Olympics - London Bids Adieu With Musical Madness


London bade a flamboyant and madcap farewell to the Olympic Games with a romp through British pop and fashion, bringing the curtain down on more than two weeks of action that ended with America topping the sporting world with 46 gold medals.
There was another sellout crowd at the 80,000-capacity athletics stadium in east London late on Sunday for the final act of the tournament, and 300 million people were expected to tune in on televisions around the world.
Actor Timothy Spall read from Shakespeare's "The Tempest" dressed as war-time Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and after a London "rush hour" featuring real cars and trucks, Prince Harry entered to represent his grandmother Queen Elizabeth.
The Spice Girls, Take That and George Michael were among the acts taking part in an exuberant finale that sought to sum up Britain's enthusiasm for the Games despite reservations about the 9 billion pound cost.
During a special eight-minute segment, the stadium was bathed in the colours and sounds of Brazil, as the Olympics looked ahead to 2016 when Rio de Janeiro is the host city.
But on Sunday and into the early hours of Monday it was time for London to say goodbye, and comedian Stephen Fry summed up the mood of many when he took to Twitter and wrote: "I don't want it to end *sob* *stamps foot*"
The circus-style ceremony was set to a British soundtrack of the last 50 years, featuring classic songs by Queen, the Kinks, the Beatles, Pink Floyd and more, and specially designed "pixel boxes" on every seat provided a spectacular light show.
It was always going to be a celebration for those in the stadium, rather than the showcase of the opening ceremony that featured a movie cameo by the queen and was a tribute to British history, culture and society in a message to the world.

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