By Tony Ubani reporting from London
After dazzling the world during the Opening Ceremony of the London Olympics Games, London will attempt to put the icing on the cake when the Closing Ceremony of the Games of the XXX Olympiad holds this Sunday at the Olympic Stadium in London.
The Closing Ceremony celebrates the achievements of athletes at the London 2012 Olympic Games, and includes a Handover from London to Rio de Janeiro, who are hosts of the 2016 Olympic Games. It also features the extinguishing of the Olympic Flame, signalling the end of the Games.
It will provide an opportunity for the world to view the artistic expression of Artistic Director Kim Gavin, his team and the culture of London and the UK. As with the Opening Ceremony, there are certain elements that must feature as outlined in the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Charter. The artistic performance of the Ceremony then gets underway and celebrates the success of the Games.
The Ceremony will be titled ‘A Symphony of British Music’, to celebrate the fact that music has been one of Britain’s strongest cultural exports over the last 50 years. The worldwide broadcast of the Ceremony will start at 9pm, Nigerian time and features more than 4,100 performers, including 3,500 adult volunteers and 380 schoolchildren from the six east London Host Boroughs.
The London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) has been appointed to record the soundtracks for the Closing Ceremonies of the Olympic Games.
March of the athletes
The flagbearers of the participating delegations enter the Stadium in single file, closely followed by the athletes. At the Closing Ceremony, athletes march together, not by nationality. This is a tradition that began at the Melbourne 1956 Olympic Games and is a way of bringing the athletes of the world together as ‘one nation’.
Flags and speeches
Three national flags are hoisted on flagpoles one at a time, while the corresponding national anthems are played: the flag of Greece to honour the birthplace of the Olympic Games, the flag of the Host Nation (UK), and the flag of the country hosting the next Summer Olympic Games (Brazil). The Mayor of the Host City joins the President of the IOC on the rostrum and gives him back the flag. The President of the IOC then symbolically presents this to the Mayor of the next Host City of the Olympic Games, before making a speech declaring the Games closed.
Extinguishing of the Flame
The Olympic Flame, which has been burning in the Cauldron since the opening of the Games, is then extinguished – a poignant and moving moment for all those involved in the Games and the audience at large.