LONDON—The London 2012 Olympics closed on Sunday night with IOC president Jacques Rogge proclaiming: “These were happy and glorious Games.” At the closing ceremony in the Olympic Stadium, Rogge paid tribute to the London 2012 organisers and volunteers, and to the spectators, for their contribution. He also said the Games would leave a lasting legacy in terms of infrastructure and by inspiring young people across the world to take up sport. Rogge said: “These were happy and glorious Games. The legacy of the Games of the XXX Olympiad will become clear in many ways. “Concrete improvements in infrastructure will benefit the host nation for years to come. “The human legacy will reach every region of the world. “Many young people will be inspired to take up a sport or to pursue their dreams.” Rogge said the 17 days of the Olympics had been “unforgettable” and he paid tribute to London 2012 chairman Sebastian Coe. “The organising committee, well supported by the public authorities, did a superb job,” he said.
“We will never forget the smiles, the kindness and the support of the wonderful volunteers, the much-needed heroes of these Games. “You, the spectators and the public, provided the soundtrack for these Games. “Your enthusiastic cheers energised the competitors and brought a festive spirit to every Olympic venue. “You have shown the world the best of British hospitality.” Lord Coe spoke of his pride in pulling off an event that has won plaudits around the world. Coe said: “On the first day of these Games I said we were determined to do it right. I said that these Games would see the best of us. “On this last day I can finish with these words: “When our time came—Britain we did it right. Thank you.” The London 2012 chairman, himself a two-time Olympic 1,500m champion, recognised the athletes for their world-beating performances, but spoke of how Britain had backed the Games. He added: “Today sees the closing of a wonderful Games in a wonderful city. "We lit the flame and lit up the world.” The success can be traced back to the people who built the stadiums and the Olympic Park from where was speaking that was once a disused and deprived district through to the organisers and the sports stars.
He told the packed stadium: “And thank you to the people of this country. The British people got behind London’s bid and they got behind London's Games. Our opening ceremony proclaimed that these would be a Games for everyone. At our closing ceremony, we can say that these were a Games by everyone. “London 2012 has played host to some incredible sport. To awe inspiring feats, that are the result of incredible dedication and skill by the world's great sports men and women. “To all the Olympians who came to London to compete—thank you. Those of us who came to watch witnessed moments of heroism and heartbreak that will live long in the memory. “You have our admiration and our congratulations.” The closing ceremony itself was another night of thrilling British eccentricity. And a final theatrical flourish saw a flaming phoenix rise above the Olympic cauldron as the flame was extinguished while ballerina Darcey Bussell flew from the roof and Take That played at the other end of the Stadium. The packed stands joined in with a rousing rendition of The Who’s My Generation before streaming out into the London night with the Games over after a wonderful 17 days.
In a guide to the ceremony, Prince Harry, who attended with the Duchess of Cambridge, said London 2012 had been an “extraordinary” event which had touched people's hearts and captured their imaginations. US President Barack Obama echoed that view, calling David Cameron to “congratulate him and the people of the United Kingdom and London on an extremely successful Olympic Games,” the White House said. As the world bade farewell to London, the host city gave the concert of a lifetime as stars such as Annie Lennox, The Spice Girls, Madness, Queen and Take That took to the stage. The party marked the end of British sport’s most successful Olympic Games in more than a century which saw a final medal tally of 64—an incredible 29 golds, 16 silvers and 19 bronze. Athletes from all nations paraded through the Stadium taking with them their own memories of a Games which has been universally acclaimed. After the Games showed off the best of British sport, the closing ceremony was designed to show off the best of Britain’s past and present music scene, culminating with a glimpse of the carnival that awaits in Rio in 2016.