British pop extravaganza closes the Olympic Games
BY AP Wire Service
Monday, August 13, 2012
8/13/12 at 2:35 AM
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LONDON (AP) - With a little British pomp and a lot of British pop, London brought the curtain down on the Olympic Games on Sunday in a spectacular, technicolor pageant of landmarks, lightshows and lots of fun.
The closing ceremony offered a sensory blast, including rock 'n' roll rickshaws, dustbin percussionists, an exploding yellow car and a marching band in red tunics and bearskin hats.
The Spice Girls staged a show-stopping reunion, and Monty Python's Eric Idle sauntered through "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life" - accompanied by Roman centurions, Scottish bagpipers and a human cannonball.
It all made for what director Kim Gavin had called an ''elegant mashup'' of music and creativity that had 80,000 fans at Olympic Stadium stomping, cheering and singing along. Organizers estimated 300 million or more were watching around the world.
There were some notable absences: No Rolling Stones - the band said they were out of practice. No Elton John, although he did record one of the official games anthems. There was a David Bowie montage but no Bowie in person.
Gavin said he wanted to show how "U.K. culture, media, music are locked together to create the next big thing."
What a way to end a games far more successful than many Londoners expected. Security woes were overcome, and traffic nightmares never materialized. The weather held up, more or less, and British athletes over achieved.
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Fireworks go off during the closing ceremonies at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. BULLIT MARQUEZ / Associated Press