Closing Ceremony rewind: The good, the bad and the strange

Published On August 13, 2012 | By Arielle Aronson

The London Games are over, and they concluded in rock-star fashion as some of Britain’s greatest musicians and performers took to the track and field of the Olympic Stadium to unabashedly celebrate British culture. The evening featured musical renditions of songs old (John Lennon’s “Imagine”) and new (One Direction’s “What Makes You Beautiful”) as well as an impromptu fashion show and a comedic interlude featuring Eric Idle of Monty Python fame. Here’s a look at some of the best – and strange – moments from the Closing Ceremonies.

The stage design:

We loved the Union Jack-themed stage. (Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports)

What was not to love about the iconic Union Jack design for the field? As a stage, it looked great empty and still resembled the Union Jack when filled with non-choreographed athletes bopping along to the music. The replica of the London skyline also came out great.

The skinny jeans:

Seriously, look at the one on the right – Liam Payne’s – pants. We think they’re leggings. (Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports)

Could One Direction have found tighter pants? Those five boys are either really skinny or were in a lot of pain Sunday night. Check out Liam Payne’s (the one on the right) pants. Those must be leggings.

The Canadian outfits:

The Canadians and the Americans certainly providing contrasting images with their outfits. (photo from @brianprice2012 via Yahoo! Sports)

Our neighbors to the north do a lot of things well, but their outfits for the Closing Ceremonies looked a bit too much like those of a tourist from the late 1990s/early 2000s. The denim jackets with patches all over them don’t really say, ‘Olympic athletes’.

The American outfits:

On the left are the Brazilians in yellow tracksuits looking like athletes. On the right are the Americans looking like … French paper boys? (Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports)

To be fair, the American outfits for the Closing Ceremonies weren’t great either. The white dresses and caps for the women made them look like nurses from the 1950s, and the men still looked more French than American.

The weird moments:

Nothing says the Olympics like a giant octopus. (Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports)

The Pet Shop Boys’ orange hats were … different, and the giant inflatable Octopus was quite an interesting choice. The Pirates of the Caribbean interlude was simply strange and boring. Plus, Russell Brand wasn’t fooling anyone when he lip synced rather awkwardly to “I am the Walrus” and sang a song from Willy Wonka. Those parts would have been better had they been left out.

The royal moments:

Hey Harry and Kate! Where’s Wills? Or the Queen? (Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports)

Seeing Prince Harry sing along with Eric Idle and laugh at human cannonballs was pretty great. He really is just like us! And Kate Middleton looked great as usual. But where were Prince William and the Queen? At least give us Prince Charles bopping along awkwardly to the music. The Closing Ceremonies seemed like an affair more royals should have been present at.

The spiciest moments:

The Spice Girls’ reunion was a highlight of the Closing Ceremony. (Matt Kryger-USA TODAY Sports)

How great was it to see the Spice Girls back together? It shouldn’t be surprising that Victoria Beckham still rocks it as posh and looked fabulous in her dress, but for some reason, it was pretty impressive to see.

The risen from the dead:

Freddie Mercury was great, even if he is dead. (Matt Kryger-USA TODAY Sports)

Trying to get a performance from a dead man can be difficult, but both John Lennon and Freddie Mercury were great (or the videos of them from back when they were alive were great). Freddie Mercury even engaged in a back-and-forth with the crowd. Technology is so impressive.

The fireworks:

The fireworks were impressive. (John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports)

It’s a given that at any big event like the Closing Ceremonies, there will be fireworks, and the ones Sunday night looked great. They were a fantastic display of color and really looked great with the Olympic Stadium as their background.

The Brazilian introduction:

Rio is sure to be a party in 2016 based on their performance at the Closing Ceremony. (Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports)

It looks like Rio in 2016 will be quite the party. The Brazilian delegation brought quite the South American flavor to the Closing Ceremonies. We can’t wait to see what they have up their sleeves for the Games four years from now.

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About The Author

Arielle Aronson is a sports writer and recent graduate from Boston University, where she earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Print Journalism Magna Cum Laude. Arielle has a passion for sports cultivated from growing up with two older brothers. She also enjoys playing the piano, reading and traveling.