The London 2012 Paralympic Games closing ceremony saw Coldplay performing to 80,000 ecstatic fans and joined by global superstars Rihanna and JAY Z in a spectacular celebration of achievements of the Paralympic athletes. It was a perfect denouement to an amazing summer of sport as the Olympic Stadium once again hosted a memorable party for athletes and fans alike.
The closing ceremony, entitled ‘Festival of the Flame’, was overseen by Artistic Director Kim Gavin, Music Director David Arnold and Designer Misty Buckley, and a team of Executive Producers who have been in charge of all four Olympic and Paralympic Ceremonies including Oscar winning film director Stephen Daldry.
As the show got underway a moving speech was made by Rory Mackenzie, a soldier who lost his leg on a patrol due to a roadside bomb, and flags from the competing nations formed a heart shape on the field of play before the shape was burnt into the ground.
Following the presentation of awards to Michael McKillop (Athletics, Ireland) and Mary Zakayo (Athletics, Kenya) for sporting excellence, and recognition of the 70,000 Olympic and Paralympic Games Maker volunteers, Coldplay were revealed on the central Sundial Stage to lead the celebrations with ‘Us Against The World’.
The British band were later joined on stage by global stars Rihanna and JAY Z, whilst the show also included a rousing speech by LOCOG boss Seb Coe who stated: “The Paralympic Games has set new records every day, sporting records, records for crowds for television audiences, for unbridled spirit. In this country we will never think of sport the same way and we will never think of disability the same way. The Paralympians have lifted the cloud of limitation.”
“In the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games I said that we would ignite a flame that would ignite the world. I am proud tonight to say we have done this.”
The Ceremony ended with a spectacular firework display over the Olympic Stadium and Park, as the worldwide broadcast left the Olympic Park to showcase an additional firework display along the River Thames and finally a projection on the Houses of Parliament of the words ‘Thank you London, thank you UK.’
- Paralympic Games