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London 2012: The Closing Ceremony

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Last night in London, thousands of fans gathered in Olympic Stadium for the Closing Ceremony of the 2012 games. The spectacular show kicked off with fireworks and rolled into a series of performances by British pop stars from the past six decades, including Brian May, The Who, Blur, and George Michael. Even John Lennon and Freddie Mercury made posthumous appearances via video. Brazil gave a preview performance of things to come in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, and Lord Sebastian Coe, chairman of the London Games Organizing Committee, praised the execution of this year's summer games, saying, "When our time came, Britain, we did it right." (Also see our review of the ceremony by Angela Riechers.) [46 photos]

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British prima ballerina Darcey Bussell flies into London's Olympic Stadium on a flaming phoenix during the Closing Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games, on August 12, 2012. (Reuters/Fabrizio Bensch)
British prima ballerina Darcey Bussell flies into London's Olympic Stadium on a flaming phoenix during the Closing Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games, on August 12, 2012. (Reuters/Fabrizio Bensch)
Fans take pictures in the Olympic Stadium right before the start of the Closing Ceremony at the 2012 Summer Olympics, on August 12, 2012. (AP Photo/Morry Gash) #
Fireworks explode over the Olympic Stadium during the Closing Ceremony, on August 12, 2012. (Reuters/Tim Wimborne) #
Timothy Spall plays the role of Winston Churchill during a theatrical piece at the Olympic Stadium, on August 12, 2012. (Reuters/Fabrizio Bensch) #
British band Madness during the Closing Ceremony at the 2012 Summer Olympics,on August 12, 2012. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham) #
The Olympic flame burns for a few minutes more, before being extinguished during the Closing Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games, on August 12, 2012. (Reuters/Pascal Lauener) #
A overhead view of Olympic Stadium, during the Closing Ceremony on August 12, 2012. (Reuters/Pawel Kopczynski) #
Artists perform during the Closing Ceremony of the 2012 London Olympic Games, on August 12, 2012. (Olivier Morin/AFP/Getty Images) #
The Pet Shop Boys perform "West End Girls" in Olympic Stadium, on August 12, 2012. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits) #
Japanese team members parade past as all of the Olympic athletes enter the stadium, on August 12, 2012. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham) #
Athletes celebrate during the Closing Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games, on August 12, 2012. (Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images) #
Illuminated Olympic rings float near the Houses of Parliament as part of the festivities for the London 2012 Closing Ceremony, on August 12, 2012. (Toshifumi Kitamura/AFP/Getty Images) #
A giant sculpture of the face of John Lennon is assembled from pieces onstage during a performance of Lennon's "Imagine" in Olympic Stadium, on August 12, 2012. (Paul Gilham/Getty Images) #
Singer George Michael performs "Freedom 90" in the Closing Ceremony in the Olympic Stadium, on August 12, 2012. (Reuters/Stefan Wermuth) #
Crowd-control volunteers wear hats with functional light bulbs in London's Olympic stadium, on August 12, 2012. (Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty Images) #
British model Kate Moss poses onstage during the Closing Ceremony, on August 12, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham) #
Athletes react as confetti rains down on them during the Closing Ceremony, on August 13, 2012. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong) #
DJ Fatboy Slim performs atop a psychedelic bus transformed into a massive translucent octopus in the Olympic Stadium, on August 12, 2012. (Reuters/David Gray) #
British singer Jessie J performs "Price Tag" during the Closing Ceremony, on August 12, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev) #
Mexican athletes parade into Olympic stadium in London, on August 12, 2012. (Leon Neal/AFP/Getty Images) #
Singer Annie Lennox performs atop a dark skeletal ship during the closing ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games, on August 12, 2012. (Reuters/Gary Hershorn) #
British band The Spice Girls make a reunion performance in London's Olympic Stadium, on August 12, 2012. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham) #
"Posh Spice" Victoria Beckham of The Spice Girls performs on top of a London taxi during the Closing Ceremony, on August 12, 2012. (Reuters/Fabrizio Bensch) #
Monty Python's Eric Idle enters the stage to perform "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life" during the closing ceremony of the 2012 London Olympic Games, on August 12, 2012. (Leon Neal/AFP/Getty Images) #
Marina Alabau Neira of Spain, gold medalist in the women's RS:X Sailing, holds up her medal during the Closing Ceremony, on August 12, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum) #
Muse's singer Matt Bellamy performs in the Closing Ceremony of the 2012 London Olympic Games, on August 12, 2012. (Leon Neal/AFP/Getty Images) #
Pyrotechnics illuminate the sky above the Olympic Stadium, on August 12, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) #
Brian May of Queen performs with Jessie J during the Closing Ceremony, on August 12, 2012 in London. (Julian Finney/Getty Images) #
The Olympic flag is lowered and carried out of the stadium during the Closing Ceremony in London on August 12, 2012. (Damien Meyer/AFP/Getty Images) #
Eduardo Paes, mayor of Rio de Janeiro, waves the Olympic flag after receiving it from IOC President Jacques Rogge during the ceremonial handing over of the Olympic flag at the Closing Ceremony, on August 12, 2012. (Reuters/Michael Regan/Pool) #
A Brazilian artist performs in a segment previewing Rio 2016 at the Olympic stadium in London on August 12, 2012. (Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images) #
A performer arrives onstage in a tribute to Brazil, next site of the summer games, during the closing ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games, on August 12, 2012. (Reuters/Stefan Wermuth) #
Brazilian artists perform in the closing ceremony of the 2012 London Olympic Games, on August 12, 2012. (Antonin Thuillier/AFP/Getty Images) #
Brazil's former football star Pele appears in a tribute to Brazil during the Closing Ceremony in London, on August 12, 2012. (Leon Neal/AFP/Getty Images) #
Brazilian artists perform during the Rio de Janeiro handover in Olympic Stadium, on August 12, 2012 in London, England. (Hannah Johnston/Getty Images) #
The petals of the Olympic Cauldron are lowered during the Closing Ceremony, on August 12, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner) #
British prima ballerina Darcey Bussell (left) approaches the Olympic flame just before it is extinguished in Olympic Stadium, on August 12, 2012. (Reuters/Gary Hershorn) #
A phoenix rises above the just-extinguished Olympic flame in Olympic stadium, on August 12, 2012. (Damien Meyer/AFP/Getty Images) #
Fireworks explode over the Olympic Stadium during the closing ceremony, on August 12, 2012. (Reuters/Pascal Lauener) #
Fans throng around Mo Farah, British gold medalist in the men's 10,000-meter and 5000-meter events, as he attends the Closing Ceremony of the 2012 Summer Olympics, on August 12, 2012. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong) #
Fireworks erupt above London's Olympic Stadium, on August 12, 2012. (Quinn Rooney/Getty Images) #
The Who guitarist Pete Townshend, left, and singer Roger Daltrey perform in the Closing Ceremony, on August 12, 2012. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum) #
Portugal's Nuno Delgado, right, dances with performers in London's Olympic Stadium, on August 13, 2012. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong) #
Damon Albarn from the British band Blur performs as part of the London 2012 Olympic Games closing celebrations at Hyde Park, London, on August 12, 2012. (Reuters/Ki Price) #
Spectators leave the stadium after the Closing Ceremony, on August 13, 2012, in London. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky) #
Two athletes hug at the closing ceremony of the 2012 London Olympic Games, on August 12, 2012. (Leon Neal/AFP/Getty Images) #

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