“Happy and Glorious”: London bids farewell to the Games
International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge declared the London 2012 Olympic Games “happy and glorious” and thanked London, as the spectacular Closing Ceremony brought the curtain down on 17 days of sporting excellence.
The Olympic Stadium – which staged so many impressive sporting achievements during the Games – played host to a kaleidoscopic ceremony that celebrated the best of British music, with performances by artists including One Direction, Annie Lennox, George Michael, the Spice Girls, Take That and The Who.
As the Olympic flag was lowered, President Rogge paid tribute to the London 2012 volunteers, as well as the enthusiastic support that fans offered throughout the Games.
“We will never forget the smiles, the kindness and the support of the wonderful volunteers, the much-needed heroes of these Games,” he said.
“You, the spectators and the public, provided the soundtrack for these Games. Your enthusiastic cheers energised the competitors and brought a festive spirit to every Olympic venue. You have shown the world the best of British hospitality.” (Read here the full text)
London 2012 Chairman Seb Coe also thanked the British public for embracing the Games, saying: "We lit the flame and we lit up the world; we know more now, as individuals and as a nation, just what we are capable of.
“When our time came, Britain, we did it right. Thank you."
With attention turning to Rio de Janeiro, which will host the 2016 Olympic Games, the world was given a glimpse of what it can expect to see in four years’ time, with London’s Olympic Stadium being transformed into a Brazilian carnival scene, complete with samba dancers and football legend Pele.
The Olympic flame was then extinguished, bringing the London 2012 Olympic Games to a close as The Who provided a fitting conclusion with their anthem “My Generation”.
“This may be the end of these two glorious weeks in London,” said Coe. “But what we have begun will not stop now. The spirit of these Olympic Games will inspire a generation.”