Olympics Close With Rollicking Ceremony

The Who, Spice Girls, Kate Middleton wow; US leaves with 46 golds
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 12, 2012 4:38 PM CDT
Updated Aug 12, 2012 11:43 PM CDT
Olympics Close With Rollicking Ceremony
George Michael performs during the closing ceremony at the 2012 Summer Olympics.   (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

The Olympics wrapped up tonight with a light-blazing, rocking ceremony featuring the reunited Spice Girls, The Who, Annie Lennox (among many other headliners), an exploding car, and a mosh pit filled with thousands of athletes, AP reports. The show kicked off in London with a surprise appearance by actor Timothy Spall playing Winston Churchill emerging from a miniaturized Big Ben, and a shout-out to the Union Jack. Soon all 10,800 Olympic athletes were walking as one—not by nations—and exchanging cheers and camera flashes with the crowd of 80,000. The Independent dubbed it the "grandest of grand hurrahs for London 2012," which capped a win of 29 gold medals for the Brits, a 104-year record for the nation.

Kate Middleton and Prince Harry were in attendance, sitting next to International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge. The show was designed by artistic director Kim Gavin, whose team had less than a day to prep the Olympic stadium after the last track and field event. "We lit the flame, and we lit up the world," said London organizing committee chief Sebastian Coe. "When our time came, Britain, we did it right." The Yanks won big time this Olympics, leading the pack by grabbing 46 gold medals, the most the US has won in a non-boycotted Olympics since 1904, notes the Christian Science Monitor. Next, on to Rio. (More 2012 London Olympics stories.)

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