The London 2012 Paralympics drew to a close on Sunday. The sporting events ended with Team GB’s David Weir winning his fourth gold of the games, this time in the wheelchair marathon, and cementing his place as one of the greatest ever Paralympians. In the evening it was on to the spectacular closing ceremony. Another wonderful event in what has been a great London 2012 all round for Olympics and Paralympics and in sport and celebration.
There seemed to be a post-apocalyptic theme to the Closing Ceremony, in what was essentially a Coldplay concert plus a cast of a couple of thousand performers. Coldplay’s equipment appeared to have been extensively graffitied. That’ll teach them to linger too long on the streets of East London. At one point, as a man on a grungey motorbike straight from a Mad Max movie zoomed around the track, I thought the Road Warrior himself was coming to get Chris Martin.
Guest star Rihanna is no Tina Turner though. Despite their similar taste in men. Let’s be honest here, whenever she comes on everyone is thinking ‘Oh, go on, do the umbrella song. We like that one.’ Ella, ella, ella. Genius. Anyway, Coldplay, on the other hand, do this sort of thing particularly well. They have a whole bag of songs with a spacious, uplifting, celebratory vibe. Visually the show was stunning as well with dancers, acrobats, and another breathtaking fireworks display.
The audience in the stadium, the athletes, the performers, and the, on average, 6 million TV audience in the UK alone, seem to have enjoyed it all immensely. Amongst the celebration there was also the serious business of ritual to take care of as well. The Olympic Torch had to be extinguished and the athletes called on to meet once again in four years time. Rio will have a difficult job on its hands to match or surpass London 2012.