Updated: Jun 10
The closing ceremony of the 2012 Paralympics, was held on 9 September at the Olympic Stadium in Stratford London. It was called The Festival of the Flame and was directed by Kim Gavin and produced by Stephen Daldry. The ceremony also included live performances by the rock group Coldplay with special guest performances by Rihanna and Jay-Z.
There was also a formal handover ceremony to Brazil where the Paralympic flag was passed from Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, to Eduardo Paes, Mayor of Rio de Janeiro, – whose city will host the 2016 Summer Paralympics this week. Following the official closure of the Games, the Paralympic cauldron was extinguished by swimmer Eleanor Simmonds and sprinter Jonnie Peacock.
I managed to get tickets for the closing which were high up and the middle of the stadium opposite the stage. It was a great occasion and again I was able to photograph the event using a long zoom lens, a wider low light lens and low light camera setting settings. The results were pretty good considering the conditions and my static viewpoint and will help me re-live the event for years to come.
The event sequence was:-
Pre-show performed by the Dreamers
Windstorm involving the wind gremlins who awaken the dreamers.
Raising the flag – which includes the president Sir Philip Craven and Prince Edward
Heart of many nations – the participating Paralympians from all 165 countries enter the stadium
Truck Invasion – Flame-throwers and an assortment of vehicles, people and trucks enter the arena
Spirt of the games – Athletes and volunteers thanked by the IPC.
The Festival of the Flame – This was a concert performed by Coldplay who sang songs broadly based on the four seasons ending with summer. Rihanna came on during the spring.
The Final Flame – Following the closing speeches, the flame is extinguished by British Paralympians Eleanor Simmonds and Jonnie Peacock.
Finale – Coldplay finish with their closing numbers set to a video showing the highlights of the games, before the spectacular firework display.
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