The Torch
4:42 pm
Sun August 12, 2012

London Games Bid Spectacular Farewell

Originally published on Mon August 13, 2012 10:34 am

The closing ceremony to the London Games used fireworks, theatrics and music to celebrate the athletes and their countries who participated in the 2012 Summer Olympics.

The night included a shout-out to Winston Churchill and a performance from the Pet Shop Boys, to mark the end of two weeks of competition and stunning athletic displays.

The surviving members of the rock band Queen, The Who and the Spice Girls were on the schedule to entertain millions watching around the world.

Update at 5:11 p.m. ET: 'Imagine'

The late John Lennon performs "Imagine," in a moving end to the games.

As the Associated Press reports:

"They put John Lennon up on the big screen, remastered and straight from Yoko Ono's archives, singing about how we should 'Imagine all the people living life in peace.' Blue light bathed Olympic Stadium, and it was picture-perfect stagecraft for an organization that wants people to believe, above all else, that the games are about the world coming together and putting aside differences."

And here's a tribute to the Union Jack from earlier in the ceremony:

Update at 5:44 p.m. Pomp, Circumstance, Pageantry:

Here's more from the AP about the closing ceremony at the games:

"Prince William's wife, Kate, and Prince Harry took seats next to Jacques Rogge, the president of the International Olympic Committee. They sang along to 'God Save the Queen.'

"But perhaps the best seats in the house were for the 10,800 athletes, who marched in as one, rather than with their nations, symbolizing the harmony and friendship inspired by the games.

As the crowd cheered their heroes and flashbulbs rippled through the stadium, the Olympians cheered back, some carrying national flags, others snapping photographs with smartphones and cameras.

They held hands, embraced and carried each other on their shoulders, finally forming a human mosh pit on the field."

Update at 6:30 p.m. Flag Handover:

The Olympic flag was handed over to the mayor of Rio de Janiero, which will host the games in 2016.



Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.