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Closing Ceremony sends off Olympic athletes with world’s biggest party

LONDON: A galaxy of world-famous musicians and fashion icons have performed at the Closing Ceremony of the Olympic Games, including George Michael, Tinie Tempah, Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell, The Spice Girls and The Who.

Kim Gavin, Artistic Director of the Olympic Closing Ceremony, brought together Britain’s biggest international stars and emerging talent to perform in an event that celebrated the achievements of the world’s greatest athletes during the London 2012 Olympic Games.

The Ceremony at the London 2012 Olympic Stadium paid tribute to UK music, fashion and culture.

British artists who performed in the Closing Ceremony included The Who, The Spice Girls, Take That, Tinie Tempah, George Michael, Fatboy Slim, Madness, Jessie J, Annie Lennox, Kaiser Chiefs, Taio Cruz, Beady Eye with lead vocalist Liam Gallagher, Ray Davies, Queen’s Brian May and Roger Taylor, Pet Shop Boys, One Direction, Muse, Elbow, Emeli Sandé, Eric Idle, Julian Lloyd Webber, Ed Sheeran, Richard Jones, Mike Rutherford and Nick Mason.

Seb Coe, Chair, London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG), said: ‘Kim Gavin has delivered a fitting celebration of the athletes, the volunteers, this City and the whole country, who have helped us stage a great Olympic Games.

The best of Britain was shown throughout these Games and provided the platform for the world’s greatest athletes to shine. Coe paid tribute to the volunteers, the performers and the country for making Games so memorable for the athletes and sports fans of the world.

Artistic Director Kim Gavin said: ‘I was lucky because Seb Coe basically just asked me to put on a party, a celebration of London and the UK. To me the sport was always the main event, and I wanted to create a great after show party for the athletes, the volunteers, the spectators and people watching around the world. My approach, just like any party, was to start with the music. We wanted the Ceremony to reflect on UK music and how good and global British music is.’

A volunteer cast of 3,500 rehearsed on average for 60 hours each in a total of 135 rehearsals during evenings and weekends at two east London rehearsal sites. Some 350 child volunteers were drawn from 10 schools in the six east London Host Boroughs.  – AFP

Photo caption: The Olympic spirit rises out of the Flame – The stems of the Olympic Cauldron open outwards as the outline of a flaming, 20m-wide phoenix rises out of it.

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