Words: Saam Das
The 30th modern Olympic Games came to a close last night and London has been suffering a rather dampened post-Olympic mood. It was a really fantastic couple of weeks, with any sceptics steamrollered from the very beginning, with Danny Boyle's fantastic opening ceremony. Could the music-centric closing ceremony reach similar heights?
Despite appearances from The Spice Girls, The Who, and....ahem....One Direction, the closing ceremony was something of a disappointment in comparison to its opening counterpart. It was an even more bizarre mish-mash of British heritage and culture than Boyle's offering - veering from Timothy Spall's reprisal of his Churchill role from 'The King's Speech' early on to the Kaiser Chiefs covering The Who.
Most bafflingly, George Michael's two song set consisted of 90s hit 'Freedom' and his new single, which I refuse to even name considering his shameless plugging. PLAY THE HITS. I'm surprised artistic director Kim Gavin didn't put his foot down. I'm not even sure how George got away with it. He must have amazing management.
Ultimately, this wasn't quite the fitting end to a tremendous sporting event but it was a fascinating display of what it means to be British - and just how multi-faceted that is. But at least the competitors looked like they were having the time of their life, and too right, each of them has been an inspiration.
Watch the Closing Ceremony on BBC iPlayer until 00:19 Mon, 20 Aug '12.