/caption] EMMANUEL PORTUGAL Country Manager for the Philippines, VMware I look after the garden. I’d like to think that I have a green thumb—no plants have died so far! The ones I like now that I planted a few months ago is the Blue Iris. Like the town in the movie, my Blue Iris shows up in the morning and only appears for one day. …

  • JGFP Summer Tour on today

    The summer tour for local junior golfers kicks off with the holding of the ICTSI-JGFP Baguio Junior Open today and tomorrow at the treacherous Baguio Country Club course in Baguio.Sixty players aged 6 to 17 years old are entered in the 36-hole tourney serving as the opening leg of the summer circuit organized by the Junior Golf Foundation of the Philippines with the International Container Terminal Services, Inc. Foundation as main sponsor. ... …

  • PH now market ready to absorb infra bonds

    The Philippine market is now ready to absorb infrastructure bonds that will be issued by private companies amid a growing pipeline of infra-related projects under the government’s Public-Private Partnership (PPP) program. President Benigno Aquino III last week said the government is still committed to spend more on the country’s infrastructure, with 16 PPP projects currently on the pipeline and nine that have already been awarded. Over the years, some of the country’s biggest infrastructure …

  • Filipinos are saving more – BSP survey

    More Filipinos have the extra cash to save for that proverbial rainy day, according to the Bangko Sentral ng Philippines (BSP). Based on a quarterly survey on consumer confidence, domestic households with savings have the means to increase family reserves and to bring up the amount to historical highs. The central bank said improved family income, a generally positive outlook on the economy, inflation and foreign exchange rates encouraged saving behavior during the first three months of 2015. …

  • AXA Philippines growing alongside its parent firm

    Philippine AXA Life Insurance Corp. is growing side by side with its parent firm, global insurance firm AXA, after posting significant growth in its total premium income amid an increasing market share in the country. A statement showed that in the Philippines, multi-billion firm AXA Group saw P18.35 billion in total premium income. The local entity of AXA, AXA Philippines is a joint venture between AXA Group and the Metrobank Group. In 2014, it saw an increase in market share to 11.6 …

  • End to traffic jam in sight? Japan to lend P4B to PHL for road projects

    The Japanese government will be providing some P4 billion to the Philippines for road projects aimed at decongesting monstrous jams in Metro Manila.Noriaki Niwa, chief representative of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), said the loan will cover major interchanges to address traffic congestion in Metro Manila, including flyovers, and road links.Among them are the interchanges on EDSA-Roosevelt/Congressional, EDSA-West/North, and C-5-Green Meadows and North/Mindanao Avenue. ... …

  • US won’t provide flexibility for countries interested in TPP

    Washington D.C.—The US government will not provide any flexibility for potential member countries, like the Philippines, in their bid to become part of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a senior official said. Economic and Business Affairs Deputy Assistant Secretary William E. Craft, Jr., said all restrictions stated under the TPP trade deal will be maintained and have to be met by the current and future member countries. Earlier, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said that the …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options