That’s all folks! ‘Tis a wrap from what’s probably been one of the most keenly followed Olympics both on ground at London, and right here on the world wide web. Artistic Director Kim Gavin promised ‘the best after-show party of all time’. And the closing ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics didn’t disappoint!
‘A Symphony of British Music’ featured an ensemble of popular musicians who performed 30 great musical hits of the past five decades. The evening kicked off with girls screaming their hearts out for the youngest band on stage – One Destination. The show moved on to true plucky British style, a colourful circus unravelling itself in full blast! The quintessential black London cabs pulled into the stage as the 90s girl band set an exuberant tone to ‘Spice up your life’! ‘We will rock you’ said Queen’s Brian May who enthralled us with a stellar performance, joined onstage by Jessie J who rendered a scintillating gyration. John Lennon came alive, so to speak, with an engaging tribute by a choir of children featuring footage from the original 1971 hit ‘Imagine’. The other performers who created magic in front of the 10,800 athletes included Take That, George Michael, the Pet Shop Boys, Ray Davies, Annie Lennox and Ed Sheeran, to name a few. The fabulous finale had a fiery Phoenix descending onto the stage, while The Who serenaded the extinguishing flames.
We were also treated to a dash of style with a ramp walk by British supermodels who strutted their stuff in shimmer, in creations by Alexander McQueen, Vivienne Westwood, Christopher Kane, Burberry, Erdem, Victoria Beckham, Jonathan Saunders, Stephen Jones and Paul Smith.
The biggest after-show party ever!
And as we bid adieu to the world’s most talented bunch of sportsmen and women, there’s no denying that we all agree on this one – it’s fashionable to win! And these uber cool achievers just showed us how, with breathtaking performances over the past sixteen days.
Michael Phelps set the pools on fire with a fabulous career-ending tally of 22 Olympics medals (yes, probably the greatest Olympian ever!). The showman on the tracks, Usain Bolt, finished up with a legendary three gold medals in the same track events in two consecutive Olympics – something that’s not been done over 108 years! And closer home, we’ve achieved twice the number of wins compared to the Beijing Olympics, and that’s saying a lot for a country starved of any kind of sports outside cricket.
Yes, it’s fashionable to win. But winning is not just about gunning for the Olympics gold. It’s about the tenacity of heroes like Manteo Mitchell who completed the run for his team on a painful leg that snapped midway. It’s about a young Indian woman, Saina Nehwal, who carried the pressure of a billion expectant countrymen on her shoulders with panache. It’s about Mary Kom, a mother of two raised in a poor farming family, who put an end to every kind of prejudice with powerful punches at the boxing ring.
Yes, it’s fashionable to win – to win the hearts of a billion spectators like me, who will now get back to our lives at least a tad bit more inspired.
The Olympic heart-stealers, hands down
Oh, and it’s also time to slip into some bright Brazilian colours and do the Samba while you make the beeline for Rio De Janeiro 2016!
– Aarthi Nandakumar