Closing ceremony at the Bird’s Nest:
What a night it was!
What a night it was! Heavenly drums, silver bell dancers, light
wheels as flying men took center stage to greet guests at the Bird’s
Nest during last night’s closing celebration of the XXIXth summer
Olympiad. The evening’s performances featured an eclectic mix of China’s
ethnic minority cultures and various modern elements.
A pyrotechnic display of numbers for the countdown from 29 - to
indicate the 29th edition of the modern Olympic Games, ushered in the
closing ceremony which was a grand finale to signal the conclusion of
the world’s greatest sporting extravaganza. Spectacular fireworks formed
a circle, the Chinese symbol of harmony and renewal, above the National
Stadium immediately afterwards to indicate the successful completion of
The IOC chief paid a big tribute to thousands of volunteers who
worked tirelessly for the success of the 204-nation Games. “You made the
Games,” said IOC President Jacques Rogge.
Last night’s spectacular ceremony also served to indicate the
official start of London’s role as host of the next edition of the Games
in 2012. The British national flag was raised and the Olympic flag was
handed over to the Mayor of the next host city - London. A short
performance followed to showcase Britain’s enthusiasm for the Games, and
star British soccerite David Beckham kicked a football to signal the
launch of London’s 2012 Olympic journey.
The Beijing Olympic flame was slowly extinguished at approximately
9.25 p.m. as the evening’s celebration culminated in an emotional duet
performance of ‘The Flame of Love’ by Spanish tenor Placido Domingo and
Chinese singer Song Zuying.
The IOC chief thanked China for the ‘most exceptional Games’. “Thank
you to the people of China, all the wonderful volunteers and the
Organising Committee - BOCOG!,” he said.
IOC President Jacques Rogge said the world learned more about China,
and China learned more about the world through the Beijing Olympiad.
“Athletes from 204 countries came to these dazzling venues and awed
us with their talent. New stars were born.
Stars from past Games amazed us again. We shared their joys and their
tears, and we marvelled at their ability. We will long remember the
achievements we witnessed here,” the Olympic boss said in his brief
“As we celebrate the success of these Games, let us all together wish
the best for the talented athletes who will soon participate in the
Paralympic Games. They also inspire us,” he continued.
Rogge, addressing the competitors said the Olympians are the true
role models. “You have shown us the unifying power of sport.
The Olympic spirit lives in the warm embrace of competitive rivals
from nations in conflict. Keep that spirit alive when you return home.
These were truly exceptional Games!,” he concluded.
Then, he made the customary announcement to declare the Games of the
XXIX Olympiad closed as the Olympic flame was slowly entinguished.
Meanwhile, China and Great Britain issued a set of four postal stamps
to commemorate the handover of the Olympic flag to London.
With Olympic rings on the background, the stamps feature landmark
buildings in the capital cities of the two countries, such as the Bird’s
Nest, the corner tower of the Forbidden City, the Millennium Wheel and
the Tower of London respectively.
The Royal Mail said the issue would celebrate ‘wonderful Games’ and
‘whet’ people’s ‘appetite’ for what is to come - London will host the
next Olympics in four years time.